US Capitol Police - Frequently Asked Questions
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Frequently Asked Questions

What are the age requirements to be considered for a position as a USCP officer?
Applicants must be at least 21 years of age at time of application, but not have reached your 37th birthday at the date of appointment. If you do not enter on duty prior to your 37th birthday, you will not be eligible for further consideration. This requirement is based upon Federal Law. (Public Law 100-238, Section 102).

Exception to Age Requirements: There is a (Maximum age waiver with qualifying Federal law enforcement experience). ). Applicants may deduct from their actual age, the length of time he/she served as a Federal Law Enforcement officer. (i.e., Age 40; served 5 years (40-5 = 35; eligible to apply for USCP). Contact recruiting for details regarding Qualified Federal Law Enforcement. (Note: Military Service does not qualify as prior Federal Law Enforcement Service when applying for the waiver.)

How long does the hiring process take?
Due to the overwhelming number of applications received, our hiring process may take between 8-12 months to process, upon receipt of your fully completed and certified on-line AVUE application.

How do I obtain an application to apply?
Applications are completed online via AVUE Digital Services (AVUE). Click on the "Apply" tab located on the main menu on this website. You will be directed to the AVUE Digital Services (AVUE). From this site, please follow the instructions, then you will be permitted to register for one of our upcoming entry-level written examination. If you have any questions while you are completing the AVUE online application, please contact the AVUE Help Desk: 202-772-1007 ext. 209 or 1-800-407-0147 and choose option # 2.

When is the next Police Officer Selection Test (POST), and what does it consist of?
From this website, you will be directed to AVUE Digital Services (AVUE) to begin the AVUE online Application (i.e., video, self-assessment, assessment questions, applicant profile, etc. Based on your responses, you may be permitted to register for one of our upcoming entry-level written examinations and our Physical Readiness Test (PRT) (see "Training" tab)

The examination administered by the USCP is a three-part exam consisting of 65 multiple-choice questions: Basic Reading Comprehension, Math (nothing greater than division), Spelling and Grammar. It is based on a high school level education. You MUST achieve a score of at least 70 in each area assessed in order to proceed further in the recruiting process.


How long is the test and is there a fee to take the examination?
You are allotted one hour and twenty five minutes to complete the three-part examination.

There is no fee to take the examination.

When am I notified if I was successful in passing the POST examination?
You should receive notification within 2 weeks after taking the exam via the AVUE system. You must have completed the application in order to view your test scores. Your passing test scores are valid indefinitely. PRT scores are given the date of the test and passing scores are valid for one year.

Individuals who are not successful at passing the exam must wait 90 days before retaking the exam. Individuals who are not successful at passing the exam on the second attempt must wait one-year before re-testing.

Does the USCP accept POST exam and PRT scores from other agencies?
We do not accept POST exams or PRT scores from other agencies. You must pass the POST exam and PRT administered by USCP.

Does the USCP accept lateral transfers from other police departments?
At the present time, USCP does not have a lateral transfer program. Applicants from other agencies must apply as an entry-level police recruit. All interested applicants must meet the minimum requirements. Please refer to minimum requirements by clicking on the "Minimum Requirements" tab.

If I have a background check conducted by another agency; will the USCP still conduct a background check?
Yes, The USCP Background Investigation Section conducts a thorough background investigation on every applicant who successfully advances through our recruitment process.

What are some factors that can hinder me; or cause me to be disqualified?
Some include, but are not limited to: conviction of a felony or commission of a felony; adverse credit; recent drug usage, irresponsible driving history, poor work history, defaulted federal student loans, etc.

What if I recently had corrective eye surgery, can I still apply?
Yes. You may still apply if you have had Lasik, ALK, RK or PRK corrective eye surgery. However, you would still need to pass the specific visual vision exams given during the medical evaluation phase of the recruitment process. There is no waiting period to apply if you have had any of the above referenced corrective eye surgeries.

Does USCP pay for relocation expenses?
No, the USCP does not compensate for relocation expenses.

How long must I wait to reapply for a position, if I am not selected?
You must wait at least one full year to reapply once you have been advised that you were not selected for a position.

How do I reapply if I am a former USCP officer?
All former US Capitol Police officers must complete the entire application process as if they were a new applicants, to include the new Physical Readiness Test (PRT). Any required training requirements will be determined at a later day and will be based on department policies.

What happens when I graduate from the academy?
Upon graduation from all training, Police Recruits are promoted to the rank of Private with Training and will be scheduled for an additional 4-6 weeks of training with a Field Training Officer. Once training is completed, new officers are generally assigned to one of the various divisions within the US Capital Police Department. Location and schedules are usually determined according to the needs of the Department.

What is the salary for a USCP officer?
Starting salary while undergoing training is $55,653.00. Upon graduation, as a private with training, the salary is increased to $57,604.00. After thirty (30) months of satisfactory performance, and promotion to (PFC) Private First Class; salary is increased to $64,590.00.

What area does United States Capitol Police Department patrol?
USCP officers have jurisdiction within a 47 square block radius in and around the US Capitol, as well as Federal Police authority throughout the United States and its territories in performance of their duties.

Do I have to be a resident of the District of Columbia to become a USCP officer?
No, you do not have to be a resident of the District of Columbia. We encourage all United States citizens who are interested in a career in law enforcement to apply. Please be advised, the position is physically located in Washington, DC, and you must live within a reasonable commuting distance.

When does Health Insurance start once you have been offered employment?
You have 60 days from the date of entry on duty to elect health insurance. The effective date of coverage is the beginning of the next pay period after you have submitted your election form.

Does the USCP allow for creditable military service?
Yes, your service will be added to the end of your required USCP service. All officers can retire with twenty years of service at age fifty (50) or twenty five (25) years of service at any age. Your military service will be added on the end. (Example: 20 years of USCP service + 4 years of military service = 24 years toward retirement)

Does USCP allow me to buy back my military time to count towards retirement?
Yes, you may also buy back your military time. Your branch will provide you with a "Statement of Service". This statement will be used in order to compute the amount you will have to contribute to your USCP retirement account.