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Ohio.gov

PISGS Application Information

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PISGS
PO Box 182001
Columbus, OH 43218-2001

 

 

 

Safer Ohio Standout Logo
Attention PISGS licensees! Tell us how your employees go above and beyond to contribute to a safer Ohio. Email us a photo of the employee and a short description of what makes him or her a “Safer Ohio Standout,” and PISGS will recognize the employee!

PISGS WebCheck

Step-by-Step Instructions for Applying for a License

Private investigation and security services providers in Ohio are required by law to obtain a license from the Ohio Department of Public Safety (ODPS) Private Investigator Security Guard Services (PISGS). There are three types of licenses:

    1. Class A – Private Investigation & Security Services
    2. Class B – Private Investigation
    3. Class C – Security Services

In order to obtain a license, a company must have a Qualifying Agent (QA). The QA must meet the minimum requirements of professional experience, undergo a criminal background check, and pass an exam.

Until approved by PISGS, a company cannot work, advertise or solicit business in Ohio.

Step 1

You will need online access with Private Investigator Security Guard Services (PISGS) to complete the license application. Click HERE to request online access. See “User Manual” under the Main Menu for step-by-step instructions on creating an account.

Step 2

Gather the required documentation for the company and Qualifying Agent and save all documents in electronic format (i.e., Word, PDF, jpg, etc.) to your computer.

Company Requirements:

  1. Certificate from Ohio Secretary of State affirming the company is registered. (If registered more than six months prior, a certificate of good standing letter is required.)
  2. If using a trade name, certificate from Ohio Secretary of State indicating trade name.
  3. Insurance Acord for Comprehensive General Liability:
    • Must be for at least $100,000 each occurrence, $300,000 general aggregate
    • Must list DPS, PISGS Unit, PO Box 182001, Columbus, OH 43218 as certificate holder (proof of insurance not required at time of application, but must be received prior to license being issued).
    • Click HERE to see a sample insurance acord.

Qualifying Agent (QA) Requirements:

  1. 2 x 2 photo (passport style) of head and shoulders. Click HERE for more information and tips on taking the photo. (We have general tips and instructions for using an iPhone or Android to take a photo.)
  2. Five character reference letters from people (not relatives) who have known you more than five years. Letter must state in what capacity they know you (friend, work, church, etc.), and must be signed and dated within last three months.
  3. Verification of Experience (VOE):
    • CLASS A – Work full-time in security and investigation, in the two years prior to applying for a license. Past law enforcement and military experience, as well as relevant college degree, also may count toward the required work experience.
    • CLASS B – Work full-time in investigation, in the two years prior to applying for a license. Past law enforcement and military experience, as well as relevant college degree, also may count toward the required work experience.
    • CLASS C – Work full-time in security, in the two years prior to applying for a license. Past law enforcement and military experience, as well as relevant college degree, also may count toward the required work experience.

    • Military experience in related field (military police) – provide DD 214 or current work orders.
    • College degree must be at least an associate in criminal justice or law enforcement – provide diploma or college transcript.
    • Attorney – if you are an attorney and want your practice of law to count toward the required experience, provide a letter of good standing from the State Supreme Court (must have been practicing for minimum of two years).

  4. Reciprocity – there is no reciprocity for licenses held in other states. When applying for a license, you must provide copy of licenses from states where currently licensed along with letter of good standing from applicable state licensing boards.
  5. BCI fingerprint results – must not be older than 30 days from date application is submitted and sent DIRECT COPY to PISGS. We recommend taking this instruction sheet to ensure proper delivery of results. You can locate a WebCheck facility on the Attorney General's Website.

A QA who wants to carry a firearm, must have:

  1. OPOTA Firearm Training Certificate (for non-peace officer).
  2. Ohio Peace Officer's Basic Training Certificate AND most current re-qualification score sheet (for peace officers).
  3. FBI fingerprint results – must not be older than 30 days from date application is submitted and sent DIRECT COPY to PISGS.

Step 3

Go to the New Company License Application. Log in using the User Name and Password you created in Step 1. Reference the License Application User Guide for step-by-step instructions on completing the online applications and submitting with the associated fees (see PISGS Fees Schedule).

Step 4

After submitting your online application with all required documentation, and the paperwork has been reviewed, the QA will be scheduled for the examination based on ORC 4749 and OAC 4501:7 (click HERE for QA exam study guide). If the exam is failed, another $25 test fee is required for each additional attempt.

NOTE: The QA exam is only waived if the applicant was an Ohio-approved QA within the prior six months.

Step 5

Once the QA passes the exam and your license application is approved, PISGS will print a wall license and QA registration card. At that point, your company is licensed to work and solicit work in Ohio. You must then register all security guards and private investigation employees using the PISGS online system. Click HERE to log in. Once you log in, you can reference the “User Guide” for step-by-step instructions.