Private Security Agency

Department of Public Safety


A private security license enables an individual licensee to provide contracted security services such as providing patrol or guard services for residences, industrial property or business property. This function serves to protect people or property, to prevent the unlawful taking of goods and merchandise, or to prevent the misappropriation or concealment of goods, merchandise, money, securities, or other valuable documents or papers. They may operate armored cars.

Code Citation Iowa Code Chapter 80A; 661 IAC , Ch. 121

Who Applies Any individual or business must possess a license to perform contracted security services in the State of Iowa. Employees of the agency must apply for an identification card.

When To Apply Before security services are provided in Iowa.

Initial Requirements Any person wishing to obtain a license to operate an independent security agency must: 1) be at least 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States 2) be of good moral character, have no convictions for an aggravated misdemeanor or a felony, and have never been convicted of assault resulting from domestic abuse 3) not be an abuser of alcohol or controlled substance, nor have a history of mental illness, instability or a history of repeated acts of violence 4) submit photos, fingerprints and license fee(s), along with a completed application, to the Commissioner of Public Safety 5) be able to show proof of liability (insurance)and must be approved for a $5,000 surety bond; this will be $10,000 if applying for more than one license under this chapter. For those wishing to work as an employee for a licensed agency, only the first four requirements above apply. The agency purchases applications ($10 each) from the Department of Public Safety prior to completion by the employee.

Duration Two years.

Processing Time Sixty days.

Fee Structure License: $100 – each license $30 – fingerprint fee for each licensee $10 Identification Card fee (one card needed, regardless of number of license types; no expiration, to work for that particular agency only) Renewal: $100 – for each two-year license $30 – fingerprint fee for each licensee Other: $10 – Application Packet (if requesting in-person) $15 – Application Packet (by mail) Free application materials are available on the department\’s website.

Renewal Requirements There are no continuing education requirements.

Exam None.

Additional Information None.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Lisa Lampe
Oran Pape Building
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319