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Alarm Company Operator, Qualified Manager, or Alarm Agent

FACTSHEET

January 2020

Alarm Company Operator

An Alarm Company Operator operates a business that sells (at the buyer's home or business), installs, monitors, maintains, services, or responds to alarm systems or supervises such actions. (Retail stores do not have to be licensed if they sell alarm systems only at the store and do not perform any alarm company functions.)

In order for a company to seek licensure as an alarm company operator, the Qualified Manager (see below) must have passed the licensing examination.

In addition, each individual applicant, partner, or corporate officer must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Undergo a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Applicants are responsible for paying all Live Scan, FBI and DOJ processing fees at the time of fingerprinting. More information on the Live Scan process, the associated fees.

    ALERT: Per FBI guidelines, you must submit your application to the Bureau before completing a criminal history background check. To prevent application processing delays, keep a copy of the Live Scan form, which must include the ATI number and the signature of the Live Scan Operator.

    NOTE: You must complete a criminal history background check even if you have previously submitted fingerprints for another BSIS license, registration, certificate, or permit.

  • Have committed no offense or violation of the Alarm Company Act that would be grounds for license suspension or revocation

To apply for a company license, submit:

  • Completed application packet[1]
  • Application fee and company license fee[2],
  • Two recent passport-quality photographs

How to submit your application:

  • Online through BreEZe[3]: The Bureau recommends submitting and paying for your application online as it bypasses the Cashiering Office, which can reduce the processing time by up to two weeks.
  • By mail: submit all required documents and payment to:
    Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
    P.O. Box 989002
    West Sacramento, CA 95798-9002

Note: Local authorities may require an alarm company operator to register locally and to get a business permit. They may also enact ordinances governing false alarm activations and responses, and they may require persons who own, lease, or rent alarm systems to get permits.


Qualified Manager

An individual, partnership, or corporation seeking a license as an alarm company operator must specify in the application the individual who will manage the business on a day-to-day basis. This individual is called the Qualified Manager. (An owner, partner, or corporate officer may serve as the qualified manager, or may hire someone to fill this role.) To be eligible to apply for licensure as a qualified manager, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 or older
  • Undergo a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Applicants are responsible for paying all Live Scan, FBI and DOJ processing fees at the time of fingerprinting. More information on the Live Scan process, the associated fees.

    ALERT: Per FBI guidelines, you must submit your application to the Bureau before completing a criminal history background check. To prevent application processing delays, keep a copy of the Live Scan form, which must include the ATI number and the signature of the Live Scan Operator.

    NOTE: You must complete a criminal history background check even if you have previously submitted fingerprints for another BSIS license, registration, certificate, or permit.

  • Have committed no offense or violation of the Alarm Company Act that would be grounds for license suspension or revocation
  • Have two years (4,000 hours) of paid experience in alarm company work or the equivalent; and
  • Pass a two-hour multiple-choice examination covering California law, the Alarm Company Act, alarm agent requirements, weapons laws, business management, and Power to Arrest. A copy of the Alarm Company Act will be sent to you.

To apply for a Qualified Manager certificate, submit:

  • A completed application[4],
  • Two recent passport-quality photographs, and
  • The application and examination fee[5]

How to submit your application:

  • Online through BreEZe[6]: The Bureau recommends submitting and paying for your application online as it bypasses the Cashiering Office, which can reduce the processing time by up to two weeks.
  • By mail: submit all required documents and payment to:
    Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
    P.O. Box 989002
    West Sacramento, CA 95798-9002

Alarm Agent

An Alarm Agent is employed by an alarm company operator to sell (at the buyer's home or business), install, monitor, maintain, service, or respond to alarm systems or to supervise such actions. To be eligible to apply for registration as an alarm agent, you must meet the following requirements:

To apply for an Alarm Agent registration, submit:

  • A completed application[8], and
  • The registration fee[9]

How to submit your application:

  • Online through BreEZe[10]: The Bureau recommends submitting and paying for your application online as it bypasses the Cashiering Office, which can reduce the processing time by up to two weeks.
  • By mail: submit all required documents and payment to:
    Bureau of Security and Investigative Services
    P.O. Box 989002
    West Sacramento, CA 95798-9002

Once you have submitted your application and the appropriate fees, you may work with a temporary registration card as an unarmed alarm agent if you have not been convicted of a crime.

Applications for registration as an alarm agent are available on the Bureau’s website.


Firearms Permit

Whether you work as an alarm agent, alarm company operator, or qualified manager, you may not carry a gun on duty without having been issued a firearms permit by the Department of Consumer Affairs.

To apply for a firearms permit, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age,
  • Be a citizen or have permanent legal alien status,
  • Pass a course given by a Bureau-certified firearms training instructor in the carrying and use of firearms. The 14-hour firearms (8 hours classroom, 6 hours range) training course covers moral and legal aspects, firearms nomenclature, weapons handling and shooting fundamentals, emergency procedures, and range training. The course must be given by a Bureau-certified firearms training instructor at a Bureau-certified training facility. Written and range exams are administered at the end of the course. Costs of training are determined by the training facility.
  • Submit a firearms permit application and application fee.
  • Undergo a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). Applicants are responsible for paying all Live Scan, FBI and DOJ processing fees at the time of fingerprinting. More information on the Live Scan process, the associated fees.

    ALERT: Per FBI guidelines, you must submit your application to the Bureau before completing a criminal history background check. To prevent application processing delays, keep a copy of the Live Scan form, which must include the ATI number and the signature of the Live Scan Operator.

    NOTE: You must complete a criminal history background check even if you have previously submitted fingerprints for another BSIS license, registration, certificate, or permit.

Note: A firearms permit expires two years from the date of issuance. An applicant must requalify four times during the life of the permit: twice during the first year after the date of issuance, and twice during the second year. Requalifications must be at least four months apart.

Protection of the public shall be the highest priority for the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services in exercising licensing, regulatory and disciplinary functions. Whenever the protection of the public is consistent with other interests sought to be promoted, the protection of the public shall be paramount.


[1] Access the Alarm Company application packet at https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/aco_app.pdf

[2] View the Bureau's fees at https://bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/newfees.pdfubs/newfees.pdf

[3] Apply online at https://www.breeze.ca.gov

[4] Access the Alarm Company Operator and Qualified Manager application packet at https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/aco_app.pdf

[5] View the Bureau's fees at https://bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/newfees.pdf

[6] Apply online at https://www.breeze.ca.gov

[7] View the Act at https://leginfo.legislature.ca.gov/faces/codes_displayexpandedbranch.xhtml?tocCode=BPC&division=3.&title=&part=&chapter=11.6.&article=

[8] Apply online at https://www.breeze.ca.gov

[9] View the Bureau's fees at https://bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/newfees.pdf

[10] Apply online at https://www.breeze.ca.gov