1. Am I eligible to work prior to licensure?
2. How do I apply for an original license?
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 and personal protection officer applicants will be required to submit training certificates.
- Applicants for armed licenses who were born outside of the US must submit evidence of lawful presence.
- Upon request of DPS, applicants must submit any court documents required as part of DPS' criminal history background check. The failure to comply with the request may result in the rejection of the application as incomplete.
3. What training is required to obtain a license?
Security Officer and Personal Protection Officer applicants are required to submit training certificates as part of the application.
- Non-Commission Security Officer applicants must submit a Level II Training certificate
- Commission Security Officer applicants must submit Level II and Level III Training certificates
- Personal Protection Officer applicants must submit Level II, Level III, and Level IV Training certificates in addition to the Declaration of Psychological and Emotional Health.
All other licenses do not require training as a prerequisite to licensure.
4. When does an individual License (pocket card) expire?
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:
- All your unarmed licenses including your Owner and Instructor licenses
- All your armed licenses (Commission and Personal Protection Officers)
In addition, the expiration date is printed on each pocket card.
5. How do I renew an individual license (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.
7. Can an employer pay for an individual renewal application?
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.
8. I submitted my renewal application, am I required to submit any documents?
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.
10. How can I check the status of an original or renewal application?
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.
11. Do I need to submit a copy of my driver license or identification card?
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.