1. What Is The Entire Licensing Process?

If you’re brand new to the security industry (in Texas), the first class you will have to take would be the Level-2 Non-Commissioned class. After you complete that course, you’ll be given a certificate of completion (not a license) from the school. You will take that certificate of completion to your current or future employer whereas they will help you through the DPS online licensing process T.O.P.S. ( Texas Online Private Security). Although you do NOT need to be employed with any company to take any class you DO have to be affiliated with a security guard company in order for DPS to approve your license (no, you cannot work on your own outside of a company- it is illegal). Part of the process after taking the class will be to provide fingerprints and submit to a background check through DPS ( all steps will be discussed in our class).

If approved, DPS will mail your license/pocket card back to your home. This process usually takes about 30 days, however, DPS will allow you to work security unarmed as a Non-Commissioned officer right away while your paperwork is processing. You are NOT allowed to work as a Commissioned officer or Bodyguard until you have your licenses back from DPS and in your pocket. There are many guard companies telling their guards that is is “Ok to work as an Armed guard or a Bodyguard as long as the TOPS site shows you as active”– this is NOT true as DPS requires that you have pocket card on you while on duty (exception is ONLY to the Non-Commission while processing only).

Additional requirements that most guard companies are in violation of:

As stated prior The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) will allow you to work security as a Non-Commissioned officer (unarmed) without a license but only while it is processing. The security companies hear that part but do not follow the rest of it which is:

(A) The new officer must be registered on the DPS security T.O.P.S. site (which can be done 24/7 online)

(B) The new officer OR the company must pay the state fees for the application (which can be done 24/7 online)

(C) Per DPS-RSD regulations a new officer MUST be fingerprinted before placing on a post (regardless if you can’t get an appointment for a few days or not).

(D) Per DPS-RSD regulations after items A-C are done, a guard company is NOT supposed to place a guard on a post for 48 hours after giving prints. This gives DPS and the guard company time to see if any “Red Flags” pop up with the applicant. This is not optional, each company must follow that.

Items A-D are only for first time officers that have not been licensed in Texas as a security officer. If the officer has an active pocket card, then skip those steps and place them on post that day (after of course some company level screening).