2020 Georgia Code
Title 43 - Professions and Businesses
Chapter 38 - Operators of Private Detective Businesses and Private Security Businesses
§ 43-38-14. Exceptions to Operation of Chapter; Local Regulation
- This chapter shall not apply to:
- An officer or employee of the United States of America or of this state or a political subdivision thereof while the employee or officer is engaged in the performance of official duties;
- A person engaged in the business of furnishing information in connection with credit or marketing and a person or firm engaged as a consumer reporting agency, as defined by the federal Fair Credit Reporting Act;
- An attorney at law or a bona fide legal assistant in performing his or her duties;
- Admitted insurers, agents, and insurance brokers licensed by the state while performing duties in connection with insurance transacted by them;
- A firm engaged in the business of independent insurance claims adjusting whose employees hold a valid Georgia adjuster's license; or
- The employees of a firm identified in paragraph (5) of this subsection.
- Any person with a valid peace officer certification issued pursuant to Chapter 8 of Title 35, the "Georgia Peace Officer Standards and Training Act," who is employed by or works as an independent contractor for a licensed:
- Private security business shall be exempt from any training provisions required by this chapter for such business and shall be deemed to have satisfied all board rules and regulations relative to training; and
- Private detective business or private security business shall be exempt from further licensure under this chapter and shall be permitted to carry a firearm without obtaining any weapons permit from the board; provided, however, that such licensed private detective business or private security business shall be required to register such employee or independent contractor with the board.
- This chapter shall not prevent the local authorities of any municipality or county, by ordinance and within the exercise of the police power of such municipality or county, from imposing local regulations upon any street patrol, special officer, or person furnishing street patrol service, including regulations requiring registration with an agency to be designated by such municipality or county.
- This chapter shall not apply to a person or corporation which employs persons who do private security work in connection with the affairs of such employer only and who have an employer-employee relationship with such employer. Neither such persons or corporations nor their employees shall be required to register or be licensed under this chapter, although such persons or corporations or their employees may elect to be licensed under this chapter.
(Ga. L. 1973, p. 40, § 15; Ga. L. 1975, p. 785, § 1; Ga. L. 1978, p. 1515, § 2; Ga. L. 1981, p. 1828, § 12; Ga. L. 1982, p. 3, § 43; Ga. L. 1991, p. 1027, § 3; Ga. L. 2000, p. 1161, § 7; Ga. L. 2011, p. 415, § 1/HB 53.)
OPINIONS OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL
- Persons or corporations which employ personnel who engage in activities covered by O.C.G.A. § 43-38-3(2), which defines private detective business, are required to be licensed by the State Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies, unless they are otherwise exempt pursuant to O.C.G.A. § 43-38-14. Persons or corporations which must be licensed are required to register their investigative personnel. 1991 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 91-34.
Security guards employed by Atlanta Housing Authority are not subject to provisions of this chapter because employees of the Atlanta Housing Authority are employees of a political subdivision of this state. 1976 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 76-113.
Security officers providing security to federal facilities on an independent contractor basis must comply with state legislation concerning training and licensing. 1997 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 97-31.
Federal Aviation Administration Authorization Act of 1994, 49 U.S.C. § 14501 et seq., preempts state legislation concerning the training and licensing of security officers performing pre-departure screening under a contract with an airline or an aircraft carrier. 1997 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 97-31.Companies employing only in-house investigative personnel need not obtain licenses.
- When a company employs only in-house investigative personnel, and consequently does not fall within the definition of a private detective business, the company is not required to obtain a license. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-21.In-house investigators need not register.
- In-house investigative personnel conducting investigations off the employer's premises are not required to be registered by the Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies. This exemption from registration applies only to those in-house investigators who are employed exclusively and regularly by only one employer; their investigations are in connection with the employer's affairs, and the employer is not in the private detective business. 1979 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 79-21.
Peace officer engaged in the private detective or security business may not employ other peace officers, unless those individuals are licensed or registered by the Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies. 1997 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 97-22.
Consumer reporting agency or a credit reporting business that is exempt from licensure requirements as a private detective business under O.C.G.A. § 43-38-14(a)(2) nevertheless must obtain a license from the Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies to perform private detective business activities as defined in O.C.G.A. § 43-38-3(3) that do not fall within the scope of this exemption or any other exemption. 2007 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 2007-2.Full-time peace officers charged by law with making arrests are exempt.
- Exemption from provisions of this chapter given to certain peace officers extends only to those persons charged by law with duty to maintain public order or to make arrests for violations of the law, and who devote, on a regular basis, their full time to performance of such duties. 1974 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 74-148 (see O.C.G.A. Ch. 38, T. 43).
For exemption from licensure, the peace officer must be employed in law enforcement on a full-time basis, must contract directly with an employer, and must obtain approval from the chief or head of the law enforcement agency. 1997 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 97-22.