Overview

You must have a valid licence to work as a security guard and/or private investigator in Ontario. You can apply for the following:

  • security guard: A person who performs work, for pay, that consists primarily of guarding or patrolling for the purpose of protecting persons or property.
  • private investigator:  A person who performs work, for pay, that consists primarily of conducting investigations to provide information.
  • security guard and private investigator (Dual): An individual may hold both a security guard and private investigator licence. However, they cannot work as both security guard and private investigator at the same time.

Once you receive your security guard and/or private investigator licence the expiry date is linked to your date of birth and will expire two birthdays after the day it is issued. For example, if your birthday is December 15 and your first licence was issued on October 1, 2019, your licence will expire on December 15, 2020.

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

You must carry a digital version or a printed copy of your licence at all times and be prepared to show it upon request.

Requirements

Effective February 18, 2024, a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (CRJMC) needs to be submitted when applying for or renewing a licence. In Ontario, CRJMC’s can be obtained from a Municipal police service, First Nations police service or the Ontario Provincial Police.

Checks completed by a third-party provider will not be accepted.

Learn more about the requirements for a CRJMC.

To be eligible for a licence, you must:

1. Prove that you:

2. Complete training and testing by:

An Ontario testing completion number (TCN) is issued upon completion of the mandatory training and the successful passing of the mandatory test for the licence type(s) you are applying for. This is not required if you hold a valid (not expired, suspended, or revoked) equivalent out of province (OOP) security guard or private investigator licence issued from a regulatory authority in another Canadian province or territory.

You are required to provide the following with your application if you have a OOP:

  • out of province (OOP) Licence Number
  • out of province (OOP) Licence Type
  • out of province (OOP) Licence Expiry Date
  • Province/Territory of Issue
  • A photocopy of the front and back of your valid out of province (OOP) Licence

3. Submit the following items with your application:

  • your Ontario testing completion number (TCN) or out of province (OOP) required licence information
  • your Ontario mailing address
    • CRJMC must not be older than 6 months from the date you submit your application.
    • if applying online, you must upload a PDF of your CRJMC that has been digitally issued by the CRJMC provider
    • applicants who have a physical copy of a CRJMC must submit their application by mail
  • a passport-quality photo that meets the photo requirements
  • your Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (CRMJC) in its official format.
    • CRJMC must have been issued with the past 6 months.
  • the front and back of two different valid (non-expired) government issued identification documents (IDs):
    • One government-issued ID must prove your identity. This ID must include your first and last name or singular name, photo, signature, and date of birth.
    • One government-issued ID must prove your eligibility to work in Canada. This ID must include your first and last name or singular name and date of birth
    • the appropriate payment for your licence type

How to apply

Apply online

You will get your licence faster if you apply online.

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

Once your application is approved you will receive your digital licence by email. You can also download or print your digital licence by logging into your My Ontario Account.

To apply online for a new licence or renew your existing licence you will need:

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

Apply or renew online

Apply by mail

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

To apply by mail for a new licence or to renew your existing licence you will need to:

Mail your completed application package to:

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

If applying by mail you can also provide an email address. Once your application is approved, you will receive your digital licence by email  and able to download and print your licence.

If you did not provide an email, a paper copy of your licence will be sent to your mailing address. 

Change your information

You can update information on your licence during your licensing term if:

  • your current licence is not expired
  • your licence is not within ninety (90) days of its expiry date

You must notify the ministry if:

  • your personal information changes (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 (5) days of conviction and/or findings of guilt

Depending on what change you are making you may need to provide specific information.

You must provide one of the following to update your name:

  • Change of Name Certificate: If your name has been legally changed under the Change of Name Act, you must provide a government-issued Change of Name Certificate.
  • Certificate of Marriage: If you assumed your married name, you must provide a copy of your government-issued certificate of marriage (Records of Marriage, marriage extracts, Records of Solemnization of Marriage, or church issued certificates are not acceptable).
  • If you wish to go back to your maiden name, you must provide your government-issued marriage certificate and birth certificate.

There is no fee to change your information.

Change your information online

Change by mail

You will need to print and complete a Change of Information form for Security Guard and/or Private Investigator Licence.

Mail your completed change of information form and required information to:

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

Change your licence type

You can change your licence type during your licensing term, as long as your current licence is not expired and your current licence is not within ninety (90) days of its expiry date.

If you currently hold a security guard licence you can change to either:

  • private investigator licence
  • dual licence

If you currently hold a private investigator licence you can change to either:

  • security guard licence
  • Dual Licence

If you currently hold a dual licence and wish to change to a either a security guard or private investigator, please contact the ServiceOntario Contact Centre to assist with your application Toll-free at 1-866-767-7454.

To change your licence type you will need:

  • Your Ontario Testing Completion Number for the licence type you are now applying for. If you were licensed as a security guard or private investigator in a different province you can provide your out of province (OOP) licence details and a copy of the front and back of your OOP licence.
  • A passport quality photo (if applicable) that meets the photo requirements.
  • The front and back of two different valid (non-expired) government issued identification documents (IDs)
    • One government-issued ID must prove your identity. This ID must include your first and last name or singular name, photo, signature, and date of birth.
    • One government-issued ID must prove your eligibility to work in Canada. This ID must include your first and last name or singular name and date of birth.
  • The appropriate form of payment of $80.00 for your licence change.

When changing your licence type please note the expiry date will remain the same as your original licence issued to you.

Change licence type online

Change by mail

You will need to print and complete a Change of Information form for Security Guard and/or Private Investigator Licence.

Provide the payment for your licence type in the form of a bank draft, money order, or certified cheque made payable to the Minister of Finance

Mail your completed change of information form and required information to:

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

Replace a lost, stolen or damaged licence card

Physical licence cards are no longer being issued and have become digital only.

If your physical licence card has been stolen, lost or damaged, you can replace it with a digital licence.

Sign up or log into your My Ontario  account to download a digital copy of your licence. You may also choose to print a paper copy.

Cost

To apply or renew:

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

To change your licence type:

  • $80

If you are applying online, you can pay with:

  • 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.

Returned applications

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

If you applied online and your application is returned to you, you must access your My Ontario account to update and resubmit your application.

It may take up to 15 calendar days to process an application that has been resubmitted online.

Preparing your photograph and supporting documents

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 in front of a plain white background showing a clear difference between your face, clothing, and the background
  • taken within the last 6 months
  • display your natural skin tones
  • avoid shadows across your face and/or shoulders, around your ears, or in the background
  • taken straight on, with your face and shoulders centered and squared to the camera
  • taken with your eyes open and clearly visible, and with your mouth closed in a neutral position (for example no smiling) 
  • photos with a red-eye effect will not be accecpted

    Image
    Image of a person the shows the appropriate sizing of photograph.

Glasses: You can wear prescription glasses if your eyes are clearly visible and there is no reflection and/or glare in the lenses. Sunglasses cannot be worn.

Hats and head coverings: You cannot wear hats and head coverings unless it is 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:

Acceptable identification documents

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.

Even if you have 1 ID that satisfies all the requirements, you must provide 2 different government issued IDs.

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
  • 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:

Note: the same ID cannot be used to prove your eligibility to work in Canada.

  • Valid Driver's licence
  • Any valid Passport (showing photo and signature page)
  • Ontario Photo Card
  • Certificate of Canadian Citizenship (card with photo)
  • Canadian Department of National Defence Identification Card (issued within the last five years)
  • Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) Canadian Forces Card
  • Canadian Travel Document
  • Refugee Protection Claimant Document (must have photo)
  • Certificate of Indian Status Card
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 Citizenship Card
  • Canadian passport (photo and signature page)
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Confirmation of Permanent Residence
  • Naturalization card (issued before January 1, 1974)
  • Valid work permit or study permit
  • Record of Landing (IMM 1000)
  • Certificate of Indian Status Card
  • Retention certificate
  • Certificate of Registration of Birth Abroad
  • Department of National Defence (DND) Services Card
  • Canadian Department of National Defence (DND) Canadian Forces Card
  • Verification of Landing
  • Verification of Status / Notice of Status Verification
  • Canadian Immigrants Identification card (IMM183)

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
  • Metis Nation cards

If you do not have valid government issued IDs, please contact the ServiceOntario Contact Centre at 416-212-1650 or toll free at 1-866-767-7454 to determine the validity of other type of ID.

Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (CRJMC)

As per section 11(2)(c) of the ‘Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005’ (PSISA), all applicants must provide a Criminal Record and Judicial Matters Check (CRJMC) with their application.

A CRJMC includes:

  • applicable criminal convictions
  • findings of guilt under the federal Youth Criminal Justice Act
  • absolute and conditional discharges
  • outstanding charges, arrest warrants, and certain judicial orders

In Ontario, you can request a CRJMC from:

  •    Municipal police service
  •    First Nations police service
  •   Ontario Provincial Police

Checks completed by a third-party provider will not be accepted.

Note: Your CRJMC must have been issued within the past 6 months to be considered valid for your application.

If applying online, you must upload a PDF of your CRJMC that has been digitally issued by the CRJMC provider.

Applicants who have a physical copy of a CRJMC must submit their application by mail.

Find more information on how to obtain a CRJMC.

Declaration of Offences

You are ineligible to hold an individual security guard and/or private investigator licence if you have been convicted of any offences listed on the Eligibility to Hold a Licence – Clean Criminal Record Regulation and have not received a pardon/record suspension.

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.: