Top 10 FAQs
How long will it take to process my SIA licence application?
We aim to process a minimum of 80% of all correctly completed applications within 25 working days.
This time starts from the day your application is entered onto our system and ends on the day we make our decision. The clock is stopped if your application fails validation - that is, if we have to send it back to you because you have not filled it in correctly or you have not provided the required supporting documentation. The clock is reset when you send your application back to us.
Complex applications (for example, applications subject to additional criminality or qualification enquiries and those requiring overseas criminality checks) may take longer than 25 working days.
How much does an SIA licence cost?
The cost of an SIA licence is £220. Only payments made in UK pounds sterling can be accepted.
The licence fee must be paid in full and submitted with the application. Some security companies may choose to initially cover the cost of the licence on behalf of their employees and recover the money at a later stage through wage deductions; however, this would be a matter between employer and employee.
Available payment methods are Cheque from a UK bank account, a valid UK debit or credit card, a UK banker's draft or a UK postal order. Cheques should be made payable to Security Industry Authority.
What do I do if my licence is lost, stolen or damaged?
You must report it to the SIA. If your licence has been stolen you should report the theft to the police, obtain a crime reference number from them and forward the police report to the SIA with a signed covering letter. If your licence has been lost you should write in explaining the circumstances of the loss - your letter must be signed. If your licence has been damaged you should return the licence to us with a signed covering letter.
The address to write to is:
Security Industry Authority
PO Box 1293
We do not normally charge for replacing a licence; however, if we receive repeated requests for replacement cards we may investigate further and/or demand a fee.
Can I appeal a decision to refuse my licence application?
If we judge it necessary to refuse your licence application we will write to you, providing the basis for our decision. You will then have twenty-one days from the date on our decision letter to inform us of any factual errors in our assessment - for example, an error of identity, or an error in assessing your qualifications or criminal history. You may also be invited to supply mitigating information such as character references or evidence of your rehabilitation since your offence - our letter will advise you on whether we will consider mitigation in your case.
If we do not receive a response from you within the twenty-one days the decision to refuse you a licence will automatically take effect. The SIA will not write again to confirm this. Once the decision to refuse you a licence takes effect you will have twenty-one days in which to exercise a right of appeal to a Magistrate's Court, Sheriff Court or District Court.
If you do send in a response we will give it due consideration, and we will write to you to inform you of our final decision. If we decide it is still necessary to refuse your licence, you will then have twenty-one days from the date of this second decision letter in which to exercise a right of appeal to a Magistrate's Court, Sheriff Court or District Court.
Please note that costs may be involved with a court appeal, both in lodging the appeal and if you lose the appeal at court. When deciding if you wish to bring an appeal to court you may like to bear in mind the High Court case of Security Industry Authority v Stewart & Others (2007), which ruled that magistrate's courts must follow the criteria set out in our 'Get Licensed' booklet when considering appeals. As an example, magistrate's courts considering decisions we have made as a result of our criminality criteria cannot consider factors outside of those criteria, such as the circumstances or gravity of the offence(s) committed.
What are the penalties for working without an SIA licence?
For those working in a licensable role without an SIA licence the penalties are: upon summary conviction at a Magistrate's Court, Sheriff Court or District Court, a maximum penalty of six months imprisonment and/or a fine of up to £5,000.
If my vehicle is clamped, blocked in or towed away, should I complain to the SIA?
Vehicle immobilising is illegal in England, Wales and Scotland. If your vehicle has been clamped, blocked in or towed away in England, Wales or Scotland without lawful authority you should report this to the police.
Vehicle immobilising is a legitimate business in Northern Ireland. If you park on private land without permission you are running the risk of your car being legally clamped, blocked in or towed away.
If you feel that you have been treated unfairly you should take this up with the vehicle immobiliser concerned or their employer. If this is not possible or you remain dissatisfied you may wish to consider engaging the services of a solicitor and taking civil legal action. Your local Citizens Advice Bureau or Trading Standards office may be able to offer advice on this.
If a vehicle immobiliser uses threatening behaviour or intimidation they may be committing a criminal offence and we would recommend that you report such instances to the police.
We welcome any information relating to vehicle immobilisers operating without a licence or in breach of the licensing conditions. However, please note that there are some areas of vehicle immobiliser operations that we do not regulate, such as the size of the release fee or the time taken to release a vehicle.