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Private Protective Services

FAQs - Frequently Asked Questions

 

1. Who is required to be licensed?

2. Does Private Protective Services regulate bounty hunters?

3. How do I obtain a license?

4. Can an applicant for Armed or Unarmed Security Officer work prior to issuance of the registration card?

5. Do I submit fingerprint cards with my application?

6. Do I tell the Commissioner I have been arrested when making application?

7. Is training required?

8. Is there a list of approved courses, schools, trainers, etc., and how may I obtain a list?

9. Are courses available online?

10. If an exam is required, how do I apply for licensing exam?

11. I passed my exam what do I do next?

12. How long will it take to process my application?

13. I am licensed in another state and want to operate in Tennessee. Do you have reciprocity agreements with other states?

14. How do I renew a license?

15. Can I renew my license or registration online?

16. Do I tell the Commissioner I have been arrested when renewing my license?

17. How far in advance of expiration date should my renewal be completed?

18. Is Continuing education required?

19. Is there a list of approved continuing education courses?

20. Are courses available online?

21. I let my license expire. How do I have it reinstated?

22. How do I retire my license?

23. I recently updated my status.  Why hasn’t my status changed online?

24. Am I required to notify the Commissioner if I change my address?

25. Am I required to notify the Commissioner if I change my firm’s address?

26. Am I required to notify the Commissioner if my job status changes?

27. Can I change my information on-line?

28. How can I get the forms I need?

29. How do I determine if an individual/company is licensed?

 

Complaints:

1. How do I file a complaint against a company/individual?

2. What happens after I file a complaint?

3. What can the state do if I have a legitimate grievance?

4. How do I get information regarding complaints filed or disciplinary action taken against a Security Officer, Certified Security Guard Trainer, Contract Security Company or Proprietary Security Organization?

 

 

Who is required to be licensed?

 

Contract Security Company – Any person engaging in the business of providing, or undertaking to provide, a security guard and patrol service on a contractual basis for another person.

 

Proprietary Security Organization – Any person or department thereof who employs a security guard/officer solely for such person in an employer/employee relationship.

 

Certified Security Guard Trainer – Any individual certified by the Commissioner as qualified to administer and certify to successful completion of minimum training requirements required for security guards/officers.

 

Armed Security Officer – A security officer who at any time wears, carries, possesses, or has access to a firearm, or any facsimile of any firearm which may give the impression that such person is armed.

 

Unarmed Security Officer – A security officer who never wears, carries, or has access to a firearm, or any facsimile of a firearm, but who may carry non-lethal devices with the proper certification.

 

 

Does Private Protective Services regulate bounty hunters?

 

No. Bounty hunters are hired by the bond agent (TCA 40-11-3).  A bounty hunter cannot have a criminal record, must notify the local police of defendant’s location, and present to the police a copy of the warrant, a copy of the bond, and evidence that the bounty hunter has been hired by the bond agent.

 

 

How do I obtain a license?

 

Submit a “completed” application for review and evaluation for licensing. Application materials and requirements can be obtained on our website, or by calling the “Tennessee Private Protective Services” at 615.741.6382 or 615.532.9130.

 

Contract Security Company Basic Requirements – Owner, partners, or corporate qualifying agent must submit an application accompanied by a non-refundable application fee, fingerprints for background check, statements of any criminal records, proof of experience or successful completion of examination, letters of credit, proof of insurance as required by TCA 62-35-114, affidavit of guards employed, and license fee.

 

Proprietary Security Organization Basic Requirements – Qualifying Manager must submit an application, and proof of insurance as required by TCA 62-35-114.

 

Certified Security Guard Trainer Basic Requirements – Applicants must submit an application accompanied by a non-refundable application fee, proof of experience, proof of certification as a trainer, and certification fee.  

 

Armed Guard Registration Basic Requirements – Applicants must submit an application accompanied by a non-refundable application fee, fingerprints for background check, statements of any criminal records, photos for identification card, proof of training, and registration fee.  

 

Unarmed Guard Registration Basic Requirements – Applicants must submit an application accompanied by a non-refundable application fee, fingerprints for background check, statements of any criminal records, photos, proof of training, and registration fee.  

 

 

Can an applicant for Armed or Unarmed Security Officer work prior to issuance of the registration card?

 

Pending issuance, denial or renewal of a registration card by the Commissioner, the applicant may work as an unarmed security guard/officer, if the applicant submits a completed application form, three (3) sets of classifiable fingerprints, three (3) sets of head-and-shoulder photographs taken within the last six (6) months and the application fee to the commissioner, and the applicant keeps a copy of the completed application form on the applicant's person while on duty.

 

The applicant may only work using the completed application form for seventy-five (75) business days from the date that the completed application form, three (3) sets of classifiable fingerprints, three (3) sets of head-and-shoulder photographs taken within the last six (6) months and the application fee are received by the Commissioner, pending the issuance or denial of the registration card by the commissioner.

 

A qualified applicant may receive a conditional armed registration card pending receipt of the federal bureau of investigation report, by paying an additional fifteen ($15.00) fee.  The conditional registration is normally not needed if the applicant submits fingerprints electronically.

 

 

Do I submit fingerprint cards with my application?

 

Yes.  Please refer to the fingerprint submission instructions.

Fingerprint Submission Instructions

Fingerprints not required for Certified Trainer applicants.

 

 

Do I tell the Commissioner I have been arrested when making application and when renewing my license?

 

Yes.  The Commissioner must be informed of all arrests, convictions and pending charges for a felony or misdemeanor in any jurisdiction. 

 

 

Is training required?

 

Yes, training is required for all Armed and Unarmed Security Officers.  Training as an instructor and an “instructor certificate” is required to become a Certified Security Guard Trainer.

 

 

Is there a list of approved trainers, etc., and how may I obtain a list?

 

Yes.  You can access all active Certified Security Guard Trainers via the License Search on the website.  Many Contract Security Companies have trainers on staff.  You can also contact the program staff to request this information.  

 

 

Are courses available on-line?

 

No, online training is not approved for Armed or Unarmed Security Officers.

 

 

If an exam is required, how do I apply for licensing exam?

 

Examination is required for all Contract Security Company applicants who can not document the required experience.  An examination brochure is included in an application packet which can be mailed to you, or you may contact the exam vendor via the link on our website to schedule your exam.

 

 

I passed my exam what do I do next?

 

The Program will be notified by the examination vendor of the applicant’s score, and the applicant will be notified as to what still might be needed for licensure.

 

 

How long will it take to process my application?

 

Allow a minimum of four (4) to six (6) weeks for application processing.  Time varies due to background checks and exams.  Wait three (3) weeks before calling to verify your application status.   All applications are processed in the order they are received.

 

 

I am licensed in another state and want to operate in Tennessee. Do you have reciprocity agreements with other states?

 

Not at this time.

 

 

How do I renew a license?

 

Renewal applications are forwarded by mail sixty (60) days prior to the license expiration date.

 

 

Can I renew my license or registration online?

 

Not at this time.

 

 

Do I tell the Commissioner I have been arrested when renewing my license?

 

Yes.  The Commissioner must be informed within thirty (30) days of all arrests, convictions and pending charges for a felony or misdemeanor in any jurisdiction that were not disclosed on the initial application.

 

 

How far in advance of expiration date should my renewal be completed?

 

It is recommended that you submit your renewal form with all completed renewal requirements thirty (30) days prior to the expiration date.  There is a ninety (90) day late renewal period afforded for license renewal.  However, you may not continue to operate on an expired license or registration. 

 

 

Is Continuing education required?

 

Yes.  Armed Security Officers are required to complete “refresher and range training”, in compliance with TCA 62-35-122, prior to registration renewal. 

 

Certified Security Guard Trainers are required to complete twelve (12) hours of continuing education as a prerequisite to renewal.

 

 

Is there a list of approved continuing education courses?

 

Not at this time. 

 

 

Are courses available on-line?

 

Not at this time.

 

 

I let my license or registration expire. How do I have it reinstated?

 

In order to reinstate an expired license or registration, the same procedure is used as to obtain the license.

 

 

How do I retire my license?

 

There are currently no provisions for license retirement.

 

 

I recently updated my status.  Why hasn’t my status changed online?

 

Changes will not reflect on the website until the next working day after the change has been made.  Contact the program office if the change is not made within the listed time frame.

 

 

Am I required to notify the Commissioner if I change my address?

 

Yes.  All changes must be reported within thirty (30) days of the change.

 

 

Am I required to notify the Commissioner if I change my firm’s address?

 

Yes.  All changes must be reported within thirty (30) days of the change.

 

 

Am I required to notify the Commissioner if my job status changes?

 

Yes.

 

 

Can I change my information online?

 

Not at this time. You can email program staff with the requested changes, or you may fax a written request to 615.532.2965.

 

 

How can I get the forms I need?

 

All forms can be obtained on our website, or you may contact program staff to request an application or renewal packet.

 

 

How do I determine if an individual/company is licensed?

 

License search is available online or you can contact the program staff.

License Search

 

 

Complaints

How do I file a complaint against a company/individual?

Complaint forms may be obtained from the Private Protective Services Program or on the website www.tn.gov/regboards/pps.

The Commissioner cannot recover or order the refund of any money or property to which you may be entitled.  You must institute a civil lawsuit for this purpose and hire your own legal counsel.  Complete the complaint form; give complete statements of the facts, with names and dates, and be sure to include all documentation that supports your allegation such as the nature of the complaint, copies of relevant paperwork and the address of the person or firm you are filing the complaint against.

Anonymous complaints containing advertisements or other independent proof of a violation will be opened as complaint and processed according to the normal complaint procedures.  However, they must include the name, contact information, violation details, and location address in order for action to be taken and investigated. 

 

What happens after I file a complaint?

An acknowledgement letter of receipt is sent to the complainant. Request for a response to the allegations is sent by certified mail to the respondent.  Upon receipt of the response, a copy is forwarded to the complainant. Complaint, response and all documentation is referred to staff attorney. An investigation is initiated if deemed necessary by staff attorney. The attorney prepares a legal report of law violations and recommendations to assess civil penalties, fines, or take formal action to suspend or revoke the license. The final determination is made by the Commissioner based on evidence presented.  After final determination is made the complainant and respondent are notified of Commissioner’s final disposition.

 

What can the State do if I have a legitimate grievance?

The Commissioner does not have the authority to award monetary damages, refund money, or force the respondent to complete the project. The Commissioner may assess discipline such as letters of warning/caution, citations, civil penalties, consent orders and in some cases, they may revoke or suspend the license through an adversarial formal hearing process with an Administrative Judge, pursuant to the Uniform Administrative Procedures Act.  Anyone seeking to recover monetary remedies for injuries should consult a private attorney, as the Commissioner has no jurisdiction over these matters.

 

How do I get information regarding complaints filed or disciplinary action taken against a

Security Officer, Certified Security Guard Trainer, Contract Security Company or Proprietary Security Organization?

A Disciplinary Action Report is posted on the Department website monthly.  Open complaint cases or those closed without discipline are not listed on the website and you would need to contact our staff to check the complaint history for an individual or company.