Vermont: Unarmed Security Officers

Legislation and Details for Vermont


The Vermont Statutes
Title 26: Professions and Occupations
Chapter 59: Private Investigative and Security Services

Administrative Rules of The Board of Private Investigative and Security Services

Authorizing Department

The Board of Private Investigative and Security Services
Vermont Secretary of State Office of Professional Regulation

89 Main Street, 3rd Floor
Montpelier, VT 05620-3402
(802) 828-1505

Official Website

Licensure and License Fees

While Vermont does not individually license every security officer, the state and its board promulgates rules and standards, training and requirements for the profession.
The security services firm or company is licensed and provides oversight and compliance regarding all of its employees.

Vermont issues licenses to those in the “business” of providing security services.
The statute states in part:

26 V.S.A. § 3174. Security Guard Licenses
No person shall engage in the business of security guard or provide guard services in this state without first obtaining a license.
The board shall issue a license after obtaining and approving all of the following:
•   An application filed in proper form.
•   The application fee.
•   Evidence that the applicant has attained the age of majority.
•   Evidence that the applicant has successfully passed the examination required by section 3175 of this title.

In turn, the business or entity offering said services registers all security officers it employs.

See: 26 V.S.A. § 3176

Employment is required in order to engage in the profession of a Security Officer.

Proprietary Security Officers are exempt from the requirement to register.
See: 26 V.S.A §3151a(b)(3)

Vermont also licenses “Qualifying Agents” who are persons responsible person for an agency or business entity or who chooses to operate as a sole proprietor, or otherwise practice independently.
The licensure process also has a few stages. Upon original application, the board will commence background review.
If positive the board will issue a temporary registration card and allow 60 days for completion of required training.

I.   Employee Registration
  $60.00   Application fee

II.   Qualifying Agents
  $150.00   Application fee

See: Forms and information
The application form is in an online format and requires the creation of an account with the Vermont Office of Professional Regulation.

Temporary Licensure

Vermont permits temporary registration of employees as long as certain conditions are met, which are:

Once the VCIC background check is completed, a 60-day Temporary Registration may be granted to eligible applicants.
The Agency must submit proof that the applicant has successfully completed a Board-Approved 40-hour training program.
A full registration/license will not be granted without proof of successful completion of the training.
Applications for part-time employees (less than 80 hour per month) must include proof that the employee completed a minimum of eight
(8) hours of training (approved by the Board), prior to the issuance of a Temporary Registration. The remaining training hours for part-time
employees shall be completed within the temporary registration period of 180 days or before the employee has worked 500 hours, whichever occurs first.

See: Private Investigator and/or Security Guard Registration

Vermont’s Board on Private Investigative and Security Services encourages Temporary Registration as a means to
provide On-the Job Training as the full application is finalized. The administrative rules of the Board note:
(d) Temporary registration and on-the-job training:
1. A temporary registration allows an individual to practice as a security guard or private investigator pending the processing of his or her application. The temporary full-time employee registration may be issued only once for the same employer. Training must be completed before the expiration of a temporary registration (60 days) for a permanent registration to be issued.

Foreign Jurisdiction Licensure

Vermont does have a “transitory permit” for out of state investigators but provides no option for the security officer for reciprocity.
The rule declares:

26 V.S.A. § 3176a
Transitory practice.
The director of the office of professional regulation, under rules adopted by the board, may grant a transitory permit to practice as a private
investigator to a person who is not a resident of Vermont and has no established place of business in this state,
if that person is legally qualified by license to practice as a private investigator in any state or country that regulates such practice.
Practice under a transitory permit shall not exceed 30 days in any calendar year.

Age Requirements

1 V.S.A. § 1734.
Security guard licenses
(a) No person shall engage in the business of security guard or provide guard services in this State without first obtaining a license. The Board shall issue a license after obtaining and approving all of the following:

(3) Evidence that the applicant has attained the age of majority.


The legislation does not mention this requirement.


I.   Employee Registrants
No experience required.

II.   Qualifying Agents
The applicant must submit documentation showing two years experience, required in§ 3173(c) and/or§ 3174(c). For purposes of this Rule, “two years experience” shall be defined as work experience of 2,000 hours in the applicable profession in the two year period immediately preceding the date of application.

26 VSA § 3174(4)(c)
The board shall require that the person has had experience satisfactory to the board in security work, for a period of not less than two years. Such experience may include having been licensed as a security guard in another state or regularly employed as a security guard for a security agency licensed in this or another state, or been a sworn member of a federal, state, or municipal law enforcement agency.


26 VSA § 3151a. Exemptions
The term “security guard” shall not include:
•   Law enforcement officers certified under 20 V.S.A. § 2358 while engaged in the performance of their official duties, including the rendering of security guard services provided such services have been assigned and approved in advance by the officer’s employing department and payment for such services is made to the employing department.
•   Persons who are not armed, who are engaged exclusively in the business of managing property of others, including incidental inspection for the purpose of discovering damage from entry, theft, vandalism, or other cause.
•   Persons regularly employed as security guards exclusively by one employer in connection with the affairs of that employer only, provided that the employer is not a security agency.

Permit Required

Not Required

Requirement to carry an ID card

I. Employee Registration
An agency shall register all agency investigative and security employees with the Board. Employees shall carry identification in a form satisfactory to the Board indicating the licensee by whom the person is employed.
See: 26 V.S.A. § 3176(b)

II: Qualifying Agent
The legislation is silent on this requirement.

Moral Character

26 VSA § 3176(d)
The board may also make additional inquiries it deems necessary into the character, integrity, and reputation of the applicant.


The Vermont statute does not impose a mandatory fingerprint process, using the language “when it is required” although the background check will eventually include this review.

According to the Applications Instructions for I. Employee Registration and II. Qualifying Agent:
Upon execution of a release form, the applicant receives a “Vermont Criminal Information Center Fingerprint Authorizing Certificate”.
According to the Department of Public Safety’s New Applicant Procedure, an applicant must bring the completed “Vermont Criminal Information Center,
Fingerprint Authorization Certificate” to the fingerprinting appointment at a Criminal Justice Center.

See: a list of approved fingerprint centers in Vermont.

$25.00   Fingerprinting Fee

Substance Abuse

Not listed

Mental Health

Not listed

Criminal History Background Check

I.   Employee Registrants
Applicants will now be undergoing a background check through the Vermont Criminal Information Center.
The applicant will be required to show two forms of identification: a birth certificate, passport, driver’s license or social security card.
Once the Board receives the release form, the applicant will receive a “Vermont Criminal Information Center Fingerprint Authorizing Certificate” and a list of Fingerprint Identification Centers.
See: FBI National Record Check Release Form (Employee Registrant)

II.   Qualifying Agents
26 VSA § 3174(b)

The board may inquire of the Vermont Criminal Information Center for any information on criminal records of the applicant, and the center shall provide such information to the board. The board, through the Vermont criminal information center, may also inquire of the appropriate state criminal record repositories in all states in which it has reason to believe an applicant has resided or been employed, and it may also inquire of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, for any information on criminal records of the applicant.

See: FBI National Record Check Release Form (Qualifying Agent)

Personal References

2.1 Administrative Rules of the Board of Private Investigative and Security Services
When the application is received, the Board shall investigate the background of the applicant, including the qualifying agent, partners and corporate officers to determine competence; character, integrity and reputation. The investigation may include, but is not limited to:
•   searching criminal records

•   contacting personal references
•   contacting other persons who know the applicant

Reference providers must be over 18 years of age, cannot be related to the applicant, and must personally know the applicant for a period of at least five years.

Training Requirements

As a prerequisite to registration, all security employees shall take and successfully complete a training program approved by the Board.
See: 26 V.S.A § 3176(e).

I.   Employee Registrants

The Board requires that every security guard and private investigator employee registered under these rules complete a minimum forty (40) hour training program approved by the Board before it will issue a permanent registration. (b) The basic training course and the 8-hour course for part-time employees are in addition to any hourly requirements met for firearms or guard dog training or other specialty training for a specific job or employer.

Security guard training courses must include the following subject areas for the minimum number of hours listed here for each subject. The Board will consider requests for variances from the minimum hours for each subject. Variance requests must be supported by specific hourly variations and a written explanation as to why the variance is being requested. The total hours must still equal forty (40).
•   Role of the security guard (2 hours)
•   Ethics and conduct (4 hours)

•   Legal powers and limitations (4 hours),
•   Communication and public relations (4 hours)

•   Patrolling/investigation (4 hours)

•   Emergency response (8 hours)
•   Observation and note taking (4 hours)

•   Statements (2 hours)

•   Evidence (2 hours)

•   Access control (2 hours)

•   Report Writing (4 hours)

The 8-hour course for part-time temporary registrants must include the following subject areas for the minimum number of hours listed here for each subject:

•   Role of the security-guard (2 hours)

•   Ethics and conduct (3 hours)
•   Legal powers and limitations (3 hours)

The ethics and conduct section must include the Board’s statutes and rules and address the grounds for unprofessional conduct.
See: Employee Registration Application Instructions

II.   Qualifying Agents
Not required

Exam Requirement

I.   Employee Registrant
Board Rules 2.3 Basic Training Programs(c):
4. Exams. Each course provider shall examine its students prior to issuing a certificate of completion. The examination shall test the student’s knowledge in all of the subject areas covered. The course examination and the passing criteria shall be submitted to, and approved by, the Board.

II.   Qualifying Agents
26 VSA § 3175. Examinations
The board shall prepare, or have prepared, and administer, separate examinations for private investigators and private security services. Each examination shall be designed to test the competency of the applicant with respect to the lawful and safe provision of each respective service to the public.

The Board will give the applicable examination after the completed application has been submitted. The applicant shall take the initial examination within 60 days of the application submission. A person who fails the initial examination may be reexamined; however, the applicant shall take the examination for the second time within 60 days of the notice of failure of the initial examination. Upon failure to pass the examination for the second time, the applicant shall not re apply for one year from the notice of failure of the second examination. Information about scheduling an examination may be obtained from the Office.

Security Guard Examination Subject Areas:
–   PD/Security Service licensing law
–   26 V.S.A. ”3151-3183
–   3 V.S.A. ”121-131
–   Administrative Rules
See: Application Instructions (Qualifying Agents)

Child Support

15 VSA § 798(b)
The office of child support may administratively suspend licenses under this section upon noncompliance with an order under section 606 of this title. Prior to suspending a license, the office of child support shall notify the obligor of the office’s intent to suspend the obligor’s license and shall provide the obligor with an opportunity to contest the action pursuant to 33 V.S.A. § 4108. If the obligor fails to either contest the claimed delinquency or request an opportunity to present evidence relating to the noncompliance within 21 days of notification, the office of child support may issue a license suspension order.

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