AZ Guard Card Process

An overview on the process to get your Arizona Security Guard Card

Armed and Unarmed Guard Card Process

The process to get your Arizona security guard card, either armed or unarmed is pretty straight forward, below you will find the process on what's needed to get it.

There are two methods to apply: paper and electronic. The paper application involves either delivering your application to DPS in person, or mailing it to them, whereas the online application allows you to complete all the paperwork digitally. Both are discussed bleow.

Unarmed & Armed

In Arizona, there are two types of security guard cards: unarmed and armed.

To work as a contracted security guard, that is, to work for a security guard and patrol company, you must be licensed. To get that license, you must take a mandatory training class for your unarmed license. It's 8 hours in length and can be taken online or in person.

For those looking to become an armed security guard, and additonal class must be taken. This is the 16 hour armed security guard course. It's two, eight hour days and includes a live fire range qualification and written test. The armed course cannot be taken online.

Further, unarmed training must be completed first, prior to taking the armed course. You do not need to have your paperwork submitted, but you must have completed the unarmed training, and have your training verification form to show it.

There are requirements and disqualifiers that DPS has in place when applying for the security licnese. It's the typical stuff: at least 18 years of age, citizen of the U.S. or legal resident, no felonies within the last 5 years and so on. You can find all of the preclusions in A.R.S. 32-2622.

The process on getting the security guard card(s) for Arizona is outlined below.
Valid for 2 Years
Guard cards are issued for a period of 2 years and guards should start the renewal process 60 days prior to expiration to ensure there is no gap in time
Armed Guard
The armed course is not a "learn how to shoot" class, as it's designed to qualify only. Guards will have to demonstrate proficiency on the range.
Armed Refresher
All armed guards are required to take the annual refresher training course each calendar year. It includes written test and range qualification.

Requirements and Disqualifiers

Arizona DPS has established certain requirements and disqualifiers for getting your guard card. Below is an outline of what's required, and what will disqualify you from getting your security license in Arizona.

We cannot offer legal advice, nor say if DPS will allow you to get your guard card if you have something in your background. You can call DPS and discuss your situation directly with them as we have no bearing on your application's disqualifications. On the guard card registration application form there is space to provide additional information, and we always suggest you give them as much info as possible, and include any copies of supporting paperwork you may have.

General Requirements

  1. Must be a minimum of 18 years of age or older
  2. Must be a US citizen or have a legal right to work in the US
  3. Must not be convicted of a felony, or under indictment of one
  4. Must not be on parole, probation or on a sex offender list
  5. Must not be a prohibited possessor
  6. Must not be deemed mentally incompetent
  7. No bad conduct, dishonorable or other than honorable discharge from military


No convictions in the last 5 years of any of the following:
  1. Personal violence against another or threats against another of personal violence
  2. Misconduct involving a deadly weapon as per ARS 12-3102
  3. Dishonesty or Fraud
  4. Arson
  5. Theft
  6. Domestic Violence
  7. Sexual Misconduct
  8. Drug Related Offenses


This is the general overview to get your guard card


Unarmed first, armed second (optional)


Fill out all the paperwork


Get your fingerprints taken


Get a passport sized photo printed of you


Get a cashiers check or money order


Mail or drop off your packet to AZ DPS

Training Courses

Unarmed guard card classes are offered both online and in-person (ground). Armed classes, are in-person only. Check our schedule for dates and times. You can also read more about these specific courses below.

Unarmed Ground
8 Hours, In-PersonUnarmed Ground
The unarmed guard card course is the same for new or renewing guards. Renewing guards must take the course every 2 years.
Unarmed Online
8 Hours, OnlineUnarmed Online
The unarmed guard card course, but online! Same as the in-person class. Renewing guards must take the course every 2 years.
Armed Ground
16 Hours, In-PersonArmed Ground
The 16 hour course is for new and renewing armed guards, which must be taken every 2 years. In addition, the refresher course is needed yearly.
Annual Refresher, Ground
8 Hours, In-PersonAnnual Refresher, Ground
Armed guards are required to re-qualify on the range and pass the written test every calendar year. There is no fee to DPS for this course.

Fingerprinting Information & Locations

AZSG offers ditial fingerprinting services to students for $15. You can select the option when registering for a ground class. Those students that take the unarmed guard course online can set an appointment with us to have them completed.

We use FBI approved equipment and standards to print your cards on the standard FBI form to submit to AZ DPS.

If you are unable to get your prints done with us, we have a list of approved locations around the valley that DPS authorizes. Each one of these locations will require an appointment, so please contact them prior to arrival.

Also note, we do not control the cost of fingerprinting at third party locations. We are not affiliated with these locations.

There may be additional locations around the valley, please visit the AZ DPS website to find out if there is a location closer to you than what we have listed here.

AZ Clinical ServicesPHOENIX602-242-4125
The UPS StorePHOENIX602-375-4680
11111, N 7th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85020

M-F 8am-12pm & 1pm-5pm
AZ Clinical ServicesCHANDLER480-820-2298
AZ Clinical ServicesAVONDALE602-242-4125
AZ Clinical ServicesPEORIA623-972-2000
AZ Clinical ServicesSCOTTSDALE623-972-2000
Passport Photo Example


You can get a passport size photo taken at any Walgreens Photo center, you only need to send one to DPS

License Fees

The cost of training courses and classes do not include the actual cost of the license. DPS still requires the license fee be paid prior to issuing the license, and the student submits their payment to DPS with their packet. These pricing fees are effective as of January 1st 2020.

Licensing fees are different based upon paper or digital application. The costs for new vs. renew are the same for each type of license. If your license is expired, your application will be treated as new. 

The upgrade to armed is for those with an issued and valid unarmed security guard card. Upgrading to armed only costs $50, but whatever date your unarmed card expires, your armed will also expire.

Unarmed Guard

New and Renew

Armed Guard

New and Renew

Armed Upgrade

From Valid Unarmed

Armed Refresher

Annual Re-Qualification

DPS & Packet Information

Once your training and paperwork is complete and done, you will need to send it to AZ DPS. If you are hand-delivering it, their physical address is where you want to go. If you are mailing it, be sure to use the mailing address to ensure it gets to where it needs to be. Please be aware that DPS is currently closed to the public due to COVID-19. Give them a call to determine if they are open for in-person drop-off or not.

AZ DPS Licensing Unit

Street Address
2222 W. Encanto Blvd.
Phoenix, AZ 85009

Mailing Address
Arizona Department of Public Safety
Licensing Unit
P.O. Box 6328 MD 3140
Phoenix, AZ 85005


Email Address

Hours of Operation
Monday - Friday: 8am - 5pm
The office is closed on weekends and all state holidays

Phone & Fax
Phone: 602-223-2361
Fax: 602-223-2938


Registration Application
This is the actual application form. Make sure your completely fill it out, and check yes or no on each box. Don't forget to sign and date it.

Online Application Process

AZ DPS offers an online application process. Instead of using the paper application process above, you can electronically submit your application and documents to them using the procedure below. The application fees are slightly higher when applying electronically.


The electronic application is designed to help streamline the application process, and reduce the amount of time it takes to complete it, not only for the applicant, but DPS as well.

There are some things to be aware of when applying online:
  • The electronic process is only available to Arizona residents
  • You must schedule a fingerprinting appointment at an approved location
  • The fees are slightly higher


To apply online, students need to follow this set of instructions. At any time an applicant runs into an issue or problem, please contact the licensing unit at DPS to get help: 602-223-2361 or email them at and they will be able to assist you. Please note that AZSG does not control this process.

  1. Start the online application process (link below)
  2. On vendor site, click the “Fingerprint Sites” (on the top right of page) to ensure there is a fingerprinting location near you.
  3. On vendor site, click "Register"
  4. Click security guard or private investigator for the type of application you are requiring. Continue to click the appropriate type. Please make sure you are selecting the correct type as FEES WILL NOT BE REFUNDED.
  5. Enter demographics
  6. Answer and electronically sign release and agreement
  7. Submit information
  8. A email with the link to pay with a credit card will be sent to the email you provided during registration.
  9. Another email with the receipt and the registration number will be sent. Please take this with you when you go to get fingerprinted and have your photo taken.
  10. After you are fingerprinted you will receive a notification that the application has been received and which additional documents will still be needed by DPS.
    1. Deliver additional documents to DPS Licensing.
    2. Your application will not be processed until these items are received.
    3. Please make sure that your FIRST and LAST name and DOB are clearly written on the documents so they can be matched up to your application.
    4. Can be mailed, delivered, emailed or faxed.  Cannot respond to the email you receive.
AZ DPS Patch

Online Guard Card
Application Website

Follow the link to this website to begin your online security guard card application process as outlined above. Be sure to check all information entered into the application, and remember to check your email for responses from DPS (and the spam folder!). Any problems or questions should be directed to DPS.
Apply Online

Online Application Fees

Processing the application for a guard card online will cost slightly more.


Unarmed Online

New and Renew

Armed Online

New and Renew

Armed Upgrade

From Valid Unarmed

Armed Refresher

Annual Re-Qualification
AZ DPS Badge

AZ DPS Licensing Unit

Check the status of your license on the DPS Licensing Unit website

Connect with us

2440 W. Medtronic Way Suite A
Tempe, AZ 85281

  • dummy480-204-4960 Mike

        (all online class issues)

  • dummy602-754-0964 Tony

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