Legal Memorandum LI06

LICENSING OF ARMORED CAR CARRIERS AND
REGISTRATION OF ARMED GUARDS

The "Armored Car Carrier Act", which became effective September 10, 1998, added Articles 8-B and 8-C to the General Business Law to provide for the licensure of armored car carriers and the registration of their armed guards. An armored car carrier is defined as an entity which, for hire, provides secured transportation of valuables by means of "specially designed and constructed bullet-resistant armored vehicles and armored car guards." Thus, an entity which carries valuables for hire by means of non-armored vehicles, (e.g., a moving company), is not covered by the Act. In addition, the Act does not apply to, any subsidiary of an entity organized and operating pursuant to the Federal Bank Holding Company Act of 1956.

An armored car guard is one "who carries a firearm or is authorized by the employer to access a firearm when providing armored car services." This lynchpin clause effectively excludes from registration those armored car employees who may drive or accompany the armored vehicle but who do not carry or are not authorized to access a firearm.

An application for licensure as an armored car carrier is made by the business entity. Each and every business location must be identified. Principals (those controlling an interest greater than 10%) and primary officers are required to submit fingerprints which are forwarded by the Department to the Division of Criminal Justice Services for a criminal history report. Also required is proof of "all risk insurance coverage" in the minimum amount of 10 million dollars, and comprehensive general liability coverage in the minimum amount of $500,000. Licensure may be denied or revoked for: (1) incompetence or untrustworthiness; (2) fraud, deceit or misrepresentation; or (3) where a relevant criminal conviction is reported.

Regulatory enforcement rests with the Department of State. The Department is given full use of existing enforcement powers (e.g., investigation and subpoena) and may take disciplinary action against errant licensees upon notice and hearing. Additionally, the making of a material misstatement in an application or the employment of an unregistered armored car guard is a misdemeanor which may be prosecuted by the Attorney General. Also within the purview of the Attorney General is the prosecution of unlicensed activity.

With respect to armored car guard registration, there are two essential requirements. The first is freedom from relevant criminal convictions (verified by a report of the Division of Criminal Justice Services after submission of fingerprints). The second is completion of a 47 hour firearms training course. The completion of the firearms training course may be accomplished within 180 days after receipt of the guard application. Pending completion, and presuming satisfaction of other application requirements, the applicant is to be given a conditional letter of authority which would entitle him to work as an armored car guard.

The Department of State maintains a registry of armored car guard applicants and registrants. This registry is intended to be accessed solely by armored car companies for purposes of verification of employment status.

For further information about licensing of armored car carriers and the registration of their armed guards, and to download application forms, please check the home page for the Division of Licensing Services.