Frequently asked questions: Security guards

See answers to frequently asked questions about security guard licensing.

Licensing and exams

Where do I mail security guard applications and forms?

  • Send all applications, forms, or documents that require payment to:
    Public Protection Services Section
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 35001
    Seattle, WA 98124-3401
    We encourage companies to collect forms with payments and mail them together rather than mailing each form separately.
  • Send correspondence without payments to:
    Public Protection Services Section
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9649
    Olympia, WA 98507-9649

Please discard all old application and forms, and see our forms page to get updated versions. Contact us if you have questions.

How long will it take to receive my license?

It may take up to 60 days to issue your license after we receive your completed application and fee. The process may take longer if you’re applying for a company principal license.

When will I get the results?

About 10 days after you take your exam, we'll notify you with your exam score. 

How often can I take the exam?

You must wait at least 7 working days between exams. There's no limit to the number of times you can take the exam.

How do I get rescheduled if I don't pass?

To reschedule your exam, complete the application online and pay the fee, or apply by mail with a check or money order for the fee. It costs $25 each time you re-exam. 

Security guard companies

What's a company principal?

The individual who, in order to own or operate a private security guard company, must meet the minimum qualification of 3 years' experience or pass the exam.

If I'm just working for myself and don't want to hire employees, do I still have to get a company license?

Yes. Anyone who works as a private security guard must be licensed either as a private security guard company principal, or as a security guard licensed under a company.

How do my employees get licensed?

Once your company is licensed, you can submit applications for your employees. They're required to complete 8 hours of pre-assignment training from a licensed certified trainer. This certified trainer signs the certification box on the front of the unarmed security guard application when the training is complete.

Can I have a certified trainer from another company give my employees the training?

Yes, if the trainer is currently employed and holds a valid private security guard certified trainer's license.

Certified trainers

How do I become a certified trainer?

Once you're licensed as a security guard, submit a certified trainer exam application, pay $25, and pass the exam. For more information, read about becoming a certified trainer.

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-664-6611
(TTY: Call 711)
mail Email:
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