State-by-State Private Investigator Licensing Requirements
Most states require a state-issued license to be a private investigator. Qualifications, fees, and laws regulating private investigators vary. Below is a list to guide you to your state’s proper licensing authorities who regulate private investigator licensing requirements.
Please understand that while we try our best to keep an updated record of the state-by state private investigator licensing requirements, it is ultimately your responsibility to verify with your state of upcoming changes or current laws. Did we miss something? Please send us an e-mail to let us know!
|Alabama||As of March 14, 2014 all private investigators in the state of Alabama (unless otherwise exempt) must have a license issued by the Alabama Private Investigation Board (APIB) by this date in order to provide private investigation services. Private Investigation performed without a license would be a violation of State law.
|Alaska||Though some Alaska cities have their own licensing criteria, Alaska has no statewide licensing requirement for private investigators. Check with your local Clerk of Court, and research business license requirements. Some of the cities, such as Fairbanks and Anchorage have their own requirements.
|Arizona||A private investigator in Arizona must be licensed. The Arizona Department of Public Safety regulates and licenses Investigators in Arizona.
|Arkansas||A private investigator in Arkansas must be licensed. The Arkansas Private Investigators and Private Security Agencies Act designates the Arkansas State Police as an administering agency to regulate private investigators, private security agencies and individuals or businesses offering security or investigative services.
A private investigator in California must be licensed. The Department of Consumer Affairs Bureau of Security and Investigative Services regulates private investigator licensing in California.
|Colorado||A private investigator in Colorado must be licensed. The Colorado Department of Regulatory Agencies Office of Private Investigator Licensure regulates private investigator licensing in Colorado.
|Connecticut||A private investigator in Connecticut must be licensed. The Special Licensing & Firearms Unit (SLFU) is responsible for processing the license applications and employee registrations, as well as investigating complaints concerning violations of the license statutes.
|Delaware||A private investigator in Delaware must be licensed. The Detective Licensing Unit, Division of State Police is responsible for processing the license applications and employee registrations, as well as investigating complaints concerning violations of the license statutes.
|Florida||A private investigator in Florida must be licensed. Private investigators are regulated and licensed through the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.
A private investigator in Georgia must be licensed. The Georgia Board of Private Detective and Security Agencies regulate the private detective and security businesses. Private detective businesses and private security companies are required to have a company license issued by the Board. The private detective employee, armed or unarmed, must be registered as an employee with the private detective company and have completed the required pre-license training from an approved Georgia private investigator school.
An investigator in Hawaii must obtain a license. The Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs regulate the private investigators.
State Law (scroll down to Chapter 463)
|Idaho||Though some Idaho cities have their own licensing criteria, Idaho has no statewide licensing requirement for private investigators. You need to check your local licensing laws, call your local Clerk of the Court, and research business license requirements.
Here are just some of the cities that currently require licensing to operate as a Private Investigator in the State of Idaho:
Coeur d’ alene
There are a few more that have either went ahead with licensing or are in the process. Idaho is very strict with regards to operating in any of these locations without the proper documentation / credentials.
The Private Investigator Association of Idaho offers a Certified Private Investigator Program Testing & Administration that provides objective proof and verification of outstanding knowledge, experience and proficiency in the investigating field.
|Illinois||An investigator in Illinois must be licensed. The Illinois state government regulates detective licensing through the Division of Professional Regulation.Illinois Division of Professional RegulationState Law|
|Indiana||An investigator in Indiana must be licensed. The Indiana state government regulates detective licensing through the Indiana Private Detective Licensing Board.Indiana Private Detective Licensing Board State Law|
|Iowa||An investigator in Iowa must be licensed. The Iowa Department of Public Safety regulates private Investigators.Iowa Department of Public SafetyState LawIowa Private Investigator Continuing Education is required|
|Kansas||An investigator in Kansas must be licensed. The Kansas Bureau of Investigation regulates private investigators.
Kansas Private Investigator Continuing Education is required
|Kentucky||An investigator must be licensed and must take an examination in the State of Kentucky. The Kentucky Board of Licensure for Private Investigators regulates private investigators in Kentucky.|
|Louisiana||An investigator in Louisiana must be licensed. The Louisiana State Board of Private Investigator Examiners regulates private investigators in Louisiana.|
|Maine||An investigator in Maine must be licensed. The Maine State Police, Department of Public safety regulate the licensing of private investigators, investigative assistants, and private security companies.|
|Maryland||An investigator in the state of Maryland must be licensed. Private investigator licensing is regulated by the Maryland State Police.|
|Massachusetts||An investigator in Massachusetts must be licensed. Private Investigators are regulated by the colonel of the Massachusetts State Police.|
|Michigan||An investigator in Michigan must be licensed. Private Investigators in Michigan are regulated by The Department of Labor and Economic Growth under the new Professional Investigator Licensure Act.|
|Minnesota||An investigator in Minnesota must be licensed. Private Investigators in Minnesota are regulated by The Board of Private Detective & Protective Agent Services.
Minnesota Private Investigator Continuing Education is required
|Mississippi||There are currently no licensing requirements for Private Investigators in Mississippi.Private Investigator Training and Courses|
|Missouri||On August 28, 2007 a bill was signed into law in Missouri requiring the licensing of private investigators statewide. The law now requires a written exam, with exclusion for those with current POST (Peace Officers Standards and Training) certification. The law also requires background checks, fingerprinting, and submission of documentation and photograph, $250,000 general liability insurance. While the law is in effect, the state’s website says it has not yet appointed the licensing board members and does not anticipate doing so until the legislative session of 2008. It also indicates that it will not begin enforcing the new licensing requirement until January 2009.
P.O. Box 1335
Jefferson City, MO 65102-1335
800.735.2466 Voice Relay
|Montana||An investigator in Montana is required to be licensed. The Board of Private Security Patrol Officers and Investigators regulate investigators in Montana.|
|Nebraska||An investigator in Nebraska is required to be licensed. The Nebraska Secretary of State regulates licensing of private detectives.|
|Nevada||An investigator in Nevada is required to be licensed. The Nevada Private Investigator Licensing Board regulates private detectives.|
|New Hampshire||An investigator in New Hampshire is required to be licensed. The New Hampshire State Police regulate private detectives.
*On July 13, 2010 the New Hampshire Private Detective bill, HB 651, was signed into law and becomes effective January 1, 2011.
This bill adds certain exclusions from regulation of private investigative agencies, security guard agencies, and bail enforcement agencies. It replaces “the term detective agencies” with “private investigative agencies”, and requires the commissioner of safety to regulate private investigative agencies, security guard agencies, and bail enforcement agencies.
The link to the bill is: http://www.gencourt.state.nh.us/legislation/2010/HB0651.html
|New Jersey||An investigator in New Jersey is required to be licensed. The New Jersey State Police regulate private detectives.|
|New Mexico||An investigator in New Mexico is required to be licensed. The New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department regulate private detectives.New Mexico Regulation and Licensing DivisionState LawNew Mexico Private Investigator Continuing Education is required|
|New York||An investigator in New York is required to be licensed and take an examination. The New York Department of State Division of Licensing Services regulate private detective and administers the Private Investigator walk-in examination.|
|North Carolina||An investigator in North Carolina is required to be licensed. The North Carolina Department of Justice regulates private detectives.|
|North Dakota||An investigator in North Dakota is required to be licensed. The North Dakota Private Investigation and Security Board regulate private detectives.|
|Ohio||An investigator in Ohio is required to be licensed. The Ohio Department of Public Safety regulates private detectives.|
|Oklahoma||An investigator in Oklahoma is required to be licensed and applicants with no training must complete CLEET approved and mandated training. CLEET regulate private detectives in Oklahoma.|
|Oregon||An investigator in Oregon is required to be licensed and take an examination through the DPSST. The DPSST regulate private detectives.
Oregon Private Investigator Continuing Education is required
|Pennsylvania||An investigator in Pennsylvania is required to be licensed. To become licensed as a Pennsylvania investigator read the Private Detective Act of 1953. Then, petition the Court of Common Pleas in the county you reside or have your business.|
|Rhode Island||An investigator in Rhode Island is required to be licensed. To apply for a private detective license in Rhode Island one must contact the local licensing authority where his/her principal place of business is located.State Law|
|South Carolina||An investigator in South Carolina is required to be licensed. The South Carolina Law Enforcement Division regulates private detectives.|
|South Dakota||There are no licensing requirements for private investigators in South Dakota, but a business license through Department of Revenue required.
Main Department of Revenue Office number: 800-829-9188
An investigator in Tennessee is required to be licensed. The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance Private Protective Services Division regulates private detectives.
State Law (Scroll to title 62 chapter 26)
|Texas||An investigator in Texas is required to be licensed. The Texas Commission on Private Security regulates private detectives.
Texas Private Investigator Continuing Education is required
|Utah||An investigator in Utah is required to be licensed. The Utah Department of Public Safety & Law Enforcement Services Bureau of Regulatory Licensing regulates private detectives.|
|Vermont||An investigator in Vermont is required to be licensed. The VermontBoard of Private Investigative and Armed Security Services Office of Professional Regulation regulate private detectives.|
|Virginia||An investigator in Virginia is required to be licensed. The VirginiaDepartment of Criminal Justice Services Private Security Section regulates private detectives.VA DCJS – Private Security ServicesState LawVirgina Private Investigator Continuing Education is required|
|Washington||An investigator in Washington State is required to be licensed. The Washington Department of Licensing, Public Protection Unit regulates private detectives.|
|Virginia||An investigator in West Virginia is required to be licensed. West Virginia Secretary of State Licensing Division (Private Investigator Licensing) regulates private detectives.|
|Wisconsin||An investigator in Wisconsin is required to be licensed. The WisconsinDepartment of Regulation & Licensing regulates private detectives.|
|Wyoming||An investigator in Wyoming is regulated by local jurisdictions.|