South Carolina: Unarmed Security Officers

Legislation and Details for South Carolina


South Carolina Title 40 – Title 40 – Professions and Occupations
Chapter 18 Private Security and Investigation
South Carolina Code of State Regulations Chapter 73 Article 9 Private Security and Private Investigation Businesses

Authorizing Department

South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED)
4400 Broad River Road
Columbia, South Carolina 29210
Phone: (803) 737-9000
Official Website

Licensure and License Fees

South Carolina licenses security business entities as either “Contract Security Business” or “Proprietary Security Business”. Individual officers employed by a contract or proprietary licensee must obtain a valid “security officer registration certificate” from the department.
See: S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)

The licensee may apply and pay the fee for the security officer registration certificate or may require the person to be employed as a security officer to apply and pay the fee.
See: S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)

SLED only issues registration certificates to persons employed by a licensed security business.
See: S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)(4)(a)

$65 Registration Fee
See: Application Form

The registration is valid for one year from the date of issue.
See: S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)(8)

Special Event Security
South Carolina permits the temporary use of unlicensed security officers by a licensed employer under the following conditions:

S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-90
Use of temporary employees for special events; notice of use; fees.

A person who holds a security business license may use temporary employees for special events without registering the temporary employees
if the temporary employment does not exceed ten days in a calendar year and the employees have no arrest authority and are not armed during the employment.
The names, addresses, and birth dates of the temporary employees, along with the identity and date of the special event for which they are to be employed,
must be furnished to SLED at least five days prior to the commencement of the special event, along with a fee of five dollars for each temporary employee.

Foreign Jurisdiction Licensure


Age Requirements

S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(B)(3)(b)
Must be at least 18 years of age.


S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)(4)(c)
Citizen of the United States


None required.


None required.

Permit Required

None required.

Requirement to carry an ID card

South Carolina (SC) Code § 40-18-80(A)(5)
While on duty, a registered person must have his registration certificate in possession.

1. Private security and private investigation employee registration cards must display a recent and recognizable facial photograph of the registered individual, must be fully laminated and must legibly display all information placed on the card by SLED.
See: South Carolina SR §73-407

Moral Character

S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)(4)(e)
Must be of good moral character


S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)(1)
In early 2019, the State of South Carolina began a process on online, electronic fingerprint submission. For instructions and the portal,
see: IdentoGO

Substance Abuse

S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)(4)
(f)   Does not unlawfully use drugs

(g)   Does not use alcohol to such a degree as to affect adversely his ability to perform competently the duties of a security company licensee, has not been adjudicated an incapacitated person without being restored to legal competency, and who has no physical or mental impairment which would prevent him from competently performing the duties of a security company licensee

(h)   applicant must pass a SLED-approved pre-employment drug test.

Mental Health

S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-80(A)(4)(g)
Applicant must not have any physical or mental impairment which would prevent him from competently performing the duties of a security company licensee.

Criminal History Background Check

S.C. Code Ann. § 40-18-30(D)
Fingerprint cards submitted to SLED pursuant to Sections 40-18-50, 40-18-60, 40-18-70, and 40-18-100 must be submitted by SLED to the Federal Bureau of Investigation to facilitate a national criminal records check of the applicant.
Must not been convicted of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude.

Personal References

None required.

Training Requirements

It is the security company’s responsibility to provide training to their employees using SLED approved training materials.

Unarmed security officers are required to complete the “Primary Basic” training consisting of a minimum of four hours of classroom presentation time
and an additional minimum of two additional hours for company orientation, company policies and procedures, and assignment specific issues.

Specifically the curriculum covers the following topics:

1.   Post Orders for Security Officers
2.   Security Officer Registration
3.   Security Officer Ethics
4.   Security Officer Professionalism
5.   Situational Awareness
6.   Observation
7.   Law Enforcement Relations
8.   Note Taking / Reports
9.   Discovered Criminal Activity
10.   Crime Scene Preservation
11.   Workplace Violence and Emergency Response
12.   Violent Event Threats
13.   Training Documentation

See: SLED Primary Basic Training
See: SLED Proof of Primary Basic Training Form

Exam Requirement

For each training topic taught , each applicant must successfully complete a written test that demonstrates the applicant’s understanding of the performance objectives.
A score of 80% is required to pass the test.

See: SLED Primary Basic Training

Child Support

No baseline requirement.

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