District of Columbia: Armed Security Officers

Legislation and Details for District of Columbia


D.C. Municipal Regulations
Title 6A Police Personnel
Chapter 11. Special Police
Title 17. Business, Occupations, and Professional
Chapter 17-21. Security Officers and Security Agencies

Authorizing Department



Security Officers Management Branch address:
2000 14th Street, NW, Suite 302
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202)671-0500
Email: opla.security@dc.gov

Official Website


Oversight for the licensure and regulatory oversight of the security officer has moved from the
Metropolitan Police Department to the DC Office of Regulatory Affairs-Security Officers Management Branch.
The Metropolitan Police Department still interacts with, provides policy materials and other interchanges with the security industry.
MPD has constructed a new entity called “Security Snapshot.”

See: Security Snapshot

Contact the Security Officers Management Branch:
2000 14th Street, NW, 3rd Floor
Washington, DC 20009
Phone: (202) 671-0500
Fax: (202) 673-7418
Official Website

Licensure and License Fees

In DC, the armed security guard status is designated as “Special Police Officer”.
DCMR §6-A1100.1
Special police officers may be appointed by the Mayor for duty in connection with the
property of or under the charge of a corporation or individual requesting the appointment or appointments.


$84.00   Application Fee
$35.00   Fingerprint and background investigation fee
$35.00   Drug test fee

$350.00   armed D.C. SPO training fee
$50.00   Range fee
See: D.C. Special Police Officer Training

Special Police Officer licenses expire on May 31, annually

See: Application Instructions
See: Online Application Portal

Age Requirements

The applicant must be a least 21 years of age
See: DCMR §6-A1100.7(a)

See: Application instructions


Applicants for Special Police Officers must be a citizen of the United States and submit a copy of their birth certificate and legal documentation supporting any name change with the application, i.e. marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption papers.

See: DCMR §6-A1100.7(b)

See: Application instructions


The applicant shall be approved for appointment by the Chief of Police, shall possess a high school diploma or a general equivalency diploma, or one year of experience as a special police officer in the District of Columbia, shall be able to read, write, and speak the English language, and shall be certified by a licensed physician as physically and psychologically fit to perform the duties of a special police officer.
See: DCMR §6-A1100.7(d)


No baseline requirement

Permit Required

No baseline requirement

Requirement to carry an ID card

According to DCMR §17-2111
1.   Upon certification by the Mayor and payment of a five dollar ($5) fee, each security officer shall receive an identification card containing a photograph of the security officer, the name and business address of the officer’s employer, and a statement that the bearer is not a police officer and only has the powers of an ordinary citizen.

2.   The identification card shall be carried on the person of the security officer whenever he or she is engaged in his or her duties and shall be exhibited upon request to any person with whom the security officer may come in contact in the performance of his or her duties.

Moral Character

The applicant must be of good moral character.
See: DCMR §6-A1100.7(c)


Fingerprinting required for certification will be processed at the Security Officers’ Management Branch (SOMB).
Contact SOMB for hours of operation, 202-671-0500. The following required items must be presented at the time of fingerprinting along with a money order, cashier’s check or company check in the sum of thirty-five dollars ($35.00) made payable to the D.C. Treasurer:
•   Notarized Arrest Affidavit and Resident & Employment Log
•   Notarized Authorization to Release Information Form,
•   Drug Screening Results
•   Firing Range Certificate (Armed Applicant Only)
•   Approved Gun List (Armed Applicant Only)

Applicants from another city or state may mail completed fingerprint cards (ink prints) to the SOMB from their local jurisdiction. In such case, two (2) fingerprint cards are required per applicant for licensure.

Submit to:

Metropolitan Police Department Security Officers Management
Branch 2000 14th Street, N.W., Room #302 Washington, DC 20009

Retrieved from Application instructions

In keeping with the general trend towards online processing,
DC now requires the scheduling an online appointment for fingerprints.
See: Fingerprint Appointment System

Substance Abuse

The application must include a drug screening from a certified laboratory. The applicant MUST be tested and screened at the levels for drugs that are outlined by the employer. Applicants who test POSITIVE for any drugs must submit medical documentation from the prescribing physician supporting the positive reading. This statement must be on letterhead from the attending physician’s office and have the original signature of the doctor. Physical exams and drug screening results must be completed no later than ninety (90) days prior to the date of the application process.

Retrieved from Application instructions

Mental Health

Applicants are required to submit medical documentation certifying that he or she is physically and mentally capable of performing security related functions. The original signature of the doctor and the date must appear on the physical. Applicants being treated by a private physician for an existing medical condition must also submit a doctor’s statement from that physician, which indicates the condition will not prohibit the applicant from performing security related functions. Physical exams must be completed no later than ninety (90) days prior to the date of the application process.

Retrieved from Application instructions

Criminal History Background Check

According to DCMR §6-A1102.1
No person shall be commissioned or employed as a special police officer, nor shall an existing special police officer have a commission renewed, until the Mayor has conducted a criminal history check of the applicant through the record systems of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Metropolitan Police Department

A background investigation will be conducted on each applicant to include local and FBI criminal checks.
Background checks require approximately ninety (90) days to complete.

Retrieved from Application instructions

The applicant has to submit a notarized Arrest Affidavit
and an Authorization to Release Information

Personal References

Not required

Training Requirements

According to DCMR 6A §1100.7
(f)   Special police officers shall be required to satisfactorily complete pre-assignment, on-the-job, and in-service training programs which have been prescribed and approved by the Mayor.

(g)   Pre-assignment training shall include at least sixteen (16) hours of training on arrest powers, search and seizure laws, the District of Columbia Official Code, and the use of force. Pre-assignment training shall include an additional twenty-four (24) hours of training generally relating to the special police officer’s duties and specifically including:
(1)   Terrorism awareness, including building evacuation, unattended packages, and unknown substances;
(2)   Emergency procedures, including evacuation and first-aid; and
(3)   Customer service and interaction with tourists.

(h)   Special police officers shall satisfactorily complete a 16-hour, on-the-job training course within ninety (90) working days following employment, and an 8-hour annual in-service training course.

(i)   Special police officers shall also satisfy all additional initial and re-qualification training standards for firearms and other equipment, as applicable.

Exam Requirement

According to DCMR 6A §1100.7(j)
Upon satisfactory completion of a required training course, a special police officer shall receive from his or her employer a certificate evidencing satisfactory completion thereof

Child Support

During the application process, the questioning sequence to be filled in by the applicant, does reference the child support issue as follows:
Do you owe any outstanding debt to the District government as a result of any past due child support payments as stipulated in the “Child Support and Welfare Reform Compliance Amendment Act of 2000“ “DC Law 13-269, DC Code §46-225.01)?

See: Application Instructions

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