California Requirements for Bodyguards

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To become a bodyguard in the state of California, you must meet certain requirements. In the state of California, bodyguards are viewed the same as security guards and are covered under the same laws. In order to become a bodyguard, one must undergo the same training as a security guard. Under certain rules, bodyguards may carry weapons and provide contract work with high-profile celebrities.

  • Register for a Guard Card to identify yourself as a security guard. A guard card identifies you as a registered security guard and allows you to conceal firearms. A Bodyguard/Security guard training course in protection, must be completed to obtain this card and the cardholder must be at least 18 years old. Once you complete the course the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) will send you your guard card by mail only. No bodyguard may accept work or conceal weapons without a guard card.

  • Pass a criminal background check. All potential bodyguards in the state of California must pass a criminal background check with the California Department of Justice and the FBI.

  • To receive a guard card, you need 40 hours of security-guard training. This training will encompass all of the duties required of a licensed security guard. These duties will be explained in full only during training by a certified training facility. While the applicant must eventually complete 40 hours, only 8 are required to apply for the guard card.

  • File a security-guard application. The application will have background-check information as well as the pass or fail the applicant received during his required 8 hours of training. The application and a fee of $50 will be sent to the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) for processing.

  • Provide fingerprints. A live fingerprint scan will be taken by BSIS and given to the California Department of Justice and FBI along with you application. Fingerprinting will identify you in the Bureau database for record-keeping purposes.

  • Obtain screen print. The screen print is a temporary guard card that will allow you to work and earn the rest of your 40 hours. The screen card will only be received if the criminal background check and fingerprint scan are cleared and your application is in order. The screen print must be carried at all times during all assignments as a bodyguard, and must be accompanied with photo identification. You may not conceal weapons with a screen print. The official guard card will be mailed in 10 to 15 business days.

  • Obtain a firearms permit. This will allow you to carry a weapon that meets BSIS issue standards. To obtain a firearms permit, you must complete a separate training course in the carrying and use of firearms. There is an application fee of $80 that must be paid before you receive your firearms permit. A concealed weapons permit issued to you by your local police is recommended.

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