Overview

To work as a security guard or private investigator in Ontario, you must have a valid licence.

Your security guard or private investigator licence has an expiry date that is linked to your date of birth. The first time you apply for a licence, your licence will expire two birthdays after the day it is issued. For example, if your birthday is December 15th and your first licence was issued on October 1st, 2019, your licence will expire on December 15th, 2020.

When your licence is renewed, the renewal date will always be two years in the future and linked to your date of birth.

You will get your licence faster if you apply online, but you can also apply by mail. Read the eligibility and application requirements below before you apply.

Before you apply

To be eligible for a licence, you must:

When you apply for your licence, you must submit the following items with your application:

Prepare your documents

1. Take a good photo (photo requirements)

If you are applying for your licence for the first time, you will need to submit a passport-quality photograph.

Typically, photos are valid for six years. If you are renewing, restoring or changing the category of your licence online, you may have to submit a new photograph if the photo on file has expired. If you are renewing, restoring or changing the category of your licence by mail, you may contact ServiceOntario to check the validity of your photo.

Here is an example of an acceptable photograph.

Your photo must be:

  • an original photo that is not altered in any way or taken from an existing photo (for example, photos of passports or other identification documents are not accepted)
  • not a ‘selfie’
  • 50 mm wide by 70 mm high (2 inches wide by 2 3/4 inches long)
    • the height of the face should measure between 31 mm (1 1/4 inches) and 36 mm (1 7/16 inches) from your chin to the natural top of your head
  • clear, sharp and in focus
  • taken with:
    • solid white background with a clear difference between your face and the background. Photos must represent natural skin tones.
    • uniform lighting and with no shadows, glare, flash reflections or red eye effect
    • face and shoulders to the camera (straight-on, centred and squared)
  • taken with a neutral facial expression
    • eyes open and clearly visible
    • mouth closed, no smiling
  • an image of your current appearance, taken within the last six months

Note: You can wear prescription glasses if your eyes are clearly visible and the lenses are free from glare. You cannot wear sunglasses.

You cannot wear hats and head coverings unless worn daily for religious or medical reasons. Your full face must still be clearly visible in your photo and your head covering must not cast a shadow on your face.

Examples of unacceptable photos

Here are some examples of images that will not be accepted:

2. Prove your identity and eligibility to work in Canada

You must provide copies of the front and back of two different government-issued identification documents (IDs):

  1. One piece of ID that proves your identity (including your full legal name, photo, signature and date of birth).
  2. A second piece of ID that proves your eligibility to work in Canada. You cannot submit the same piece of ID for both.

When preparing to submit your IDs, remember:

  • choose two different IDs from the acceptable documents list: one from List 1 and one from List 2
  • the IDs you choose to submit with your application must be the same two IDs that you show your guarantor
  • your IDs must be current and valid (not expired, suspended or revoked) at the time of submitting your application
  • the first and last names on both IDs must match, and the name on your IDs must match the name you use on your licence application
  • your IDs must be in English or French, or translated by a certified translator if in another language
  • you must submit high-quality, clearly visible copies (front and back) of your original identification documents

Acceptable documents

List 1 – choose one

Choose one ID from the following list (which includes your full legal name, date of birth, signature and photo) to prove your identity:

  • valid driver’s licence
  • any valid passport
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship (card with photo)
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Canadian Department of National Defence Identification Card (issued within the last five years)
List 2 – choose one

Choose one ID from the following list to prove your eligibility to work in Canada:

  • Canadian birth certificate
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • Canadian passport
  • Permanent Resident Card/Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • Naturalization card (issued before January 1, 1974)
  • valid work permit
  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • Certificate of Indian Status
  • Retention certificate
  • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad

Unacceptable documents

The following documents will not be accepted:

  • health card
  • Social Insurance Number (SIN) card
  • Firearms Possession and Acquisition (PAL) or Possession-Only (POL) licence
  • PSIS licence
  • Notice of Birth, Notice of Live Birth, Certificate of Registration of Birth
  • Quebec birth certificates pre-dating 1994
  • Canadian Identity card

3. Find a guarantor

A guarantor is responsible for reviewing the original identification documents you submit with your application to support your identity.

The guarantor you choose must be:

  • at least 18 years old
  • accessible by phone
  • someone who has known you personally for at least two years
  • able to confirm basic personal information about you (for example, your name, age, physical description and background)

If you can’t find a guarantor who has known you for at least two years, your guarantor can be any of the following:

  • your employer
  • any licensed Ontario security guard or private investigator (provided his or her licence is valid)
  • an officer, director or partner from a licensed security guard or private investigator agency or from a company registered under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005
  • chiropractor
  • dentist
  • judge
  • Justice of the Peace
  • pharmacist
  • lawyer
  • mayor
  • physician
  • minister of religion authorized under provincial law to perform marriage
  • Notary Public
  • police officer
  • principal or teacher of a primary or secondary school
  • professional accountant
  • professional engineer
  • professor or administrator at a public college or university
  • veterinarian

Print and complete the Guarantor Information Form (026-0178).Part A of the form may be completed by the applicant, but Part B must be completed by the guarantor.

When completing the Guarantor Information Form, remember:

  • Writing must be neat and easy to read. If a mistake is made, cross it out, write the correct information beside the mistake and initial it. Do not use correction fluid or tape.
  • Your guarantor must state their profession (for example, police officer or teacher) or their relationship to you (for example, family member or friend).
  • You must show your guarantor the same two pieces of identification that you will be using when you apply for your licence. These same two identification documents must be listed on the form.
  • Your guarantor must confirm that the names on both of your identification documents match.
  • Your guarantor must sign and date the form in black or dark blue ink for it to be valid. Electronic signatures are not accepted. Once signed, the form will only be valid for 90 days.
  • If you are applying online, you will need to scan your completed form and be ready to upload the file during the online application process.

Get a licence online

A correctly completed online application can take up to 10 business days to be processed and approved.

After your application is approved, your new licence card will arrive by mail within eight weeks. You will also be able to download and print a digital copy of your licence.

To get a licence online, you’ll need:

Note: If you are renewing an existing licence, you may renew up to 90 calendar days before your licence expires.

Get a security guard licence

Get a private investigator licence

Get both a security guard and private investigator licence (dual licence)

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Get a licence by mail

It can take up to 30 business days for a correctly completed mail-in application to be processed and approved.

After your application is approved, your new licence card will arrive by mail within eight weeks. You will also be able to download and print a digital copy of your licence.

To get a licence by mail, you’ll need to:

Mailing address

Mail your application package to:
ServiceOntario
Occupational Licensing Services Office
P.O. Box 4500
Kingston, Ontario
K7L 0E1

Note: If you wish to receive email notifications about your licence (for example, renewal reminders), you must provide your email address on the application form.

Cost and delivery

Cost

  • $80 - private investigator licence
  • $80 - security guard licence
  • $160 for both licences (dual licence)

If you are applying online, you can pay with:

  • InteracOnline®
  • Credit card (VISA® or MasterCard®)
  • Debit card (VISA® or Mastercard®)

If you are applying by mail, choose one of these forms of payment made payable to the Minister of Finance:

  • bank draft
  • money order (postal or bank)
  • certified cheque

Note: Credit cards, cash and personal cheques are not accepted by mail.

Payments are non-refundable. This applies to applications that are withdrawn, denied due to ineligibility or returned due to errors or incomplete information where the required information is not resubmitted within 90 calendar days. Payment will be retained as a processing fee.

Delivery

When your application is approved, your new licence card will arrive by mail within eight weeks.

Get a digital copy

When your application has been processed and approved, you can download and print a digital copy of your licence. However, you must replace your digital copy with the licence card you receive in the mail.

You can check to see if a digital copy (PDF) of your licence is available.

Change information on your licence

Personal information

You must notify the ministry if:

  • your personal information changes (for example, name, address or contact information)
  • you have been convicted or found guilty of an offence listed under Ontario Regulation 37/08 (Eligibility to Hold a Licence – Clean Criminal Record) within five days of the conviction/findings of guilt.

There is no fee to change information on your licence.

Online

Change your address or other licence information

Note a criminal offence on your licence

Note: You cannot change your name online. Change of name requests must be sent by mail.

By mail

To change your address or contact information on your licence or to note a criminal offence by mail:

  1. Complete a Change of Information Form for a Security Guard and/or Private Investigator Licence(008-06-010)
  2. Mail your information to:
    ServiceOntario
    Occupational Licensing Services Office
    P.O. Box 4500
    Kingston, Ontario
    K7L 0E1

Change your name

If your name has been legally changed under the Change of Name Act, you must provide a government-issued certificate of name change.

If you have assumed your married name, you must provide a copy of your government-issued marriage certificate.

If you wish to go back to your maiden name, you must provide your government-issued marriage certificate and birth certificate.

Certificates issued by religious organizations (for example, marriage certificates issued by a church) are not accepted.

There is no fee to change your name on your licence.

To change your name:

  1. Complete a Change of Name Form for a Security Guard and/or Private Investigator Licence (0204)
  2. Provide clear and legible photocopies of your supporting documentation (for example, name change certificate, marriage certificate, birth certificate)
  3. Mail your information to:
    ServiceOntario
    Occupational Licensing Services Office
    P.O. Box 4500
    Kingston, Ontario
    K7L 0E1

Change your licence category

To change your licence category, you will need:

  • a scanned passport-quality photo (if applicable) that meets the photo requirements
  • identification documents (IDs) that prove your identity your eligibility to work in Canada
  • a completed Guarantor Information Form (026-0178) which has been signed and dated by your guarantor
  • your new Ontario Testing Completion Number if you are changing from a security guard or private investigator licence to a dual licence
    • if you were licensed as a security guard or private investigator in a different province, you can provide your out-of-province licence number and a copy of the front and back of your licence.

There is no fee to change your licence category unless you are renewing (or restoring) your licence at the same time.

Online

To change your licence category online:

Mail

To change your licence category by mail:

  1. Complete an Application to Change Licence Category of an Existing Security Guard and/or Private Investigator Licence form (0188)
  2. Mail your application along with your photo (if required), photocopies of your two pieces of identification and Guarantor Information Form to:
    ServiceOntario
    Occupational Licensing Services Office
    P.O. Box 4500
    Kingston, Ontario
    K7L 0E1

Returned applications

If your application is returned to you because of an error or missing information, you have 90 calendar days to respond. If you do not submit the required information within 90 calendar days, the application is deemed closed and payment will be retained as a processing fee. If you submit the required information after 90 calendar days, a new licensing fee will be required.

If you applied online and your application is returned to you, you must access your ServiceOntario ONe-key account to update and resubmit your application.

It may take up to 10 business days to process an application that has been resubmitted online.

Notice of Collection

In order to process your request, ServiceOntario will collect some personal information on behalf of the Ministry of the Solicitor General under the authority of Section 11 of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005. This information will be used for identification purposes and to issue and administer licences under the Act.

If you have any questions about the collection and use of your personal information, please contact the ServiceOntario contact centre at:

By mail:

ServiceOntario
Occupational Licensing Services Office
P.O. Box 4500
Kingston ON 
K7L 0E1

Contact us

Email your questions to privatesecurity@ontario.ca or call Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.:

Updated: November 15, 2021
Published: December 07, 2015