Registration as a security officer or private investigator (for individuals).

Apply for a new security guard or private investigator license, or renew, restore, update (change information for), or apply for a previously held license.

In Ontario, a valid license is required to work as a security guard or private investigator.

The date of your birth is used to determine when your security guard or private investigator license will expire. Licenses issued for the first time will be valid until the applicant's 42nd birthday after the date of issuance. In the case of a person with a December 15 birthday and a first license issued on October 1, 2019, that person's license will expire on December 15, 2020.

Your license renewal date is linked to your birthday and is always two years into the future.

Online applications are processed more quickly than mail-in applications, but both methods work. Before submitting an application, please make sure you meet the below requirements.

Before you apply,

In order to obtain a permit, you must:

First, provide evidence that you are able to:

Second, finish the training and exams by:

The following materials should be included with your application:

  • where you finished the Ontario exams
    • Provide your out-of-province license number and a copy of the front and back of your existing security guard or private investigator license if you already hold such a license in another country.
  • photo that is acceptable for passport purposes
  • proof of identity and work authorization documents for Canadian employers
  • a signed and dated Guarantor Form with all required information
  • the fee that corresponds to your license category

Submit your application via the internet.

Delays in processing

Online applications may take longer than 10 business days to review and approve. To better meet your needs, we are upgrading our system.

Applying for a license online is the quickest route to getting one.

It may take up to 10 business days to process and approve a properly completed online application.

Please allow up to eight weeks for the delivery of your new license after its approval. In addition, a printable PDF version of your license will be available for download.

The following are the necessities for obtaining a license via electronic means:

Take note that if you are renewing a current license, you have until 90 days before the license's expiration date to do so.

Keep in mind, if your browser is having problems with your transaction(s), you may need to ensure that it supports TLS 1.2.

Send in your application via snail mail

Correctly submitted mail-in applications may take up to 30 business days to be processed and approved.

Your new driver's license will arrive in the mail within eight weeks after your application has been processed and approved. A digital license will also be available for you to download and print.

If you prefer to apply for a license through the mail, you must:

Where to send mail

Send your application materials to:ServiceOntarioOccupational Licensing Services OfficeP. O Postal Stop: Kingston, Ontario, Box 4500

K7L 0E1

Please include your email address on the application form if you'd like to receive license-related emails (such as renewal reminders).

The Price and Timing of the Service


  • A license to act as a private investigator will set you back .
  • The cost of a license to work as a security guard is .
  • To purchase both licenses for only $160 (dual license)

You can submit an online application and pay with:

  • InteracOnline®
  • Payment with a credit card (Discover®, Visa®, or MasterCard®)
  • Use a debit card (Visa® or Mastercard®) to pay.

If you are submitting a paper application, you can send your payment in any of the following ways, all of which should be addressed to the Minister of Finance:

  • bank draft
  • Bank or postal money order
  • certified check

Cash, personal checks, and credit cards cannot be accepted through the mail.

All payments are final. Applications that are withdrawn, rejected for ineligibility, or returned because of mistakes or missing information and are not resubmitted within 90 calendar days will be considered abandoned. The amount paid will be used to cover administrative costs.


A new license card will be mailed to you within eight weeks of the application's approval.

Acquire a digital version.

After your application is reviewed and approved, you will be able to retrieve a PDF version of your license and print it out. But the license card you'll be sent in the mail must replace your digital copy.

Whether or not a portable document format (PDF) version of your license is available can be viewed here.

If your driver's license information needs to be updated, you can do so here.

Sensitive Data

If any of the following apply to you, you need to inform the ministry immediately:

  • your identifying details (such as your name, address, or contact information) have changed.
  • within five days of the conviction/findings of guilt, you have been convicted of an offense listed under Ontario Regulation 37/08 (Eligibility to Hold a Licence - Clean Criminal Record).

The process of updating your driver's license is free of charge.


Modify your driver's license information, including your address.

Take note of the criminal record on your driver's license

To reiterate, you cannot alter your name in the online system. It is required that requests to change names be submitted in writing and mailed.

By mail

If you need to update your address, phone number, or criminal record via mail:

Alter your monicker

A certificate of name change issued by the appropriate government agency must be presented if your name has been changed in accordance with the Change of Name Act.

Copy of official marriage license required if new surname is "spouse."

In order to legally revert back to your maiden name, official documents such as your marriage license and birth certificate will be required.

It is not possible to use a church marriage certificate or any other religiously-issued document.

Changing your name on your driver's license won't cost you anything.

How to Change Your Name

Make a shift in the type of license you hold

In order to upgrade your license classification, you must have:

  • digital copy of a passport-style photo that has been scanned to meet specifications
  • Identifiable papers that verify your identity and legal right to work in Canada
  • your guarantor's signature and date on a completed Guarantor Information Form
  • if you are upgrading from a security guard or private investigator license to a dual license, your new Ontario Testing Completion Number
    • Provide your out-of-province license number and a copy of the front and back of your out-of-province security guard or private investigator license if you have one.

When renewing (or restoring) your license at the same time, you can switch categories without incurring any additional costs.


To update your security guard certification:

To update your private investigator certification:

If you currently hold a dual license (security guard and private investigator), you must make the following change:

Change your license's classification and get it renewed or reinstated:


Send the following to the Department of Motor Vehicles to have your license classification changed:

Accepted, Returned, and Resubmitted Forms

You have 90 days to respond to a request for additional information or clarification after your application has been returned to you. Your application will be considered closed and your payment will be held as a processing fee if you do not submit the requested materials within 90 calendar days. After 90 days have passed, a new licensing fee will be required if the necessary information is submitted.

If your online application is rejected, you can resubmit it with any necessary changes by logging into your ServiceOntario ONe-key account.

A resubmitted online application may take up to 10 business days to process.

Getting your photo and necessary paperwork ready

Insist on photographs

If this is your first time applying for a driver's license, you must include a photo that meets passport standards with your application.

Most photographs can be used for up to six years. You may be required to submit a new photo when renewing, restoring, or switching the category of your license through the DMV's online system. ServiceOntario can verify the authenticity of your photo if you are renewing, restoring, or changing the category of your license via mail.

Listed here is a model photograph that meets all requirements.

The requirements for your photo are:

  • a photo that was taken by the subject and not copied from anywhere (photos of passports and other forms of identification are not acceptable).
  • not a self-portrait
  • Approximately 2 inches wide and 2 and a half inches long (50 mm x 70 mm).
    • From chin to hairline, a healthy face should be between 31 and 36 millimeters (1 1/4 and 1 7/16 inches) in height.
  • defined, distinct, and in focus
  • when coupled with
    • A pure white background that sets off your face sharply. Images must accurately depict skin tones.
    • uniform illumination free of shadows, glare, flash reflections, and red-eye
    • Position yourself so that your head is facing the camera (front and center).
  • image captured with a composed expression
    • eyes wide open and observable
    • With lips sealed, she didn't smile.
  • a recent photo of yourself (within the last six months)

A word to the wise: if your eyes aren't obscured and the lenses aren't glaring, you can wear glasses that you need. You should not use sunglasses in this area.

Unless worn daily for religious or medical reasons, hats and other head coverings are not permitted. Your whole face needs to be visible, and your head covering can't obscure your features.

Photos that don't belong here: examples

The following are some examples of unacceptable images:

Give documentation establishing your identity and legal right to work in Canada.

The front and back of two forms of government-issued photo identification (ID) are required:

  1. Authentication of your identity (full legal name, photo, signature, and date of birth) via a single piece of identification is required.
  2. Additional identification that verifies your legal right to work in Canada You can't use the same ID for both purposes.

Be sure to keep the following in mind as you get your identification documents ready to be turned in:

  • Select one form of identification from List 1 and one form of identification from List 2 from the list of acceptable documents.
  • You must use the same two forms of identification (driver's license and a photo ID) to both apply and meet with your guarantor.
  • At the time of application submission, all of your identification documents must be up-to-date and in good standing (i.e. not expired, suspended, or revoked).
  • There must be an exact correspondence between the names on both forms of identification and the name on your license application.
  • Your identification documents must be in English or French, or a certified translation thereof.
  • you must provide complete, legible copies (front and back) of your original identification documents.

Documents that can be used

The First List: Pick One

To verify your identity, please use one of the following documents (which must contain your full legal name, date of birth, signature, and photo):

Take note: you can't use the same ID to prove your Canadian citizenship and employment eligibility.

  • license to drive in any jurisdiction
  • passports in general
  • Driver's License or Identification Card Issued in Ontario, Canada
  • ID card / Certificate of Canadian Citizenship
  • A current or recently expired Canadian National Defense ID card.
  • Identity Card for the Canadian Armed Forces issued by the Canadian Department of National Defense (DND)
  • Passport or other Canadian Travel Document
  • Certification of Asylum Seeker (with Photograph)
  • Document Verifying Indian Blood Quantity and Other Status Information
Select from List 2

To demonstrate your right to work in Canada, please present one of the following documents:

  • Certification of Canadian Birth
  • Provenance of a Live Birth Certificate
  • Proof of Citizenship in Canada
  • Valid passport for entry into Canada
  • Documentation Proving Permanent Residency
  • Verification of Indefinite Stay
  • ID proving naturalization (issued prior to 1 January 1974).
  • valid student or work visa
  • Documentation of Touchdown (IMM 1000)
  • Proof of Indian Blood Certificate
  • Receipt of Certification for Retention
  • Verification of Birth Registration Issued Abroad
  • DND Services Card - Canada's Military ID
  • An official Canadian Armed Forces ID Card issued by the Department of National Defense
  • The Landing Has Been Verified
  • Request for Verification of Status / Notice of Request for Verification of Status
  • Document of Identity for Foreign Nationals in Canada (IMM183).

Files that don't cut it

None of the following forms of identification will be accepted:

  • insurance card
  • Proof of identity and social insurance number (SIN) card
  • Obtaining a Permit to Acquire or a Permit to Possess a Firearm
  • Obtaining Your PSIS Permissions
  • Birth Announcement, Birth Certificate, Live Birth Announcement, and Birth Registration
  • Québec birth certificates issued prior to 1994
  • License to operate in Canada
  • Cards of the Metis Nation

Collect a guarantor

The guarantor must verify your identity using the original documents you provide.

To qualify as a guarantor, a person must:

  • At the very least, 18 years old
  • Obtainable via telephone
  • a person you've known for at least two years outside of school settings
  • capable of having your most fundamental personal details confirmed (such as your name, age, physical description, and history).

Your guarantor doesn't have to be someone you've known for at least two years if you can't find one; they can be anyone else instead.

  • one of your bosses
  • any private investigator or security guard in Ontario with a valid license.
  • official from a security guard or private investigation firm or a partner in a business that is registered under the Private Security and Investigative Services Act of 2005
  • chiropractor
  • dentist
  • judge
  • A Peace Officer or Judge
  • pharmacist
  • lawyer
  • mayor
  • physician
  • official religious leader recognized by the province to conduct wedding ceremonies
  • Public Notary
  • Security guard
  • primary or secondary school principal or educator
  • Expert Accountant
  • Technologist who specializes in engineering
  • academic staff member at a public institution
  • veterinarian

Get the Guarantor Form here and fill it out. The applicant is free to fill out Section A, but the guarantor must complete Section B.

Do not forget the following when filling out the Guarantor Information Form:

  • The writing needs to be legible and uncluttered. Corrections should be made by crossing out the incorrect information, adding the new details next to the error, and then initialing the new section. Do not use tape or correction fluid.
  • Your guarantor must identify themselves professionally (as a police officer or teacher) or personally (as a family member or close friend).
  • When you apply for your license, you must also provide your guarantor with two forms of identification. Two forms of identification must match these criteria and be submitted with the form.
  • A guarantor's responsibility includes checking that the names on both forms of identification are identical.
  • The form is not valid without the guarantor's signature and date. Signatures can be digitally transmitted. There is a 90-day expiration period after signing the form.
  • To apply online, you'll need to have a scanned copy of your completed application form ready to upload.

Prompt Notice of Collection

ServiceOntario, acting on behalf of the Ministry of the Solicitor General and with the authority of Section 11 of the Private Security and Investigative Services Act, 2005, will collect some personal information from you in order to process your request. To verify identities and manage licenses granted under the Act, this data will be stored and used in the following ways:

Contact the ServiceOntario call center if you have any inquiries regarding the collection and use of your personal information.

  • Please dial 1-866-767-7454 toll-free.
  • GTA: 416-212-1650
  • 416-212-6319

By mail:

Office of Occupational Licensing Services, ServiceOntario

P O  Box 4500

Kingston ON 
K7L 0E1

Contact us

If you have any questions, please contact us at [email protected] or call us between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday m to 5 p m :

Accessed: 5 January 2023
Publication date: December 7, 2015
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