How to Become a Licensed Unarmed Security Officer in Tennessee

The State of Tennessee requires that all security officers hold an active license while working as either an armed or unarmed officer. Failure to do so can result in steep penalties for both you and your employer. Outlined below are the required steps for gaining your license. At First Class Security we are happy to work with all candidates to properly obtain their license. Once you have reviewed the following information, if you would be interested in an opportunity as a security officer, please take a moment to apply to one of our open positions here.

1. Determine Your Eligibility

The State of Tennessee requires all of the following conditions to be met.

  • Must be at least 18 years of age
  • Must be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien
  • Must be of good moral character
  • Must meet the training requirements
  • Can not have any conviction of the following crimes and shall disqualify an applicant
    • Any Felony; or
    • Any misdemeanor involving:
      • Shooting a firearm or other weapon
      • Shoplifting
      • Assault and battery or other act of violence against persons or property
      • Crimes involving the sale, manufacture or distribution of controlled substances, controlled substance analogues, drugs or narcotics
      • Theft of property
      • Theft of services
  • Must not be suffering from habitual drunkenness or narcotics addiction or dependence
  • Must not have any disability that, in the opinion of the commissioner, prevents the applicant from performing the duties of a security guard/officer

2. Training and Testing

One of the main requirements to obtain a license is completing a state certified training (4hr minimum) course and obtaining a passing grade. If you have been hired by First Class Security, we will register you with one of our preferred vendors. Upon successful completion of the course any quality vendor should be able to provide you with the following:

  • 1 - Certificate of successful completion of guard training
  • 3 - 1”x1” color passport-style photos with your name and Social Security Number printed on the back of each photo placed in a small envelope with your name
  • 1 - Notarized original and 1 copy of the SECURITY GUARD/OFFICER – APPLICATION

To register for a class, please click HERE to email and setup a training time. Cost for the training is $50.00 per unarmed class.


3. Electronic Fingerprinting

All applicants must submit their fingerprint's electronically.

  • Schedule an appointment
    • Online at L-1 Identity Solutions (MorphoTrust USA)
    • By Phone: M-F 8:30am-4:30 CST 855-226-2937
      • Agency Name: Commerce and Insurance
      • Applicant Types: Armed Guard / Unarmed Guard / Contract Security Company
      • Agency ORI #: TN920120Z
      • Cost: $38.00
  • Be on time to your appointment

4. Your State Application

Your application must be filled out accurately and truthfully. Any discrepancies found could result in your application being denied and you would be required to start over with no refund.

  • Visit tn.gov to create an account and apply online. If you are more comfortable with applying in person, follow the below steps.
  • Download, print, complete and mail/personally deliver your application. Start by downloading your application HERE.
  • Address:
    Attn: Private Protective Services
    The Department of Commerce and Insurance
    500 James Robertson Parkway
    Nashville, TN 37243
  • A complete application must include:
    • 1 - Notarized original security guard application
    • 1 - Certificate of successful completion of guard training
    • 1 - Copy of the receipt for the electronic fingerprint submission
    • 3 - 1”x1” color passport-style photos with your name and Social Security Number printed on the back of each photo placed in a small envelope with your name
    • If Applicable: Statements of any criminal records, provide all final Court dispositions (judgments) on any and all charges/arrests
    • If Applicable: Copy of Military Service Record (DD214) for other than Honorable discharge; attach a separate sheet of paper explaining the discharge
    • 1 - $70.00 Cashier's Check made out to the TN Department of Commerce & Insurance

Once you have submitted your application you have the ability to check on the status of the application using the verify.tn.gov portal.

5. Cost Summary

Outlined below is a summary the total cost to become licensed as an unarmed guard with the State of Tennessee.

  • Course Training - $50
  • Electronic Fingerprints - $38
  • Getting your Application Notarized - Free service at your local bank
  • 3 color passport-style photos - Included with most classes
  • Application and Filing Fees - $70
  • Total Cost - $158