Effective July 1, 2013, anyone who wants to work as a security guard must register with the State of Hawaii, Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs, Board of Private Detectives and Guards (Board). That registration results in the issuance of a Guard Employee (GDE) license, often referred to as a “guard card”.

The law that requires this, and it’s first line of information is Hawaii Revised Statute §463-10.5 Guards; registration, instruction, training, testing, and continuing education required; renewal of registration. (a) All guards, and all agents, operatives, and assistants employed by a guard agency, private business entity, or government agency who act in a guard capacity shall apply to register with the board… (For full details of what the law requires refer to the HRS 463-10.5 on this website under DCCA Forms/Rules/Laws)

Once you have been issued the GDE license (guard card) you can work as a security guard employee for anyone that would like to hire you. You can work for a licensed guard agency, or a proprietary employer (such as retail store, hotel, residential property, individual, etc.).

You cannot be the Principal for a Guard Agency (that requires a different license) or work as an independent contractor or sub-contractor. If you are intending to work as an armed guard, be aware that there are additional requirements and qualifications that must be met in addition to having the GDE license.