Blog: Illinois-licensed Private Alarm Contractor Registration – chicago.gov

A private alarm contractor or private alarm contractor agency licensed by the State of Illinois may register with the City of Chicago in order to apply for permits for work the private alarm contractor or private alarm contractor agency is authorized to perform without a Chicago electrical contractor license under the Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004 as amended.

Private alarm contractor and private alarm contractor agency licenses are issued by the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR). Private alarm contractor and private alarm contractor agency registrations are issued by the Department of Buildings.

Frequently Asked Questions

When is a private alarm contractor registration required?

Private alarm contractor registrations are issued as a courtesy to Illinois-licensed private alarm contractors and private alarm contractor agencies to allow them to be listed on permits for private alarm work in the City of Chicago without holding a City of Chicago electrical contractor license.

State-licensed private alarm contractors that will be performing electrical work in addition to private alarm work within the City of Chicago must obtain an electrical contractor license instead of a private alarm contractor registration.

What is private alarm work?

The Illinois Private Detective, Private Alarm, Private Security, Fingerprint Vendor, and Locksmith Act of 2004 defines an “alarm system” as “any system, including an electronic access control system, a surveillance video system, a security video system, a burglar alarm system, a fire alarm system, or any other electronic system that activates an audible, visible, remote, or recorded signal that is designed for the protection or detection of intrusion, entry, theft, fire, vandalism, escape, or trespass, or other electronic systems designed for the protection of life by indicating the existence of an emergency situation [including] emergency communication system[s] and mass notification system[s].” The Act describes private alarm work as installing, designing, maintaining, testing, inspecting, altering, repairing, replacing, or servicing alarm and other security-related systems or parts thereof, including fire alarm systems.

Who can perform work under a private alarm contractor registration?

Illinois private alarm contractor licenses are issued to individuals performing private alarm work without employees. Registration of an Illinois private alarm contractor license only authorizes private alarm work to be performed by the individual who holds the state license.

Illinois private alarm contractor licenses are issued to businesses with employees. Registration of an Illinois private alarm contractor agency license authorizes private alarm work by the state-licensed business and its employees when complying with all requirements of the state license.

“Employees” means individuals that the business treats as employees for purposes of unemployment insurance contributions, workers’ compensation, and income taxation. A private alarm contractor agency registration does not authorize private alarm work to be performed by individuals who are paid by the licensed business as independent contractors.

If employees of another business will be performing private alarm work at a job site, that business must be properly licensed, registered, and listed on the permit.  

Are there different types of private alarm contractor registrations?

Yes. The City of Chicago registration will be consistent with the license type issued by the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR). A private alarm contractor license is for an individual who does not have any employees. A private alarm contractor agency license is required for an individual or business entity that performs private alarm work through employees.

Who may obtain a private alarm contractor registration?

Private alarm contractor registrations are available to individuals licensed by the State of Illinois as private alarm contractors or business entities licensed by the State of Illinois as private alarm contractor agencies.

What is required to obtain a private alarm contractor registration?

Private alarm contractor registration requires proof of a current license issued by the Illinois Department of Professional and Financial Regulation (IDFPR).

How do I apply for a new private alarm contractor registration?

Continental Testing Services processes private alarm contractor registration applications on behalf of the Department of Buildings.

Applications are submitted through the Continental Testing Services web site.

How do I renew an existing private alarm contractor registration?

Renewal requests are submitted through the Continental Testing Services web site.

How much does a private alarm contractor registration cost?

There is no charge for a private alarm contractor registration.

How long is a private alarm contractor registration valid?

A private alarm contractor registration expires on the same date as the corresponding license issued by the State of Illinois.

Ordinances and Rules 

Municipal Code of Chicago, Section 4-290-010 Registration required.

This information is provided to help you better understand licensing requirements in the City of Chicago. It may not reflect all conditions, limitations, or exceptions that may apply to a particular situation and is not intended as a substitute for legal advice. To the extent the information on this page differs from the Municipal Code of Chicago or applicable rules, the ordinance or rule controls. 

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