All you need to know before hiring a Private  Investigator

Do private investigators have to be licensed?

Given the growing number of private investigators in the U.S., many states have adopted strict regulations and licensing requirements for these professionals. Most states require private investigators to obtain a license to practice; this includes the state of California.

The state of California requires a license through the BSIS, the California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services (BSIS) licenses private investigators in the state. A PI license allows the holder to work independently or manage a private investigative firm.

To verify a PI license in the state of CA, go to: https://www.bsis.ca.gov/forms_pubs/online_services/verify_license.shtml

Some cities or counties have even mandatory licensing and other additional requirements for PIs. Feel free to ask about your future private investigator license if you consider hiring him/her, and if you don’t get a crystal clear answer, do yourself a favor and just walk away.

What does it take to become a licensed private investigator?

In the U.S., each state has its own legislation regarding the practice of private investigative businesses, license requirements and the licensing process varies from state to state. Minimum requirements to obtain a California PI license include, but are not limited to:

  • Acquire Stipulated Experience/Education in California (3 years work experience under a PI)
  • Get Fingerprinted in California
  • Obtain, Complete and Submit California Application Packet
  • Take and Pass California’s PI Examination
  • Begin Working as a Licensed PI in California
  • Fulfilling all these requirements does not make a private investigator a GOOD private investigator. Experience, extreme attention to details, mastering new technologies and knowing the law is extremely important!

    Most states also prohibit candidates who have felony or misdemeanor convictions involving crimes of moral turpitude from becoming private investigators.

    Who can hire a Private Investigator?

    Just about anyone but the usual people that hire PI’s are attorneys, businesses, family members for domestic investigations …all of them can hire private investigators to help solve their problems and get the evidence they need.

    Can a Private Investigator carry a concealed weapon?

    Yes. A Private Investigator may carry a concealed weapon on duty if he/she has a current and clear BSIS exposed firearms permit and possesses a concealed weapons to permit issued by a local law enforcement agency.