Submit an application through Texas Online Private Security (TOPS). Please see the Individual Application Instructions for step by step assistance. Once you have submitted a paid application, you will receive a checklist of items required to complete your application.
Applicants new to private security will be required to submit fingerprints electronically to DPS through the approved vendor as part of the complete application, unless the applicant qualifies for the alternative fingerprint process. For detailed information, please see Instructions for scheduling a fingerprint appointment.
Security Officer and Personal Protection Officer applicants are required to submit training certificates as part of the application.
All other licenses do not require training as a prerequisite to licensure.
Applicants new to private security will receive a license with an expiration date 2 years from the date of issuance. All subsequent licenses will have an expiration date that aligns with their existing license in the following categories:
In addition, the expiration date is printed on each pocket card.
You can renew a license online 90 days before the expiration date, and up to one year after expiration (late fees will be applied if the license is expired). For step by step instructions see Individual Renewal Instructions. Please note: In order to renew, Commission Security Officers must submit a firearm proficiency certificate that is no more than 90 days old.
If the license has been expired for more than one year, the individual must submit an original application. For step by step instructions see Individual Application Instructions.
Yes. Payment can be submitted by either the individual or by their affiliated employer by selecting “employer pay” at the end of the application. For step by step instructions see Individual Renewal Instructions. If you have not yet affiliated with the new employer, an employee license update must be completed before submitting the renewal.
If a Commissioned Security Officer or Personal Protection Officer license was renewed, submit the required firearm proficiency certificate. Generally, all other license types do not require documents to be submitted. However, you should track the status of your application by referring to your personalized checklist which is sent to your email.
You can track the status of your application by referring to your personalized checklist which is sent to your email. Additionally, you can log in to your TOPS profile and view the real-time status of your application.
If you have a Texas Driver License or a Texas ID card, you will not need to submit a copy. If you do not hold a Texas ID card or Texas Driver License, DPS will request a copy of your out-of-state ID card, out-of-state driver license, or a copy of your military ID.
Yes. Your pocket card will remain valid until it expires. Upon renewal, it will be printed on the newly redesigned card. All licenses printed after February 24, 2020 will be printed on the newly redesigned card.
No. Should you wish to receive the newly redesigned card, a replacement pocket card may be obtained by logging into TOPS, requesting a duplicate pocket card and paying the $17.00 duplicate pocket card fee.
To accommodate those who reside outside of the state and are required to submit fingerprints, the department will provide the alternative fingerprint process for the following individuals residing outside of Texas: Alarm Monitor, Private Investigator, and Company Representative. In addition, any owner with 25% ownership in a company who resides outside of the state also qualifies for the alternative fingerprint process.
All other individuals must submit fingerprints electronically by following the fingerprinting instructions.
Individuals who qualify for the alternative fingerprint process must first submit an application. After the application has been submitted, contact RSD by phone at 512-424-7293 or by email to request a fingerprint packet. Once the application has been validated, the fingerprint packet along with detailed instructions will be mailed to individuals who meet the criteria for the alternative fingerprint process.
Any individual who resides in Texas must submit fingerprints electronically by following the fingerprinting instructions.
Note: Rolled ink fingerprints may only be taken at a law enforcement agency by an employee of that agency. The fee for this service will vary by law enforcement agency. The fee must be paid to the law enforcement agency. Processing ink-rolled fingerprints will require additional review and handling.
Information relating to electronic fingerprints may be found on this website at Fingerprinting Instructions.
Please contact Fingerprint Applicant Services of Texas (FAST) for assistance.
Please visit Criminal History Error Resolution for the procedures to challenge the criminal history record contained in a Texas Record.
Please visit Challenge of a Criminal Record for the procedures to challenge the criminal history record contained in an FBI Record.
Active Duty Military Service Member: a person currently serving on active duty orders in the armed forces of the United States or the Texas military forces, as defined by Texas Government Code §437.001, or similar military service of another state. This does not include basic training or annual training.
Military Veteran: a person who has served on active duty and who was discharged or released from active duty. This does not include basic training or annual training.
Active Military Spouse: a person who is married to an active duty military service member who holds a current license issued by another jurisdiction that has licensing requirements that are substantially equivalent to the requirements for licensure in this state; or a military spouse who, within five years preceding the application date, held the license in this state.
For qualified applicants, the application fees for individual original and renewal applications are waived. Applicants will be responsible for the subscription fee, pocket card fee, and the FBI fee.
The military fee exemption does not include any company license fees. Please see Military Exemption Fee Schedule (pdf).
Submit an application through the TOPS website. As part of the application process you will need to provide proof of your military status. Supporting documents will be required to quality for the exemption.
Active Duty Military Service Member: A copy of your active military ID card (front only) and copy of current orders.
Military Veteran: A copy of your DD-214 (Member Copy – 4, Member Copy – 2, or NGB Form 22).
Active Military Spouse: A copy of your spouse's current orders, a copy of your marriage certificate, and a copy of your Defense Enrollment Eligibility Reporting System (DEERS) document. Lastly, the exemption only applies to a military spouse who, within five years preceding the application date, held the license in this state OR a military spouse who holds a current license issued by another jurisdiction that has licensing requirements that are substantially equivalent to the requirements for licensure in this state. If you are currently licensed in Texas, you will not need to submit a copy of your pocket card. If licensed in another jurisdiction, you will need to submit a copy of your out-of-state license.
Note: The following training documents must be submitted with all original applications:
No. Late fees will be waived, if the individual was serving as an Active Duty Military Service Member in this state or any other state. Applicants seeking this exemption will need to submit a copy of their orders reflecting they were on active duty.
Yes, if you are a qualifying Active Duty Military Service Member, Military Veteran or an Active Duty Military Spouse, the company representative examination fee will be waived.
Yes, a detailed letter will be sent to the applicant listing the reason(s) for denial. In addition, the employing company will receive a notification letter concerning the disqualified applicant. The letter sent to the company will not include any specific criminal history information.
Yes. We will need such documents in order to verify the disposition of the case.
A letter of reinstatement will be sent to you and your employer. You can also check the status of an individual license by searching Texas Online Private Security (TOPS). This information is updated in real-time.
Individually licensed owners may perform any unarmed regulated service the company is licensed to offer. Any armed services a licensed owner wishes to perform in an individual capacity will require a security officer commission, and a personal protection officer license if applicable.
Individuals holding less than a 51% interest in a business who wish to personally perform regulated services will need to apply and obtain an individual license.
Apply at Texas Online Private Security (TOPS)
A company license expires every year on the last date of the expiration month. In addition, the expiration date is printed on the company license.
You can check the status of a company application by searching Companies in Texas Online Private Security (TOPS). This information is updated in real-time.
You can renew a company license 90 days before the expiration date, and up to one (1) year after the expiration (late fees will be applied, if company license is expired). If you are within the renewal period and experience problems, please Contact Us or call (512) 424-7293.
Yes, you can make payment for your company renewal. However, the renewal will not be processed until your company is reflecting current insurance in our database.
Yes. However, the contractors must be either licensed as employees and covered by the company's statutorily required insurance, or independently licensed as security service contractors under Chapter 1702. See Private Security Administrative Rule 35.2 .
You can check the status of a company renewal by searching Texas Online Private Security (TOPS). This information is updated in real-time.
Yes. If you have more than one location, you will need to register your branch office(s) in TOPS. There is no fee to register a branch office and branch offices do not require renewal.
The Private Security Program accepts proof of business insurance on the PSP-05 (PDF) (Certificate of Liability Insurance Form). The business name and information should match the business name and information that is on file with the Private Security Program.
Yes, once you have submitted proof of insurance, any active business stakeholder can login to TOPS and submit the insurance reinstatement fee. Please see the Insurance Reinstatement payment instructions for step by step assistance.
Please see the Insurance Reinstatement payment instructions for step by step assistance.
The insurance document can be denied for multiple reasons, here are the most common denial reasons:
No, in accordance with Texas Administrative Code §35.131, and as printed on all applications submitted to the Private Security Program, “fees submitted are non-refundable or transferable.”
No. A new application must be submitted for the new license type, plus you must submit the appropriate fees.
Sign on to TOPS and request a duplicate pocket card. The pocket card will be mailed to the individual's mailing address.
To notify DPS a licensed individual has been terminated from your company, please submit notice using the instructions found at Employee Terminations.
Note: A notification for termination states an employee was terminated by the current employer however, a termination notice does not remove the individual from the company employee listing in TOPS.
Open Record Requests must follow the Texas Public Information Act, please refer to the following requirements and guidelines.
TOPS is the new Private Security licensing system, providing secure, web-based, online access to program services. TOPS will include a new look and interface for applicants and businesses.
Please see How to Login to Your TOPS Profile
What can I do in TOPS?
All applications, including original, renewal, and change applications for both individuals and businesses are submitted online.
Yes. The application has helpful hints and text throughout. We also have user guides on our website for submission of applications, a business paying for an individual application, business approval of employee affiliation, and other functionality. If you experience problems, please Contact Us or call (512) 424-7293.
Free email accounts can be established at a variety of sites. We suggest searching the internet for Free Email accounts.
Visit our Contact Us page, choose Private Security, then choose Submit Documents and follow the instructions.
An individual can submit an application without specifying a company affiliation. The application will process as normal, including all background checks, required documents and training required. The individual will be in a complete status, but will not receive a pocket card until affiliated with a business. Please note: If the license is not affiliated to a licensed company within 2 years, the license cannot be renewed, and the individual will need to reapply.
Licensed Owners will be able to log in to the system to verify employment. Please see Business Employment Verification for step by step instructions.
Yes, you may request that your employer pay for your application. Even if you have chosen employer pay, until the point that payment occurs, you will also have the option to pay for your own application.
Licensed Owners will be able to log in to the system and will see the employee requests for company payment. You will be able to choose to pay, or return to the employee for payment. Please see Business Employment Verification for step by step instructions.
Yes, all businesses in good standing will be able to utilize bulk payment.
TOPS Program Updates
Individuals who desire to submit a paper application. Please note it may take 4-8 weeks* to process a manual paper application. The PS program highly recommends all applications be submitted online. Benefits to online applications include: reduced processing time, live notifications, and payment via credit/debit card versus mailing a check. Paper applications may be requested via the contact us link.
DPS will use your prints on file if available, and will inform you if new prints need to be submitted.
Your pocket card will be mailed to your mailing address on file. You will have the ability to update/correct this address when submitting a new or renewal application.
No. An instructor cannot certify his or her own firearm proficiency. Texas Occupations Code §1702.1675 and Texas Administrative Code §35.145 require an “actual demonstration of proficiency.” A “demonstration” requires the presence of another person, and in this case, another Level III Firearms Instructor.
Alarm Level I, all Level III, Level IV, and Continuing Education Instructor licenses expire 2 years from the date of issuance – or – synchronize with any existing unarmed licenses including owner licenses. All subsequent instructor licenses of this type will have an expiration date that aligns with their existing instructor or unarmed license.
In addition, the expiration date is printed on the pocket card.
If a training school has begun a class using the old curriculum, they may finish the class with the "old" material; however, they should use the new material for any subsequent classes.
In order to teach defensive tactics, the instructor should be a defensive tactics instructor.
Yes. To provide training on the use of a chemical dispensing device, an instructor must be a current Level III or Level IV instructor.
Documents located on the DPS server cannot be edited, however individuals can download or copy/paste each document to their own computers and customize.
The content and required equipment is described in the training materials. Defensive tactics is not a new requirement, the previous version of the curriculum contained defensive tactics as well. In order to teach defensive tactics, the instructor must be a defensive tactics instructor.
Yes, it is up to the instructor to determine the specific time allotment for each portion of the course.
For Level III guards needing to complete Continuing Education (Requalification) Recertification who have never received baton training, DPS recommends completion of Unit 10 of the full course before completing CE training to ensure adequate training concerning batons.
Baton training is part of the defensive tactics training. In order to teach defensive tactics, the instructor should be a defensive tactics instructor.
Continuing Education requirements are located in the Texas Administrative Code, §35.161 – 6 hours for CSOs and PPOs, with proficiency certification.
6 hours of Level III Continuing Education or 6 hours of Level IV are required. As part of the renewal process, a weapons proficiency certificate must be submitted with the application. Please note, the Level IV Continuing Education Course does not include subject matter related to firearms.
Yes. The Pepper Spray Training Course may be taught as a component of the Level III training course, but can also be offered as a separate supplement to Level III training received previously. A separate training certificate will be provided following the successful completion of this training course.
No. The use of live targets, and the spraying of students, is within the discretion of the instructor and is not required for passage of the course.
No. To receive a Pepper Spray training certificate, the current approved curriculum must be completed.
The prior training material has been superseded by the new curriculum and is no longer approved by the Private Security Board. For purposes of Penal Code Section 46.05's defense to prosecution, security officers must have received the currently approved training on the use of a chemical dispensing device in conjunction with the board's approved Level III training.
Yes, however the Private Security Board has approved training on the use of a chemical dispensing device as a supplement to the Level III training curricula. The defensive tactics and use of force components of the Level III training course provide the background training necessary to ensure the officer's use of the device is safe, appropriate, and authorized. The Pepper Spray Training is therefore approved only for those who have successfully completed the Level III training.
The approval as a Level III or Level IV instructor authorizes the instructor to teach the Pepper Spray Training course, but whether this course component is taught as part of the Level III training course is within the discretion of the instructor.
The approval as a Level III or Level IV instructor authorizes the instructor to teach the Pepper Spray Training course. It is the individual instructor's sole responsibility to determine whether he or she is qualified or competent to teach the Pepper Spray Training course and to seek any additional training he or she may feel is necessary.
No. The Pepper Spray Training is approved when administered to a security officer who has successfully completed the board approved Level III training.