DPS Issues Official 60-Day Notification that the Waiver for Certain Private Security Licenses Ends in April
February 12, 2021
AUSTIN – The Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) has officially issued the 60-day notice that the COVID-related waiver on expiration dates and late fee waivers for Private Security Commissioned Security Officers (CSO) and Personal Protection Officers (PPO) will end on April 14, 2021. Therefore, DPS continues to urge licensees to utilize the Texas Online Private Security (TOPS) licensing system to renew online.
The expiration and late fee waiver, originally granted by Governor Greg Abbott in March 2020 due to the COVID-19 pandemic, applied only to Commissioned Security Officers and Personal Protection Officers that expired on or after March 13, 2020. This action was not applicable to non-commissioned security officer licenses or any other private security licenses.
DPS will be implementing changes to the TOPS Licensing System to reinstate the late fees for CSOs and PPOs who expired on or after March 13, 2020, beginning April 15, 2021.
Beginning April 15, 2021, the DPS will consider all Texas issued Private Security CSO and PPO pocket cards displaying an expired date invalid.
Company Representative Update 07/31/2020
The changes below are effective 7/31/2020 and complete the statutory requirements from the 86th legislative session. (The news release titled “License Changes Effective 09/01/2019” contains a summary of the changes.)
- The Corporate Officer role will be terminated and replaced with the Designated Officer role for Contracting Companies and Training Schools.
- Designated officer is the individual(s) responsible for overseeing the security related aspects of the business.
- The Designated Officer role will be added to Partnership business structures.
- Qualified Manager and Supervisor were eliminated by the legislature. All Manager and Supervisor licenses will be terminated.
- Qualified Manager will be replaced by Primary Company Representative (PCR) and Supervisor will be replaced by Additional Company Representative (ACR).
- Criteria for PCR and ACR: MUST have 25% or more ownership in the company or be a Designated Officer.
- PCR and ACR must still have the required experience and pass the exam.
- PCR and ACR are now not limited to a specific number of companies they may represent.
- Government Letter of Authority (GLOA) and Private Business Letter of Authority (PLOA)
- These are now included in a registry rather than issued a license.
- Manager role has been terminated and replaced with Company Contact.
- Manager Exam has been renamed Private Security Exam.
License expiration extended for Commissioned Security (CSO) and Personal Protection Officers (PPO) 4/02/2020
As a precautionary measure due to the ongoing spread of COVID 19, by order of the Governor in accordance with section 418.016 of the Texas Government Code, the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS) is temporarily suspending Occupations Code Section 1702.301 as it relates to the expirations of commissioned private security guard and personal protection officer occupational licenses. This action does not apply to non-commissioned security officer licenses or any other private security licenses.
This suspension is in effect for the duration of the Governor’s declaration of State of Disaster and for 60 days after DPS provides further public notice that normal operations have resumed.
The DPS considers a Texas issued CSO and PPO pocket card displaying an expired date valid if both of these conditions are met:
- The expiration date on the pocket card is on or after March 13, 2020.
- The current date is within 60 days after DPS has provided public notice that normal operations have resumed.
DPS has implemented changes to the Texas Online Private Security (TOPS) licensing system to waive the late fees for Commissioned and PPO individuals who expired on or after March 13, 2020.
You may download a copy of the Verification of CSO or PPO license extension notice if required.
Fingerprint updates 03/24/2020
Due to measures related to the Coronavirus, it may be difficult to schedule a fingerprint appointment at some Identogo locations. Please visit www.identogo.com or call Identogo at 888-467-2080 for the latest information.
Newly Redesigned Private Security License (Pocket Card) Debuts February 24, 2020
The Private Security License also known as a “Pocket Card” has a new look and new features, including laser engraving and a durable, tamper-resistant polycarbonate material.
The card includes laser engraving of all personal data including the black and white primary and duplicate secondary photo. The card holder name has a raised effect you can feel as you rub your finger across the card.
Previously issued Pocket Cards are still valid until the expiration date listed on the card. When you renew or apply for a new license, you will receive the newly redesigned card.
Below is an example of the new Pocket Card:
View more details on the newly redesigned card.
Owner/Manager License Update 08/21/2019
Important Owner and Manager license change information is now available on our website.
Legislative Update 08/02/2019
86th Legislature, Regular Session Adjourned Sine Die June 27, 2019. Visit the New Legislation page for information regarding changes to the Private Security Program.
TOPS Update 3/21/2018
Changes to the My Businesses pages:
Insurance document upload functionality: Businesses can now upload the PSP-05 directly to your business profile for new or updated policies.
Action buttons replaced by a drop-down selection – these actions include Renewal, view details, view certificates, employee report, adding branches and uploading insurance documents.
Changes to view details page:
Data is grouped by related items such as Business Stakeholders and Branch Offices.
Insurance Policy information for Contracting Companies, PLOAs, and business contact details are also now viewable on the business details page.
Manager Exam updates:
Supervisor applicants requiring a manager exam will be charged for an exam fee.
Managers and Supervisors will not be able to schedule their exam if fees for any applications (business or individual) are not paid.
Business stakeholders that are businesses will show the business name on the public search page.
Annual business renewal notifications will be sent to both businesses and active stakeholders.
The pay button will always be available on the My Business Application tab for renewal applications.
GLOA Managers and CE School directors will be able to submit New Individual and Business applications when they log into their profiles. CE Schools are now able to submit business updates.
TOPS Manager Exam Scheduling 1/3/2018
As part of the continuing enhancements to TOPS, manager applicants are now able to schedule an exam that fits their needs - location, date/time. DPS will no longer automatically enroll applicants into a manager exam.
To see a list of available exams, applicants begin by logging into TOPS. Navigate to My Applications tab and select View Checklist for the manager application. The checklist will have two green buttons at the tops of the page - one to schedule exam and the other to upload documents.
Selecting Schedule Exam will display a list of open exams - select the earliest one that fits your location and schedule needs. You can only be scheduled for one exam.
Once you have completed the scheduling process, a confirmation page will display showing the exam location and other information. You will also receive an email with that information, and when you login to TOPS and view checklist again, the scheduled exam will be displayed at the top of the checklist. If you need to change your exam location or date, there will be a reschedule button next to the currently scheduled exam that will take you through the selection process again.
You can verify the exam status through the checklist. The Current Manager Exam item will display “Current” if you are a current manager or have taken the exam within the last year. If there is no exam, the status will start at “Schedule Your Manager Exam” and change to “Exam Scheduled” when you are enrolled in an exam. Once the exam date is reached, the checklist will display “Pending DPS Review” until exam results are entered. For passing exams, the checklist will then display “Current.” For failed exams or absent from scheduled exam, the checklist will start over again at “Schedule Your Manager Exam.”
A user guide showing the pages and scheduling process will be posted on the Private Security website under the Application Instructions.
TOPS Update 8/9/17
- Individuals can now update their physical and mailing addresses, primary and alternate phone numbers online at any time – Login, locate the drop-down menu on My Profile and select Change Contact Information.
- Training School specific search added to Licensee Search page – After clicking on Licensee Search, you will have the option to click the slider to turn on a search for only training schools. You can choose the school type, and also add in a city or zip to narrow the results.
- Class Y and Class X stakeholders can view certificates and employee reports from the My Businesses tab.
- Require business license number and hire date for PPO.
- Updated verbiage on the Create Account instructions and error messaging on the re-enter email screen to ensure accuracy. This verbiage is more specific and clearer to understand.
- Branch office renewal option is now available after the parent company renews.
- Expanded employer rejection reasons to include "Duplicate Registration".
- Changed the Peace Officer Question and Military Service responses to allow individuals that may qualify for the fee exemption to opt-out and pay the full fee.
TOPS Update 5/30/2017
- Simplified login functionality to allow for login or a single flow for all other login activity ("Account Wizard")
- Added a pay button to individual applications to allow registrant to pay for renewal applications for up to 15 days after cancelling or errors during the payment process
- Redesign My Businesses tab for improved handling of day-to-day tasks by active stakeholders and introduce new functionality
- Employee Search: Search and view employee records
- Employee Terminations: Select a particular employee record, view the Hire Date(s) and enter the Termination Date(s). This includes inflight applications and registrations. This action will serve as official notification of termination; the name of the individual that is signed into the profile will be recorded and retained with the Termination Date. Keep in mind that you will not be permitted to alter a date which is already a part of the official record. Please note that you may not use this process to add a Termination Date for a Stakeholder application or registration.
- Employee Application Checklist/Document Upload – You will be able to select an inflight application for an employee and view the application checklist. Application checklists include information on necessary documents, including reasons for the rejection of submitted documents. This provides valuable information to the applicant to ensure they have the correct document before uploading.
- Document Upload - From the employee's application checklist, you will be able to upload and classify required documents on the employee's behalf. After uploading the documents, you may refresh the screen to see that the checklist has been updated to show the requested documents have been received and are now pending review.
TOPS Update 5/3/2017
The Texas Online Private Security (TOPS) licensing system continues to evolve, increase functionality and streamline tasks to create efficiencies for both companies and individual applicants. We continue to enrich TOPS functionality and more features are coming very soon.
Features to improve application processing time and status detail after logging into your TOPS profile:
- Document Upload - Applicants will upload and classify required documents for pending Individual and Business Applications directly to their TOPS profile. This feature will be found on the application checklist screen. After uploading documents, the applicant may refresh the screen to see that the checklist has been updated to show the requested documents have been received and are now pending review. The upload process includes virus scanning to keep TOPS secure.
- View paid and unpaid Business Applications.
- View checklist for pending Business Applications.
- Application checklists will include any reasons for the rejection of submitted documents. This provides valuable information to the applicant to ensure they have the correct document before uploading again.
TOPS Update 3/29/2017
New Layout and Features!
- New Layout: Sections are displayed in separate tabs. This makes the information easier to navigate and improves system responsiveness. If you select a tab that has no data, don't worry; this simply means that this tab does not pertain to your particular profile.
- New Features:
Application Checklist - After an application has been submitted and the fee has been paid, applicants will be able to navigate to the My Applications tab and select Checklist. The checklist contains the complete list of required items for this application along with the status of each item. The Checklist is created by TOPS as soon as payment is received for the application. This is real-time customized information which will be updated as requirements are met. Applicants will know exactly which documents need to be submitted for this particular application and should only submit those items listed.
TOPS login change 2/27/2017
Accounts will now use email address and a user created password for login. There will be an activation email sent as part of the account setup. Once you click on the link to activate the account, you may login from any device without having to re-activate. The user will choose and answer security questions to enable password reset functionality and continue to ensure your information is secure.
Password requirements are 12-20 characters in length and must contain at least 2 upper case, 2 lower case, 2 numbers and 2 special characters.
The captcha function will be activated after multiple incorrect login attempts.
Existing users will need to create an account on their first interaction with TOPS after the release on the 27th. New applicants will be able to complete and pay for an application, then will be directed to create an account once DPS receives the completed and paid application. User guides will be located on the Application Instructions page before 2/27/17.
Program Information 8/29/2016
The Private Security Program has transitioned to a new online application process and a new licensing database called Texas Online Private Security System (TOPS). TOPS is more user-friendly, provides faster application processing, allows communication by email, and includes real time licensing and registration information. TOPS has allowed for the following program changes:
Emails – All correspondence will be sent via email. Visit TOPS to provide your email address
Company Affiliations – Individuals may submit and make payment for an application for registration without being affiliated with a company. The pocket card will not be mailed until the applicant is affiliated with a company.
Pocket Cards – All pocket cards will be mailed to individual registrants. Please ensure the mailing address is current by visiting TOPS
Synchronized Expiration Dates –An individual will have one expiration date for each of the following registration/license types:
- All their Unarmed registrations including their Owner/Manager registrations
- All their Instructors licenses
- All their Commission and Personal Protection Officers registrations
Background Check Required – Background checks are now required on renewal applications as well as all armed (commissioned) applications regardless current or previous registrations held. There is a $25 FBI background check fee for this. If the applicant receives an email stating, "Background Required", no action on the part of the applicant is required, as the crime records department is attempting to use fingerprints on file whenever possible. If there are no fingerprints on file or the fingerprints are of poor quality, the applicant will receive a second email stating, "Fingerprints required". In those rare cases, the applicant will need to submit fingerprints. Please see fingerprint instructions for more information.
Payments – Electronic Checks will only be accepted from licensed companies. All individual applicants must pay by credit/debit card.