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Yes, in most cases. But the specifics will wary from state to state.

If one person has a felony record, they can apply to their appropriate state agency for a rehabilitation certificate.

The following seven states offer certificates of rehabilitation or Certificate of Clemency or other similar methods for removing occupational restrictions due to felony or misdemeanor records:

  1. Arizona
  2. California
  3. Florida: Security Guard License after a felony in Florida State
  4. Illinois
  5. Nevada
  6. New Jersey: Security Guard (SORA) License after a felony in New Jersey State
  7. New York: Security Guard License after a felony in New York State
  8. Virginia: Security Guard Job after a felony in Virginia State

In the other states they will make the determination based on the type of felony, how long ago was it happened etc.

A Certificate of Rehabilitation is a court certified document declaring that a person is now obeying the laws of the land and is demonstrating good moral character.

It is is designed to restore civil and political rights of citizenship to ex-felons (and some misdemeanants) who have proved their ability for rehabilitation and performing normal civic functions.

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The rehabilitation laws differ in how extensively they restore the individual’s civil rights, eligibility criteria, and procedures.

In the state of California, once a person has received a Certificate of Rehabilitation, he or she may not be denied a professional or business license solely based on his or her felony conviction.

The certificate has different names in different states. To find the state specific information, you can search your state’s website.

The rehabilitation certificates will say that you are rehabilitated and you are no longer a threat to the society nor a disreputable person. There is some waiting period requirements in some states and for some states you will go through a training or rehabilitation agency.

The final answer is yes, you can have a felony record and still work as a security guard. It is actually illegal to be denied the job because you have the conviction. Once you are rehabilitated, depending on the state, you can retain you rights to carry firearms and your rights to hold public office (police officer, firefighter elected official, etc.).

Read more Security Guard FAQs

The rehabilitation steps, documentation etc for several states are listed below:
San Diego, California: Certificate of Rehabilitation & Pardon Instruction Packet

This Post Has 5 Comments

  1. Reginald Wilson

    What types of misdemeanors could stop you from being a sercurity guard in New York State?

    1. admin

      If you have ONE FELONY or NO FELONIES and only misdemeanors, then you are eligible and must apply for the Certificate of Relief from Disabilities (unless you want to restore gun rights or public office rights; then contact the Legal Action Center for more information.)

      Certificates of Relief only cover one conviction or misdemeanors. You can apply for certificates for each of your convictions.
      If you served time in state prison for a New York felony, apply to Parole (pdf) for the Certificate for the felony.

      If you have a felony or a misdemeanor in another state or in federal court, apply to Parole (pdf) for the certificates for these convictions.
      If you only served probation or time in a local jail for a New York felony, apply for the certificate from the Court Clerk where you were convicted.

      For all New York misdemeanors, apply for the certificate from the Court Clerk where you were convicted.

  2. Frankie Gonzalez

    If I have a past felony record in California,would I still be able to obtain a guard card in the state of Arizona?

  3. Deidrea

    Hello My name is Deidrea Johnson and i need some help with my situation ive been working since November as a guard and my license havent csme yet thank you

  4. Tom Walsh

    It’s been over 25 yrs since my felony convictions. Non violent convictions, and I have all my credentials! I want to better my career in the Security Field. In Illinois we have the most strictest gun laws and I’m hoping to pertain my FOID Card. Is there a rehabilitation or some kind of probation I can get to prove I’m worthy of protecting my family by getting my FOID Card.

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