New Jersey Security Guard Licensing Information

New Jersey Security Guard Union | United Federation LEOS-PBA NJ | New Jersey
New Jersey Security Guard Union | United Federation LEOS-PBA NJ | New Jersey
New Jersey Security Guard Union | United Federation LEOS-PBA NJ | New Jersey
New Jersey Security Guard Union | United Federation LEOS-PBA NJ | New Jersey
NEW JERSEY UNARMED SECURITY GUARDS LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

State Security Licensing Authorities: New Jersey

New Jersey Security Guard Union | United Federation LEOS-PBA NJ | New Jersey

NEW JERSEY STATE POLICE PRIVATE DETECTIVE UNIT ARMED SECURITY OFFICER

 

The Armed Security Officer’s change to the Security Officers Registration Act (SORA) also known as the Detective Melvin Santiago’s Law was signed into legislation by Governor Chris Christie on January 19, 2016.

 

The law mandated that a security officer that is properly licensed to carry a firearm in the State of New Jersey and works as a security officer either with a private security firm or as an in-house security officer must be licensed through SORA. This law shall take effect on July 1, 2016 and all officers must be in compliance by August 31, 2017. With this new law all of the prior exemptions currently in SORA are still in effect. A copy of the amendments to the SORA act can be found at http://www.njsp.org/privatedetective/pdf/sora/20160427_chapter295.pdf.

 

The armed security officer certification does NOT authorize the applicant or card holder to carry a firearm. The certification only permits the applicant or cardholder to legally work for a security company as an armed officer, after they have first obtained approval for the State of New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun. To obtain a carry permit you must first make a separate application for a State of New Jersey Permit to Carry a Handgun through the municipal police department where you reside as per N.J.S.A. 2C:58-4. Any further questions or to obtain this application form visit the NJ State Police web page (www.njsp.org) and navigate to the Firearms Investigation Unit.

 

With the new law, armed security officers will need to get fingerprinted again initially, renew annually and attend an 8 hour block of instruction by a licensed SORA instructor each year. Frequently asked questions regarding Armed Security Officers:

 

1. Q: If I am already a licensed security officer/owner/bounty hunter or private detective do I need to get fingerprinted again? A: Yes, the armed security officer is a new application and you will need to be fingerprinted again.

2. Q: Do I need to be keep both security officer and armed officer SORA certifications current? A: No, the armed security officer certification will supersede the regular security officer certification.

 

3. Q: If I have a Retired Police Officer (RPO) permit to carry a firearm and work as an armed security officer do I need to be licensed under SORA? A: Yes, unless you work for a State, County, Local Government, Commission, School Board, etc. All exemptions in SORA still apply. See SORA Act 45:19A-2c.

 

4. Q: Do I need to renew each year with the armed security officer license? A: Yes, the armed security officer certification is an annual renewal and must attend an 8 hour block of instruction by a licensed SORA instructor each year.

 

5. Q: Is there any increase in the fees for armed security officer? A: No, the fees have not changed.

 

6. Q: What if I am an armed security officer and work in plain clothes? A: You must have with you a badge indicating SORA Level 2 Armed Security Officer, armed security officer license and a valid firearms carry permit.

 

7. Q: What type of holster must I wear while working as an armed security officer? A: You must secure your weapon in a Level 3 or higher holster.

 

8. Q: Do I need to wear a specific uniform? A: Yes, if you wear a company uniform you need to wear a badge indicating a SORA Level 2 armed security officer and the words “SECURITY” printed on the reverse side of the shirt.

 

9. Q: Do off duty, retired or active law enforcement working as an armed security officer need to obtain the Armed SORA certification? A: Yes.

10. Q: Is there a separate SORA instruction for armed certification? A: No, the SORA curriculum remains the same.

 

11. Q: What capacity magazine can I carry while working as a security officer? A: A security officer carrying under the authority of a Retired Police Officer Permit to carry may utilize a magazine with a 15 round capacity. A security officer carrying under a permit to carry issued for the purpose of employment may utilize a magazine with a maximum capacity of 10 rounds.

New Jersey Security Guard Union | United Federation LEOS-PBA NJ | New Jersey
New Jersey Security Guard Union | United Federation LEOS-PBA NJ | New Jersey
NEW JERSEY UNARMED SECURITY GUARDS LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

State Security Licensing Authorities: New Jersey

 
NEW JERSEY UNARMED SECURITY GUARDS LICENSING REQUIREMENTS

The unarmed security guard licensing is overseen by the New Jersey State Police, Private Detective Unit where permanent licenses are issued. The requirements for these licenses are mandated by the Security Registration Act, N.J.S.A. US: 19A-1 through 45:19A-12.

 

Security Officer Rules and Regulations (PDF) 

 

These requirements include being at least 18 years of age and not over 65 years of age, providing current and valid photo identification with a valid expiration date. The applicant must be legal to work in the United States and successfully completed the required amount of New Jersey State certified training. There are other qualifications that will need to be meant prior to obtaining a security license in the state:

  • Certified training for the required amount of hours completely successfully

  • Submit to fingerprinting

  • The applicant will not have a serious criminal convictions

  • There will be an FBI style background check done prior to licensing

 

Training at a state certified facility would prepare the applicant to work within the security sector where firearms are not a requirement. The training prepares them to detain suspects in manners that are professional and does not cause a disturbance. The amount of training hours in New Jersey is twenty-four hours of security education that will include:

  • Professional conduct

  • Ethics

  • The limit of force that can be used according to the New Jersey Attorney General

  • Detention of suspects

  • First aid including emergency CPR

  • Terrorism awareness

 

The education in the training course is designed to prepare the New Jersey unarmed security guard with the confidence to work in the security sector with professionalism. This training includes understanding the legal limitations of the unarmed security guard in New Jersey. The student will also learn to properly write reports and proper interaction with official authorities. Classes will include emergency techniques to be used for medical emergencies until emergency medical technicians arrive and fire safety.


This training prepares the applicant to work within certain security sectors that can include:

  • The unarmed security guard is qualified to work at schools and colleges

  • Libraries

  • Retail stores

  • Museums and art galleries

  • Malls

  • Apartments and hotels

  • Casinos

  • Office buildings

  • Parking structures

These are some of the employment opportunities for the licensed unarmed guard in New Jersey, which the certified training has prepared the applicant. When working in a setting such as a casino or office building, the duties can include the use of cameras to monitor activities within the building. The unarmed security guard can also be employed in buildings that have alarm security systems.

The license is good for a period of two years, with a required refresher certified course taken yearly to keep the unarmed security guard license current. The training and license renewal must be done prior to the expiration date of the current security license.  When this yearly training is not completed the unarmed security guard license will not be valid or renewed, disabling the applicant to continue working in the security sector.

How long is my Security Officer Certification good for and How do I renew?

The Security Officer Certification is good for a period of 2 years at which time a renewal application must be submitted prior to the expiration of the certification.
*Noteworthy Info: A first time applicant ONLY receives a (30) day Temporary Certification. Upon expiration, applicant must discontinue work until SORA certification is approved. Ninety days prior to expiration, you will be notified via email that it is time to renew. Subsequent emails are sent at 60 days and 30 days prior to expiration. Emails are sent to the email address that is listed on your personal profile.