West Virginia: Armed Security Officers

Legislation and Details for West Virginia


West Virginia Code
Chapter 30. Professions and Occupations.
Article 18. Private Investigative and Security Services.

Authorizing Department

Office of the Secretary of State
State Capitol Building
Charleston, WV 25305
Phone: (304) 558-8000
Fax: (304) 558-0900
Email: licensing@wvos.gov

Branch Office in Charleston:
1615 East Washington Street
Charleston, WV 25311-2126
Main: (304) 558-8000
Fax: (304) 558-8381

Branch Office in Clarksburg:
Secretary of State
200 West Main Street
Clarksburg, WV 26301
Phone: (304) 367-2775
Fax: (304) 627-2243

Branch Office in Martinsburg:
229 East Martin Street
Martinsburg, WV 25401
Phone: (304) 356-2654
Fax: (304) 260-4360

Official Website

Licensure and License Fees

West Virginia does not promulgate unique standards that are distinguishable from the Unarmed Guard. However, to be armed, and operate as a Security Guard, the applicant will have to fulfill the requisites of the Unarmed Guard noted in this section.

To be armed, the applicant then must comply with state law on the registration and use of firearms.

Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:

There is an application fee of $50

West Virginia, while not licensing individual officers, does permit an individual applicant to apply as an individual providing security services as well as an
individual who directs, owns or operates a security firm. This process is labeled “combined” licensure. For the particulars, click here.

West Virginia now has an online portal where many of the steps and requirements can be fulfilled.

See: WV One Stop Portal

Foreign Jurisdiction Licensure

West Virginia requires in-state licensure to conduct security business.

Age Requirements

Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:

The applicant must be 21 years or older


Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:

The applicant must be a bona fide United States citizen or legal resident thereof and resident of this state and of the county in which the application is made and has a valid driver’s license or other state-issued photo identification showing the residence


No baseline requirement


Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:

A former law-enforcement officer honorably retired from agencies governed by article fourteen, chapter seven of this code; article fourteen, chapter eight of this code; article two, chapter fifteen of this code; and article seven, chapter twenty of this code, an honorably retired officer is exempt from payment of fees and costs as otherwise required by this section.

Permit Required

Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:

A concealed weapons license is required

Requirement to carry an ID card


Moral Character

No baseline requirement


I. Security Guard Employee:
For every employee or individual who conducts security guard business under the authority of a security guard firm license, the holder of such license must maintain a recent full-face photograph and one complete set of fingerprints on file at such firm’s central business location in this state. Upon request, the holder of the firm license must release the photographs and fingerprints to the Secretary of State.

II. Individual Security Guard License
Effective June 2016, Security Guard applicants are now required to be fingerprinted for both state and federal background checks.

All Private Investigator and Security Guard applicants will be required to submit their fingerprints for initial registration and renewal through MorphoTrust at an IdentoGo Center.

In State Applicants: The Office of the West Virginia Secretary of State will no longer be providing fingerprint cards to in state applicants. Fingerprints will need to be obtained from MorphoTrust/IdentoGo instead of from local or state police. MorphoTrust electronically captures and transmits the digital fingerprints to the West Virginia State Police (WVSP) and the Federal Bureau of Investigations (FBI), for a state and federal criminal history check.

The applicant is required to schedule the fingerprinting appointment AFTER the Secretary of State’s Office has received the application and other required materials, and after the applicant has received the instructional letter on fingerprint procedures.

In state applicants can register and find a location for fingerprinting by visiting identogo.com and clicking on West Virginia, or by calling 1-855-766-7746.

The fee of the fingerprint processing is included in the application fee.

See: Individual Security Guard License Application Form

Substance Abuse

Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:

The applicant cannot be addicted to alcohol, a controlled substance or a drug and is not an unlawful user thereof as evidenced by either of the following within the three years immediately prior to the application.
(A)   Residential or court-ordered treatment for alcoholism or alcohol detoxification or drug treatment; or
(B)   Two or more convictions for driving while under the influence or driving while impaired

Mental Health

Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:
The applicant cannot have been adjudicated to be mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed to a mental institution. If the applicant has been adjudicated mentally incompetent or involuntarily committed the applicant must provide a court order reflecting that the applicant is no longer under such disability and the applicant’s right to possess or receive a firearm has been restored

Criminal History Background Check

Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:

The applicant cannot have been convicted of the following:

(5)   a felony unless the conviction has been expunged or set aside or the applicant’s civil rights have been restored or the applicant has been unconditionally pardoned for the offense;
(6)   of a misdemeanor crime of violence other than an offense set forth in subdivision (7) of this section in the five years immediately preceding the application;
(7)   a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence as defined in 18 U. S. C. §921(a)(33), or a misdemeanor offense of assault or battery either under  section twenty-eight, article two of this chapter or  subsection (b) or (c), section nine, article two of this chapter in which the victim was a current or former spouse, current or former sexual or intimate partner, person with whom the defendant cohabits or has cohabited, a parent or guardian, the defendant’s child or ward or a member of the defendant’s household at the time of the offense, or a misdemeanor offense with similar essential elements in a jurisdiction other than this state;
(8)   That the applicant is not under indictment for a felony offense or is not currently serving a sentence of confinement, parole, probation or other court-ordered supervision imposed by a court of any jurisdiction or is the subject of an emergency or temporary domestic violence protective order or is the subject of a final domestic violence protective order entered by a court of any jurisdiction

Additionally, the applicant cannot be prohibited under the provisions of section seven of this article or federal law, including 18 U. S. C. §922(g) or (n), from receiving, possessing or transporting a firearm

Personal References

None required

Training Requirements

Per West Virginia Code §61-7-4:

All persons applying for a license must complete a training course in handling and firing a handgun, which includes the actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant. The successful completion of any of the following courses fulfills this training requirement: Provided, That the completed course includes the actual live firing of ammunition by the applicant:

(1)   Any official National Rifle Association handgun safety or training course;
(2)   Any handgun safety or training course or class available to the general public offered by an official law-enforcement organization, community college, junior college, college or private or public institution or organization or handgun training school utilizing instructors certified by the institution;
(3)   Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by a handgun instructor certified as such by the state or by the National Rifle Association;
(4)   Any handgun training or safety course or class conducted by any branch of the United States military, reserve or National Guard or proof of other handgun qualification received while serving in any branch of the United States military, reserve or National Guard.

A photocopy of a certificate of completion of any of the courses or classes or an affidavit from the instructor, school, club, organization or group that conducted or taught the course or class attesting to the successful completion of the course or class by the applicant or a copy of any document which shows successful completion of the course or class is evidence of qualification under this section and shall include the instructor’s name, signature and NRA or state instructor identification number, if applicable.

Exam Requirement


Child Support

According to W. Va. Code § 48-15:
The state revoke any business or professional license for arrears equal to or exceeding 6 months

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