Get a License - TN.Gov

Get a License

Tennessee Private Protective Services
For questions or assistance, please call 615-741-6382
 

Requirements:

Contract Security Company

Any person engaging in the business of providing a security guard and patrol service on a contractual basis for another person. If the person is a partnership each partner must qualify; if the person is a corporation or an LLC an agent of the corporation must qualify.

Requirements

  • Owner or Qualifying Agent must be at least 21 years of age.
  • A U.S. citizen or resident alien.
  • Be legally, mentally competent.
  • Free of habitual drunkenness, narcotics addiction or dependence.
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Meet statutory insurance requirements.
  • Satisfy the experience or examination requirement (See next section).
  • Applicants must provide three (3) credit references from lending institutions or business firms with whom a credit record has been established. These references must be original documents from the lending institution, must be in standard business letter form and must appear on the institution’s letterhead.
  • Applicants must submit electronic fingerprints for processing by the TBI and FBI for criminal history check.
  • A Certificate of Insurance which meets the requirements of T.C.A. 62-35-114.
Experience Or Examination Requirements
  • Possess at least three (3) years of experience as a manager, supervisor, or administrator with a contract security company or proprietary security organization.
    (OR)
  • Possess at least three (3) years of supervisory experience satisfactory to the Commissioner with any public law enforcement agency in the United States (including military).
    (OR)
  • Pass an examination designed to measure knowledge and competence in the contract security company business.  

Renewals

  • Contract Security Company Licenses are renewable every two (2) years.
Proprietary Security Organization

"Proprietary Security Organization" means any person or department thereof which employs a security guard/officer solely for such person in an employer/employee relationship.
It is unlawful for any person to act as a proprietary security organization without first having notified the commissioner in writing.

Business Information

  • Full name of business.
  • Mailing address for business.
  • Physical address of business.
  • Type and number of guards the business intends to hire:
    • Unarmed
    • Armed
      (AND/OR)
    • Full-time sworn peace officers

Qualifying Manager Information

  • Full name of Qualifying Manager.
  • Business address of Qualifying Manager.
  • Residence address of Qualifying Manager.

A Certificate of Insurance that meets the requirements of:

Renewals

  • PSO Registrations do not expire, as long as the Proprietary Security Organization maintains a Certificate of Insurance that meets the requirements set in T.C.A. 62-35-114.
Armed Security Officer/Guard

A security guard/officer is an individual employed by a contract security company or a proprietary security organization to protect persons and/or property from criminal activities. A security guard who holds armed guard registration may work an armed or unarmed post, and is not required to hold an additional "unarmed" guard registration.

All armed security guards must meet the armed guard registration requirements in order to be authorized to carry a firearm.

Requirements

  • Be at least 21 years of age for registration as an armed security guard.
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien.
  • Not have been declared by any court of competent jurisdiction incompetent by reason of mental defect or disease unless a court of competent jurisdiction has since declared the applicant competent;
  • If convicted in any jurisdiction of any of the crimes listed in this subdivision (4), have completed serving sentence or court ordered probation at least five (5) years prior to application. Conviction of the following crimes shall disqualify an applicant, subject to the conditions stated in this section:
          (A) Any felony; or
          (B) Any misdemeanor involving:
             (i) Shooting a firearm or other weapon;
             (ii) Shoplifting;
             (iii) Assault and battery or other act of violence against persons or property;
             (iv) Crimes involving the sale, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances,                      controlled substance analogues, drugs or narcotics;
             (v) Theft of property; or
             (vi) Theft of services;
  • Not be suffering from habitual drunkenness or narcotics addiction or dependence;
  • Not have any disability that, in the opinion of the commissioner, prevents the applicant from performing the duties of a security guard/officer; and
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Submit three fingerprint cards for processing for a TBI and or FBI criminal history check, or submit electronic fingerprints.
  • Must meet the statutory training requirements.

Training Requirements 

Training includes an examination covering subjects in which the individual must have training. All candidates must complete a four hour basic course including one (1) hour each of:

  • Orientation.
  • Legal powers and limitations of a security guard/officer.
  • Emergency procedures.
  • General duties.
  • Any additional training for weapons or other devices that are less than lethal he or she will use.
  • An armed guard must complete eight additional hours in the classroom covering:
  • Legal limitations on the use of a firearm:
    • Handling of a firearm
    • Safety and maintenance of firearms 

In addition, an armed guard applicant must complete an additional four hours of marksmanship training and achieve a minimum of 70% on any silhouette target course approved by the commissioner.

Training Requirements for the use of a Club, Stun Gun, Chemical Spray, Night Stick or other less than lethal device

Registered guards or applicants who will carry a club, stun gun, chemical spray, night stick or other less than lethal device, the commissioner shall require appropriate training specific to such device by a certified trainer who is certified to instruct for such specific device. It shall be the employers' responsibility to keep training records of their employees for each device. The security officer/guard shall also have in such person's possession a certification card issued by an instructor/trainer who is certified to instruct/train in the legal use of such specific device and shall exhibit such card upon demand by the commissioner or the commissioner's duly authorized agent or any full time law enforcement officer.

Renewals

  • Armed Guards/Officers must renew their registration every two (2) years.
  • Every two (2) years armed security guards must complete four hours of refresher training and requalify in the use of a firearm by achieving a minimum of 70% on any silhouette target course approved by the commissioner prior to the renewal of their guard registration. 
Unarmed Security Officer/Guard

A security guard/officer is an individual employed by a contract security company or a proprietary security organization to protect persons and/or property from criminal activities. If an individual maintains an armed guard registration it is not necessary to also be registered as an "unarmed" guard. 

Requirements for unarmed security guard registration

  • Be at least 18 years of age for registration as an unarmed security guard.
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien.
  • Not have been declared by any court of competent jurisdiction incompetent by reason of mental defect or disease unless a court of competent jurisdiction has since declared the applicant competent;
  • If convicted in any jurisdiction of any of the crimes listed in this subdivision (4), have completed serving sentence or court ordered probation at least five (5) years prior to application. Conviction of the following crimes shall disqualify an applicant, subject to the conditions stated in this section:
          (A) Any felony; or
          (B) Any misdemeanor involving:
             (i) Shooting a firearm or other weapon;
             (ii) Shoplifting;
             (iii) Assault and battery or other act of violence against persons or property;
             (iv) Crimes involving the sale, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances, controlled substance analogues, drugs or narcotics;
             (v) Theft of property; or
             (vi) Theft of services;
  • Not be suffering from habitual drunkenness or narcotics addiction or dependence;
  • Not have any disability that, in the opinion of the commissioner, prevents the applicant from performing the duties of a security guard/officer; and
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Must meet the training requirements.
  • Submit three fingerprint cards for processing for a TBI and or FBI criminal history check, or submit electronic fingerprints.
Training Requirements
Training includes an examination covering subjects in which the individual must have training. All candidates must complete a four hour basic course including one (1) hour each of:
  • Orientation.
  • Legal powers and limitations of a security guard/officer.
  • Emergency procedures.
  • General duties.
Training Requirements for the use of a Club, Stun Gun, Chemical Spray, Night Stick or other less than lethal device.
Registered guards or applicants who will carry a club, stun gun, chemical spray, night stick or other less than lethal device, the commissioner shall require appropriate training specific to such device by a certified trainer who is certified to instruct for such specific device. It shall be the employers' responsibility to keep training records of their employees for each device. The security officer/guard shall also have in such person's possession a certification card issued by an instructor/trainer who is certified to instruct/train in the legal use of such specific device and shall exhibit such card upon demand by the commissioner or the commissioner's duly authorized agent or any full time law enforcement officer.

Renewals
  • Unarmed Guards/Officers renew registration every two (2) years.
Proprietary Unarmed Security Officer/Guard

A "Proprietary" Unarmed Security Guard/Officer is an individual employed by a proprietary security organization.

Requirements for unarmed "Proprietary" security guard registration

  • Be at least 18 years of age for registration as an unarmed security guard
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien
  • Be legally mentally competent, be of good moral character
  • Be free of habitual drunkenness or narcotics addiction or dependence
  • Have no disability which would prevent performance of duties
  • Be free of convictions including:
    • Probation for 5 years for serious crimes 
      (OR)
    • Crimes involving:
      • Firearms
      • Shoplifting
      • Violence
  • Training - See Tenn. Code Ann. 62-35-103(b)(1) [below]
  • Submit three fingerprint cards for processing for a TBI and or FBI criminal history check 62-35-103(b)(1)

Exemptions from chapter provisions

  • (b) (1) The provisions of 62-35-118(a), only, shall not apply to a person employed as an unarmed security guard/officer by a proprietary security organization.
  • (2) For the purposes of this subsection (b), an unarmed security guard/officer shall not carry a weapon of any kind.
  • (3) It is the desire of the general assembly that unarmed proprietary security guards/officers hose primary duties involve contact with the public should have training in the areas of legal powers and limitations, and of emergency procedures as deemed necessary by their employers. The commissioner may provide such employers information concerning these areas.

[Acts 1987, ch. 436, 3; 1988, ch. 987, 2; 1989, ch. 142, 1; 1990, ch. 816, 1, 2; 1996, ch. 1009, 8, 9; 1997, ch. 118, 1; 1997, ch. 137, 1; 1997, ch. 274, 1; 1998, ch. 865, 1; 2001, ch. 452, 2; 2002, ch. 590, 1; 2004, ch. 661, 2.]

Certified Security Guard Trainer

An individual certified by the commissioner as qualified to administer and certify as to successful completion of the minimum training requirements prescribed for a security officer/guard. A certified trainer may appoint an instructor to assist with the implementation of the training program by notifying the commissioner of the appointee. Only a certified trainer is eligible to certify successful completion of required training of a security guard/officer before the guard can be registered. Registration is required of armed or unarmed security guards/officers in Tennessee.

Requirements

  • Be at least twenty-one(21) years of age.
  • Be personally qualified to conduct the required training of security officers/guards.
  • Have at least one year of supervisory experience satisfactory to the commissioner with:
    • Contract security company
    • Proprietary security organization (OR)
    • Any public law enforcement agency in the United States (including military) 

Renewals

  • Certifications must now be renewed every two (2) years (new).

Continuing Education

  • Twelve (12) hours of continuing professional education is now required as a prerequisite for renewal of    Trainer Certifications.  Tenn. Code Ann. 62-35-140
Assistant Security Guard Trainer

A certified security guard trainer may appoint an instructor to assist with the implementation of his/her training program by notifying the commissioner of the appointee.

Any instructor assisting in the implementation of a training program shall be under the supervision and control of the certified trainer by which he/she was appointed. The certified trainer shall be accountable for the performance of each instructor appointed.

Requirements

To assist in the implementation of the training program, the certified security guard trainer may appoint as an instructor any individual who:Is at least twenty-one (21) years of age; and has at least one (1) year of experience with:

  • Any federal, United States military, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency.
    (or)
  • With a contract security company or proprietary security organization.

Application

In a formal letter to this office, the certified trainer must submit the following regarding any instructor whom he/she wishes to appoint to assist in the implementation of his/her training program:

  1. Proposed Assistant Trainer's Full Name.
  2. Date of Birth.
  3. Details regarding the required supervisory experience.

Application and Licensure Fees

 
Type of Fee Contract Security Company Certified Trainers
Application $300 $100
Fingerprints – Refer to instructions for electronic fingerprinting.    
License $125 (0-49 Guards)
$425 (>49 Guards)
$50
Renewal $300 (0-49 Guards)​ (2 Years)
$600 (>49 Guards)​ (2 Years)
$150 (2 Years)
Late Renewal (Per Month or a Portion of a Month the Renewal is Late) $100 $50
Duplicate Fees (Company or Trainer) $25 $25
Type of Fee Armed Security Guard

Unarmed Security Guard

Application $75 $50
Fingerprints – Refer to instructions for electronic fingerprinting.    
Conditional Card (Armed Only)    
License $30 $20
Renewal (2 Years) $60 $50
Late Renewal (Per Month or a Portion of a Month the Renewal is Late) $20 $20
Duplicate Fees - Security Guard/Officer/Armed - must submit (2) color passport-style photos with request for duplicate. $25 $25

Note: Application fees are not refundable