Virginia: Unarmed Security Officers
Legislation and Details for Virginia
Code of Virginia
Title 9.1 Commonwealth Public Safety
Chapter 1. Department of Criminal Justice Services
Article 4. Private Security Services Businesses
Virginia Administrative Code
Title 6 Criminal Justice and Corrections
Agency 20. Department of Criminal Justice Services
Chapter 174. Regulations Relating to Private Security Services Registered Personnel
In Virginia only private security businesses are subject to licensure.
Employees of a private security services business are required to obtain a valid registration issued by the Department
See: VA Code § 9.1-139
Unarmed proprietary security officers are exempt from the requirement to register.
See: VA Code § 9.1-140.8
See: Overview of the registration for an unarmed security officer status
See: Application form
Fees according to Application Form
$39 Initial Application fee for 2-year Registration
$50 Fingerprint Processing fee
$34 Renewal fee
$25 Criminal Hsitory Processing fee
The registration is valid for two years.
See: 6 VAC20-174-40.E
The application for renewal should be submitted within 30 days prior to expiration of the registration.
See: 6 VAC20-174-50.A
The application can be submitted on paper as well as online
Applicant must be at least 18 years of age.
See: 6 VAC20-174-40.B.1
United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States.
See: 6 VAC20-174-40.B.3
6 VAC 20-171-450. Entry level training exemption.
A. Persons previously employed as law-enforcement officers who have not terminated or been terminated from said employment more than five years prior to the application date must submit official documentation of the following with the application for partial exemption:
1. Completion of law-enforcement entry level training; and
2. Five continuous years of law-enforcement employment provided such employment as a law-enforcement officer was not terminated due to misconduct or incompetence. B. Persons having previous training or employment in any of the classifications defined in § 9.1-138 of the Code of Virginia must submit official documentation of the following with the application for partial exemption:
1. Completion of previous private security training, which has been approved by the department and which meets or exceeds the compulsory minimum training standards promulgated by the board; or
2. Five years continuous employment in the category for which partial exemption is sought, provided such employment was not terminated due to misconduct or incompetence and such employment ended within five years of the date of application.
6 VAC 20-171-460. In-service training exemption.
A. Persons who have completed training which meets or exceeds the compulsory minimum training standards promulgated by the board for the in-service training required for the individual’s particular category may be authorized credit for such training, provided the training has been completed within 12 months of the expiration date of the registration period during which in-service training is required. Such training must be provided by a third party organization offering services or expertise for the particular training category. Official documentation of the following must accompany the application for in-service training credit:
1. Information regarding the sponsoring organization, including documentation regarding the instructor for each session; and
2. An outline of the training session material, including the dates, times and specific subject matter.
3. Proof of attendance and successful completion.
**If an applicant qualifies, they must submit a Training Waiver Form for a fee of $25
Further exemptions are listed in VA Code §9.1-140
8. Carry a valid registration card or valid temporary registration letter at all times while on duty.
9. Carry the private security state-issued registration card at all times while on duty once the authorization has been approved from the department, except those individuals operating outside the Commonwealth of Virginia who shall obtain the state-issued registration card prior to providing services when physically located in the Commonwealth.
Virginia delineates a wide array of behavioral expectations when it comes to license applicants. The Board which regulates the industry goes to great lengths to outline all those occasions in which a license could be denied, revoked or suspended.
A registrant shall:
1. Conform to all requirements pursuant to the Code of Virginia and this chapter.
2. Not violate or aid and abet others in violating the provisions of Article 4 (§ 9.1-138 et seq.) of Chapter 1 of Title 9.1 of the Code of Virginia or this chapter.
3. Not commit any act or omission that results in a private security license, registration, or certification being suspended, revoked, or not renewed or the licensee, registrant, or certificate holder otherwise being disciplined in any jurisdiction.
4. Not have been convicted or found guilty in any jurisdiction of the United States of any felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, assault and battery, damage to real or personal property, controlled substances or imitation controlled substances as defined in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia, prohibited sexual behavior as described in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia, or firearms. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purpose of this chapter. The record of conviction certified or authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the jurisdiction where convicted shall be prima facie evidence of such guilt.
5. Not obtain a license, license renewal, registration, registration renewal, certification, or certification renewal through any fraud or misrepresentation.
6. Not solicit or contract to provide any private security services without first having obtained a private security services business license with the department.
7. Carry a valid registration card or valid temporary registration letter at all times while on duty. Individuals requiring registration as an unarmed security officer, an alarm respondent, a locksmith, a central station dispatcher, an electronic security sales representative, or an electronic security technician
may be employed for not more than 90 consecutive days in any category listed in this subdivision while completing the compulsory minimum training standards and may not be employed in excess of 120 days without having been issued a registration or an exception from the department and must carry a photo identification and authorization from their employer on a form provided by the department at all times while on duty.
8. Carry the private security state-issued registration card at all times while on duty once the authorization has been approved from the department, except those individuals operating outside the Commonwealth of Virginia who shall obtain the state-issued registration card prior to providing services when physically located in the Commonwealth.
9. Perform those duties authorized by his registration only while employed by a licensed private security services business and only for the clients of the licensee. This shall not be construed to prohibit an individual who is registered as an armed security officer from being employed by a nonlicensee as provided for in § 9.1-140 of the Code of Virginia.
10. Possess a valid firearms training endorsement if he carries or has access to firearms while on duty and then only those firearms by type of action and caliber to which he has been trained on and is qualified to carry. Carry or have access to a patrol rifle while on duty only with the expressed written authorization of the licensed private security services business employing the registrant.
11. Carry a firearm concealed while on duty only with the expressed written authorization of the licensed private security services business employing the registrant and only in compliance with Article 6.1 (§ 18.2-307.1 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia.
12. Transport, carry, and utilize firearms while on duty only in a manner that does not endanger the public health, safety, and welfare.
13. If authorized to make arrests, make arrests in full compliance with the law and using only the minimum force necessary to effect an arrest.
14. Engage in no conduct that shall mislead or misrepresent through word, deed, or appearance that a registrant is a law-enforcement officer or other government official.
15. Display one’s registration or temporary registration along with a photo identification while on duty in response to the request of a law-enforcement officer, department personnel, or client. Individuals providing private security services as authorized pursuant to subdivision 7 of this section who have not received their registration must display a state-issued photo identification and authorization while on duty in response to the request of a law-enforcement officer, department personnel, or a client.
16. Not perform any unlawful or negligent act resulting in a loss, injury, or death to any person.
17. If a uniform is required, wear the uniform required by his employer. If wearing a uniform while employed as an armed security officer, unarmed security officer, alarm respondent, or armored car personnel, that uniform must:
a. Include at least one insignia clearly identifying the name of the licensed firm employing the individual and, except armored car personnel, a nameplate or tape bearing, at a minimum, the individual’s last name attached on the outermost garment, except rainwear worn only to protect from inclement weather; and
b. Include no patch or other writing (i) containing the word “police” or any other word suggesting a law-enforcement officer; (ii) containing the word “officer” unless used in conjunction with the word “security”; or (iii) resembling any uniform patch or insignia of any duly constituted law-enforcement agency of this Commonwealth, its political subdivisions, or the federal government.
18. When providing central station monitoring services, attempt to verify the legitimacy of a burglar alarm activation by calling the site of the alarm. If unable to make contact, call one additional number provided by the alarm user who has the authority to cancel the dispatch. This shall not apply if the alarm user has provided written authorization requesting immediate dispatch or one-call dispatch to both his local police department and his dealer of record. This shall not apply to duress or hold-up alarms.
19. Act only in such a manner that does not endanger the public health, safety, and welfare.
20. Not represent as one’s own a registration issued to another individual.
21. Not falsify, or aid and abet others in falsifying, training records for the purpose of obtaining a license, registration, certification, or certification as a compliance agent, training school, school director, or instructor.
22. Not provide information obtained by the registrant or his employing firm to any person other than the client who secured the services of the licensee without the client’s prior written consent. Provision of information in response to official requests from law-enforcement agencies, the courts, or the department shall not constitute a violation of this chapter. Provision of information to law-enforcement agencies pertinent to criminal activity or to planned criminal activity shall not constitute a violation of this chapter.
23. Not engage in acts of unprofessional conduct in the practice of private security services.
24. Not engage in acts of negligent or incompetent private security services.
25. Not make any misrepresentation or make a false promise to a private security services business client or potential private security services business client.
26. Satisfy all judgments to include binding arbitrations related to private security services not provided.
27. Not provide false or misleading information to representatives of the department.
28. Not provide materially incorrect, misleading, incomplete, or untrue information on a registration application, renewal application, or any other document filed with the department.
Additionally, the Administrative Rules of the Board directly mention crimes involving “moral turpitude as a basis for denial, suspension or revocation of license.
Each applicant for initial registration as an unarmed security officer shall submit his fingerprints to the Department on a from provided by the Department.
See: VA Code §9.1-145.A
In order to submit the fingerprints, the applicant needs to schedule an appointment with Fieldprint Virginia or call 877-614-4364.
The corresponding Fieldprint Code for DCJS is listed on the Criminal History Processing Form
DCJS will be automatically notified once the fingerprints are submitted.
In Criminal Supplement Report, the Applicant need note current Protective Orders under which the applicant has been judicially placed.
The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services conducts background reviews.
The applicant must not have been convicted or found guilty in any jurisdiction of the United States of any felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude, assault and battery, damage to real or personal property, controlled substances or imitation controlled substances as defined in Article 1 (§ 18.2-247 et seq.) of Chapter 7 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia, prohibited sexual behavior as described in Article 7 (§ 18.2-61 et seq.) of Chapter 4 of Title 18.2 of the Code of Virginia, or firearms. Any plea of nolo contendere shall be considered a conviction for the purpose of this chapter. The record of conviction certified or authenticated in such form as to be admissible in evidence under the laws of the jurisdiction where convicted shall be prima facie evidence of such guilt
The applicant must fill out Criminal History Supplement Form along with the Fingerprint form if you have ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective orders.
The Criminal History Check is only valid for 120 days from the date of submittal. The applicant should submit all applicable application forms should be submitted within these 120 days.
See: Criminal History Processing Form
See: Criminal History Supplemental Form
A person applying for registration shall successfully complete all initial training requirements.
See: 6 VAC20-174-40.B.2
6 VAC 20-174-330 – Unarmed Security Officer – Compulsory Minimum Training Requirements
01E – Security Officer Core Subjects Entry-Level – 18 hours (excluding examination)
Entry-level course content. The compulsory minimum entry-level training course content by specific course, excluding examinations and mandated practical exercises shall be as:
(1) Applicable sections of the Code of Virginia and Regulations Relating to Private Security Services
(2) Code of Ethics
(3) General Duties and Responsibilities
(4) Signs of Terrorism Law
c. Security Patrol, Access Control, and Communications
e. Emergency Procedures
f. Confrontation Management
g. Use of force
h. Written comprehensive examination
In addition to the classroom training, applicants are required to complete a 4 hour job related training in-service course.
See: 6 VAC 20-174-330.C
An exam is required. See training requirements.
According to Va. Code Ann. § 20-60.3(6); Va. Code § 46.2-320; Va. Code § 63.2-1937:
An occupational or professional license may be suspended or revoked for failure to pay child support