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What are The PI Licensing Laws in Your State?
 

Don’t feel discouraged if you learn that your state requires working in a detective agency for a prescribed number of hours before you can open your own agency. This should be viewed as an opportunity to further develop your investigative skills. In fact, many DTI graduates who have opened up their own agency in states that do not require licensing have said that they were occasionally overwhelmed on multi-task assignments and wish that they had first worked for a detective agency to get valuable hands-on experience.

Licensing requirements are implemented to ensure that all investigators have met all the professional standards and can conduct investigations competently and successfully. As a solution, you can begin your career doing non-licensed activities while at the same time working for a licensed detective agency — in a full-or part-time capacity — which will ease your entry into the profession and allow you to begin developing your investigative expertise.

Upon enrolling in DTI, your first Detective Exercise is titled “Getting To Know Private Investigators In Your Community” and leads you step-by-step through locating detective agencies in your area, identifying the services they provide, and using the information for approaching prospective detective agencies for employment after you graduate. The exercise closes by warning students, “DO NOT phone, drive by, or visit any agencies you are looking up for this exercise."

A random call or unannounced appearance could jeopardize employment opportunities later. In Study Unit 7, you will learn how to present yourself properly to agency owners for employment purposes.

Remember, when you complete viewing your state’s licensing requirements, simply click the BACK button to return to your original location on DTI’s website.

*State of Alabama

No, Alabama does not require a state license to operate a detective agency but each person engaged in the business of operating a detective agency shall pay a license tax.

No, Alaska does not require a license to practice. The city of Fairbanks requires a license. The state requires a business license to operate any type of business.

Licensing Requirements
Applicant must be a U.S. citizen, of good moral character, and have never been convicted of any felony or crime of moral turpitude. Applications must be accompanied by:

·    Surety bond

·    Copy of applicant’s State of Alaska business license

·    Copy of applicants driver's license

·    Current driving record

·    Alaska Public Safety Information Network (APSIN) report

All APSIN reports and driving records must be dated the same date that the application is received by the City Clerk.

*State of Arizona

Yes, Arizona does require a license to practice.

http://www.azdps.gov/license/Licenseprivateinvestigator.asp

Licensing Bureau Missions
To validate or credential applicants who qualify for designated programs mandated by federal law or state statute. To assure the integrity of access procedure to sensitive law enforcement information within the state.

*State of Arkansas

Yes, Arkansas does require a license to practice.

Regulations
32-2411. License required; violation; classification

A. A person shall not act or attempt to act as a private investigator or represent that the person is a private investigator unless the person is registered as a private investigator pursuant to this chapter and is acting within the scope of the person's employment for an agency that is licensed pursuant to article 2 of this chapter.

B. A person who knowingly violates this section is guilty of a class 1 misdemeanor.

*State of California

Yes, California does require a license to practice.

Regulations
Business and Professions Code, Section 7520-7539

7520.  No person shall engage in a business regulated by this chapter; act or assume to act as, or represent himself or herself to be, a licensee unless he or she is licensed under this chapter; and no person shall falsely represent that he or she is employed by a licensee.

*State of Colorado

No, Colorado does not require a license to practice.

Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado

Private investigators are not currently licensed in Colorado . This is one reason why PPIAC was founded in 1978. PPIAC was formed to improve the credibility of PIs and to provide guidelines for a licensing statute should one be drafted. PPIAC focuses on the continuous education of investigators, while providing a framework for their ethical conduct. When the public needs a PI, they can rely on the competent members of this organization, who have all passed a thorough background check. PPIAC members believe in high standards of conduct and also in a constant upgrading of skills and knowledge through training.

*State of Connecticut

Yes, Connecticut does require a license to practice.

Regulations
Connecticut General Statute 29-153, requires that any person or firm wishing to conduct business as a private investigation service in this state, must first obtain a professional license from the Commissioner of Public Safety. Guidelines for obtaining the license, eligibility criteria, and applicable license fees are detailed in the statute. Private investigation services are also required to register all employees working as investigators under their license. The Special License and Firearms Unit (SLFU) is responsible for processing the license applications and employee registrations, as well as investigating complaints concerning violations of the license statutes.

*State of Delaware

Yes, Delaware does require a license to practice.

Note
You should also call directly for licensing information because little information is published.

The Department of Public Safety handles the licensing of Private Investigators.

(302) 739-5901

* District of Columbia

Yes, the District of Columbia does require a license to practice.

Note
You should also call:
Private Investigators
District of Columbia
Security Officers Management Branch
Metro Police
Security Unit 2000
14th St. NW
Washington , DC 20009
Phone: (202) 939-8722

*State of Florida

Yes, Florida does require a license to practice.

Types of Licenses
Individuals

C- Private Investigator
CC- Private Investigator Intern
M or
MA- Manager of a Private Investigative Agency

For Agencies

A- Private Investigative Agency
AA- Private Investigative Agency Branch Office

*State of Georgia

Yes, Georgia does require a license to practice.

Comments
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. Armed security guards must also be registered with a security company. Unarmed security guards are not required to be registered but must have completed the minimum number of training requirements set by board rule. The Board also licenses training instructors to regulate all training requirements for licensure, registration, and weapon permits required by the law.

The Board currently licenses 604 private detective companies; 242 private security companies; 159 private detective and security companies; 25 in-house security companies; 1,884 licensed private detective employees (both armed and unarmed detectives); 2,800 armed security guards; and 515 training instructors. Concealed and exposed weapon permits are issued only upon a complete employee application submitted by the company. The company certifies that the employee has met the training requirements of the law and rules.

*State of Hawaii

Yes, Hawaii does require a license to practice.

*State of Idaho

No, Idaho does not require a license to practice

*State of Illinois

Yes, Illinois does require a license to practice.

Regulations
To begin the licensure application process you must submit the completed application form, required supporting documents and appropriate fee. The Acts and Rules for each profession contain detailed licensure requirements and can be accessed by clicking on the Acts and Rules area located on the right side of the home page. Application packet instructions also contain specific requirements for obtaining an Illinois license and may be accessed by clicking on Applications/Forms.

*State of Indiana

Yes, Indiana does require a license to practice.

Regulations

IC 25-30-1-3 Necessity of license
Sec. 3. It shall be unlawful for a person, partnership, or corporation to engage in the business of private detective, or to solicit or advertise for business as a private detective, or represent or hold the person, partnership, or corporation out to be a private detective unless the person, partnership, or corporation is licensed under this chapter and complies with this chapter and rules adopted under this chapter. (Formerly: Acts 1961, c.163, s.3.) As amended by Acts 1982, P.L.154, SEC.89; P.L.234-1989, SEC.6.

*State of Iowa

Yes, Iowa does require a license to practice.

Regulations
With certain exceptions, firms and individuals engaging in bail enforcement, or providing private investigative or security services in Iowa are required to be licensed by the Iowa Department of Public Safety. The statutory requirements are set out in Iowa Code Chapter 80A. Administrative rules of the Department of Public Safety regulate the operation of private investigative and security businesses in Iowa .

*State of Kansas

Yes, Kansas does require a license to practice.

The Kansas Association of Private Investigators provides a very informative Web site: http://www.kapi.org/#license.

Regulations
Private Detectives in Kansas are licensed and regulated by the State Attorney General's Office under provisions of the Private Detective Licensing Act K.S.A. 75-7b and Kansas Administrative Regulations for Agency 16. Confirmation of the licensing status of a Kansas Private Detective may be made with the regulatory agency by contacting the private detective licensing section of the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, Topeka, KS at 785-296-8200 or e-mail.

*State of Kentucky

Yes, Kentucky does require a license to practice.

Regulations
Kentucky Statutes

Definitions for KRS 329A.010 to 329A.090.
License required to hold self out as private investigator. Criminal background check.

*State of Louisiana

Yes, Louisiana does require a license to practice.

Regulations
3501. Purpose

A. The Legislature of Louisiana declares that it is in the best interest of the citizens of Louisiana to require the licensure of private investigators and businesses.
B. The purpose of this Chapter is to require qualifying criteria in a professional field in which unqualified individuals may injure the public. The requirements of this Chapter shall contribute to the safety, health, and welfare of the people of Louisiana .

*State of Maine

Yes, Maine does require a license to practice.

Regulations
8104. License Requirement; Exceptions

1. License. No person may act as a private investigator without first obtaining from the commissioner a license to be a private investigator or investigative assistant. [1981, c. 126, § 2 (new).]

*State of Maryland

Yes, Maryland does require a license to practice.

The Web site does not provide much legislative information. Contact numbers only.
Private Detectives\
410-799-0191, ext. 329

*State of Massachusetts

Yes, Massachusetts does require a license to practice.

Note
The Massachusetts PI Association also has some very helpful information on their http://www.lpdam.com/.

Regulations
Chapter 147. State And Other Police, And Certain Powers And Duties Of The Department Of Public Safety,Section 23. Necessity of license for private detective business; exceptions.

Section 23. No person shall engage in, advertise or hold himself out as being engaged in, nor solicit private detective business or the business of watch, guard or patrol agency, notwithstanding the name or title used in describing such business, unless licensed for such purpose as provided in section twenty-five.

*State of Michigan

Yes, Michigan does require a license to practice.

Regulations
Private Detectives are regulated under Public Act 285 of 1965, as amended.

*State of Minnesota

Yes, Minnesota does require a license to practice.

Regulations
The mission of the Private Detective and Protective Agent Services Board is to ensure investigative and security service practitioners meet statutory qualifications and training for licensure, and maintain standards set forth in Minnesota Statutes 326.32-326.339, and Administrative Rules 7506.0100 –7506.2900.

*State of Mississippi

No, Mississippi does not require a license to practice.

*State of Missouri

Yes, Missouri does require a license to practice.

*State of Montana

Yes, Montana does require a license to practice.

Regulations
37-60-301. License Required.

(1) Except as provided in 37-60-105 and 37-60-315, it is unlawful for any person to act as or perform the duties, as defined in 37-60-101, of a contract security company or proprietary security organization, a private investigator, or a private security guard without having first obtained a license from the board.

*State of Nebraska

Yes, Nebraska does require a license to practice.

Note
Any person or persons conducting investigations as an employee of a private detective agency license holder must have a plain clothes investigators license.

*State of Nevada

Yes, Nevada does require a license to practice.

Regulations
NRS 648.0069 “License” defined. “License” means a license or certificate issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.

(Added to NRS by 1985, 1328)

NRS 648.012 “Private investigator” defined. “Private investigator” means any person who for any consideration engages in business or accepts employment to furnish, or agrees to make or makes any investigation for the purpose of obtaining, information with reference to:

1. The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activity, movement, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation or character of any person;

2. The location, disposition or recovery of lost or stolen property;

3. The cause or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents or damage or injury to persons or to property;

4. Securing evidence to be used before any court, board, officer or investigating committee; or

5. The prevention, detection and removal of surreptitiously installed devices for eavesdropping or observation.

(Added to NRS by 1967, 1363; A 1985, 1333)

*State of New Hampshire

Yes, New Hampshire does require a license to practice.

Regulations
106-F:5 License Required; Registration of Foreign Corporations

I. No person shall engage in the business of a private detective agency without obtaining a private detective agency license from the commissioner of safety and no person shall engage in the business of a security guard service without obtaining a security guard service license from the commissioner of safety.

II. No person shall become an employee of a private detective agency or a security guard agency without first obtaining a license to do so from the commissioner of safety.
III. Any out-of-state applicant incorporated under the laws of any other state, desiring to do business in this state pursuant to this chapter, shall be deemed to be a foreign corporation and shall be required to register under and comply with the provisions of RSA 293-A.

*State of New Jersey

Yes, New Jersey does require a license to practice.

Regulations
13:55-1.1 Application for License

Any person desiring to pursue the “private detective business” shall file an application with the Superintendent on a form designated S.P. 171 (Individual or Partnership) or S.P. 172 (Corporation) and accompanied by any documents required by such application. The applicant shall also submit such other documents as the Superintendent may require pursuant to N.J.S. 45:19-12. All requests for applications shall be in writing.

*State of New Mexico

Yes, New Mexico does require a license to practice.

Regulations
The text of the governing statute(s) is available at www.michie.com/resources1.html/ by following the links to New Mexico Statutes, New Mexico Statutes Annotated, Chapter 61 Professional and Occupational Licenses and locating Articles 26 and 27.

*State of New York

Yes, New York does require a license to practice.

Requirements
You must be 25 years of age and a principal in the business entity to be licensed. Additionally, as the individual possessing the expertise to oversee the day-to-day conduct of investigations, you must have passed the private investigator examination within the two years immediately prior to your application date and have either three years experience or three years equivalent position and experience.

*State of North Carolina

Yes, North Carolina does require a license to practice.

Regulations
Section 74C-2. Licenses Required

(a) No private person, firm, association, or corporation shall engage in, perform any services as, or in any way represent or hold itself out as engaging in a private protective services profession or activity in this State without having first complied with the provisions of this Chapter. Compliance with the licensing requirements of this Chapter shall not relieve any person, firm, association or corporation from compliance with any other licensing law.

*State of North Dakota

Yes, North Dakota does require a license to practice.

Regulations
Chapter 93-02-01.1, Private Investigative Services, Sections

93-02-01.1-01Qualifications for individuals providing private investigative services

93-02-01.1-02 Licensing of individuals providing private investigative services

*State of Ohio

Yes, Ohio does require a license to practice.

Note
Any person who is in the business of private investigation must be licensed by the Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing.

*State of Oklahoma

Yes, Oklahoma does require a license to practice.

Regulations
59-1750.2. As used in the Oklahoma Security Guard and Private Investigator Act, Section 1750.1 et seq. of this title: 1. "Client" means any person or legal entity having a contract with a person or entity licensed pursuant to Section 1750.1 et seq. of this title, which contract authorizes services to be performed in return for financial or other considerations; 2. "Council" means the Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training; 3. "License" means authorization issued by the Council pursuant to this act permitting the holder to perform the functions of a security guard, armed security guard, private investigator, investigative agency, or security agency;

*State of Oregon

Yes, Oregon does require a license to practice.

Regulations

3) "Investigator" means a person who is a licensed investigator under ORS 703.430 and who engages in the business of obtaining or furnishing, or who solicits or accepts employment to obtain or furnish, information about:

(a) Crimes or wrongs done or threatened against the United States or any state or territory of the United States ;

(b) The identity, habits, conduct, business, occupation, honesty, integrity, credibility, knowledge, trustworthiness, efficiency, loyalty, activities, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, acts, reputation or character of any person;

(c) The location, disposition or recovery of lost or stolen property;

(d) The cause of or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, accidents, damages or injuries to persons or property; or

(e) Evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, referee, arbitrator or investigation committee. [1997 c.870 §1; 2001 c.838 §1]

*State of Pennsylvania

Yes, Pennsylvania does require a license to practice.

Regulations

Business License Only, Pennsylvania Private Detective Licensing

Experience requirements and qualifications of the Private Detective Act of 1953 must be met. It is a state license issued through the county in which you wish to have your physical main office. Individuals must call the Court of Common Pleas - Criminal Division in the county they wish to use as their headquarters. -717-255-2692(Patty)

* Puerto Rico

Yes, Puerto Rico does require a license to practice.

Note

Policia De Puerto Rico
GPO
Box 70166
San Juan , PR 00936
(809) 781-0227
State P.I. Association

*State of Rhode Island

Yes, Rhode Island does require a license to practice.

Regulations

Private Detective Act, Section 5-5-4

§ 5-5-4 License application. – Any person engaged as a private detective prior to January 1, 1988 , and who continues to be engaged as of January 1, 1988 may apply for a private detective license with the local licensing authority where his or her principal place of business is located. Persons presently licensed shall be granted private detective licenses from the local licensing authority upon application and verification that he or she has not been convicted in any jurisdiction of a felony. This initial application will be treated as a renewal of a license. Subsequent applications for renewal of his or her license are governed by § 5-5-6 .


*State of
South Carolina

Yes, South Carolina does require a license to practice.

Regulations

Section 40-18-70

Private Investigation License; applications; bond; renewal; display of license; qualifications of licensee; contract; reports to clients; arrest of licensee; inspections of business records; prior licensees.

A person who desires to operate a private investigation business in this State must apply for a Private Investigation License from SLED and pay an annual license fee which must be set by SLED regulation.

Who can tell me how to become a private detective?

Under state law, SLED is authorized to maintain records on and regulate all private detectives and private security companies doing business in South Carolina . Private detective applicants must undergo a rigorous background investigation. Applications can be obtained by writing: SLED, c/o Regulatory Department, P.O. Box 21398 , Columbia , S.C. 29221

*State of South Dakota

No, South Dakota does not require a license to practice, but local business license may be required.

*State of Tennessee

Yes, Tennessee does require a license to practice.

Note

In order to hold a valid Tennessee Private Investigator License, the applicant/licensee must be affiliated with a licensed Tennessee Private Investigation Company.

*State of Texas

Yes, Texas does require a license to practice.

Who does the Commission License and Regulate?

Private Investigations Companies and their Private Investigators Guard Companies and their Armed and Unarmed Security Officers Security Alarm (not fire alarms) Companies and their Installers, Sales representatives and Monitors Armored Car Companies and their security officers Courier Companies who use armed guards Guard Dog Companies and their Guard Dog Trainers and Handlers Security Consultants Security Schools and Instructors Personal Protection Officers (Body Guards) who can be employees of Guard Companies or Investigations Companies

*State of Utah

Yes, Utah does require a license to practice.

Regulations

53-9-107. Classification of licenses -- License required to act.

(1) Every person applying for a license under this chapter shall indicate on the application which of the following licenses the applicant is applying for:

(a) an agency license shall be issued to an applicant who meets the requirements of Subsection 53-9-108(1) and Section 53-9-109;

(b) a registrant license shall be issued to an applicant who meets the requirements of Subsection 53-9-108(2) and Section 53-9-110; or

(c) an apprentice license shall be issued to an applicant who meets the requirements of Subsection 53-9-108(3) and Section 53-9-110.

(2) Unless licensed under this chapter, a person may not:

(a) act or assume to act as, or represent himself to be:

(i) a licensee; or

(ii) a private investigator or private detective as defined in Subsection 53-9-102(16) or conduct any investigation as provided in Subsection 53-9-102(16); or

(b) falsely represent to be employed by or for an independent contractor for an agency.

*State of Vermont

Yes, Vermont does require a license to practice.

Note

Private Investigators and Security Guards in Vermont are licensed by the Board of Private Investigative and Security Services, with staff support from the Office of Professional Regulation.

*State of Virginia

Yes, Virginia does require a license to practice.

What are considered to be Private Security Services in the Commonwealth of Virginia ?

The providing of services conducted by armored car personnel, security officers, personal protection specialists, private investigators, couriers, security canine handlers, security canine teams, alarm respondents, central station dispatchers, electronic security employees, electronic security sales representatives or electronic security technicians and their assistants to another person under contract, express or implied.

*State of Washington

Yes, Washington does require a license to practice.

Regulations

RCW 18.165.030

Private investigator license – Requirements:  Three years experience or pass the state exam plus fees.

*State of West Virginia

Yes, West Virginia does require a license to practice.

Note

Any person or group of people who perform investigative or security guard functions in West Virginia are required to be licensed, unless one of the exemptions specified by law applies.

*State of Wisconsin

Yes, Wisconsin does require a license to practice.

Regulations

RL 30.02

(5) "License" means a license issued by the department to a private detective agency or to a private detective under statute s. 440.26 Stats.

*State of Wyoming

No, Wyoming does not require a license to practice. Regulated by local jurisdictions only.

 

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