Do private investigators have to be licensed?

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Private investigators, also known as PI are getting more popular these days. People are hiring them for a lot of things, for example, to test their partners, find something lost, and investigate child abuse or even to find out who did steal something from you. Not everyone wants to go to the police, maybe because they want to keep it as secret.

PI’s use modern technology to recover deleted emails, messages and even phone calls. They track people and even sit in a car near the house and spy. Sometimes it sounds just like in the movies

Does a private investigator have to be licensed?

In most states, they do require license to become a private investigator. Mostly, so they have a proof they have learned everything. Because no one wants to just pay for a person who maybe doesn’t even know how to do the job. But there are several places that don’t ask for a license, here is a list:

  • Mississippi
  • Idaho
  • South Dakota

To get the license, it’s quite expensive. Security bonds they have to pay are really high, in some states even up to 1.000.000$. Also, there are many fees, which can cost about a few hundreds of dollars, for fingerprinting and application.

Why is the license so important?

First of all, that means you have studied and learned a lot. You have some type of experience in this field. But most of all, the clients want to feel safe when hiring PI. If the person has license that means all the information about the investigator is known. In that case, the person will not risk taking the money and scam the clients, because he or she will be easily found.

How to get a private investigator license?

To become PI there is no required specific formal college education. But having a degree or completing courses could help to fasten the process and minimize the required work experience.