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Private Investagator License

Discussion in 'Legal' started by cidirkona, Oct 11, 2005.

  1. cidirkona

    cidirkona Well-Known Member

    I googled the answer (and searched the forums) to my questions, but didn't seem to come up with anything concrete. I always see these ads on TV on getting your "Private Investigator License" but don't really know much about it. Are there any rights that having one gets you and are there any rights it may take away?

    And, to keep it gun related (of course): Are you allowed to carry while in the performance of PI duties?

    Answers or even links to where I could find the answer would be fine. AZ DPS website seems to be lacking the information from the searches I've done.


    PS Sorry, this was supposed to go under "Legal and Political." Can it be moved? Thanks!!
  2. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    In the PDRK you must have experience as a peace officer investigating crimes or an equivalent number of years working under the supervision of a licensed private investigator. I don't remember how many years that is.

    You must also pass an written examination given by the state and pass a criminal background check after submitting your fingerprints.

    As a licensed private investigator your arrest powers are those of a private citizen. You do not have peace officer powers of arrest.

    To carry a firearm as private investigator you must apply for and be issued a CCW permit and carry a $1 million personal liability policy.
  3. cidirkona

    cidirkona Well-Known Member

    Holy crap, all that for what? Just so you can check other people's backgrounds?

  4. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

    Last edited: Oct 12, 2005
  5. dasmi

    dasmi Well-Known Member

    Why do you want to do that?
    And www.google.com. Knock yourself out.
  6. cidirkona

    cidirkona Well-Known Member

    I don't want to do that, I'm trying to figure out the point of getting a PI license if it doesn't get you anything other than what you can do as a citizen. Using a fake name on stuff?

    Google and I go way back, we're good buddies. My other AIM SN is ubergoogler. :D

  7. Zeabed

    Zeabed Well-Known Member

    Sunny Florida is not much better, from what little information I've been able to gather on the subject (it's like pulling teeth here trying to get info on requirements from the state govt.). You first need to apply for an intern license. To retain this license, you must be sponsored by a licensed PI firm. After a period of internship, you can apply for a full PI license but to have it and keep it you must remain sponsored/employed by a licensed PI firm. This along with meeting all the background check, CCW requirements, of course. From what I've been able to find out, a license for a PI firm costs a mint: a yearly fee of about $5,000, I believe. The usual stuff: what the knowitall bureaucrats and other state officials can't ban outright they try to "discourage" by making it extremely difficult to get except if you're wealthy of course. I'm not saying this is legalized graft, but sure looks like it.
  8. neoncowboy

    neoncowboy Well-Known Member

    In Georgia, a PI license with PI weapons permit allows you to carry pretty much anywhere law enforcement can...during the course of your duties.


    In Georgia you may not work as a private investigator unless you are a registered employee of a licensed agency.

    Background checks are only a small part of the job duties of a PI.

    The regulations vary widely from state to state. In Georgia, to be a license holder (meaning, you are running your own agency), one must basically:
    have a 4 year crim just degree
    - OR -
    have worked 2 years, full time, as a LEO (POST certified)
    - OR -
    have worked 2 years, full time, as a registered employee for a licensed PI firm. To be a registered employee you must pass a background check and have graduated from a state approved training course (the one at Gwinnett Tech is the best)
    - AND -
    pass a state administered certification exam

    All of this assumes the applicant is not a felon and can pass the same criminal BG check we take for buying/carrying guns.

    Why do it? It's a great part time job if snooping around and seeing justice done are your thing.
  9. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

    What is it that you want to do with a P.I. license?
  10. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member

    Thanks. A few things have changed since I got my PI license awhile back.

  11. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

    No prob, Pilgrim. I didn't mean to look like I was being critical. Nice to see another brother from another mother doin' the P.I. work. :)
  12. Pilgrim

    Pilgrim Well-Known Member


    No offense taken. I was relying on memory over a few years past.

    I haven't done much with the license. I just keep renewing it in case having it will make it easier to get back in the game here in Idaho or elsewhere.

  13. boldkharma

    boldkharma Well-Known Member

    In New Mexico, you have to a PI license in order to engage in any of the defined PI duties for pay. This also includes work as a licensed bodyguard. Background Investigations is only one aspect of the work. I was licensed in NM and AZ for several years. My work consisted of everything from criminal to civil investigations as well as lots of surveillance work in defense of Insurance bodily injury and workman's comp cases.
  14. boldkharma

    boldkharma Well-Known Member

    P.S. unless changed from when I had my license, NM and AZ required 2000 hours of investigative experience(3 years) a written exam and a surety bond. I only had to pay for the license and provide proof of bond for the AZ license as they recognized reciprocity with NM.
  15. Hawkmoon

    Hawkmoon Well-Known Member

    Those ads are VERY misleading.

    In most states, to be a PI you need a license, and the only way to qualify for the license is to work for a licensed PI (at extremely low wages, since he has you by the short hairs) for a relatively long time (which varies by state, but is measured in years, not weeks).

    And a license as a PI entitles you to ask questions. If you want to carry a gun while working as a PI, you do just like everyone else in your state and get a CHP/CCW (unless you're in a state that allows unlicensed concealed carry).

    The ads in the back of the gun magazines make it sound like you can take their course and be all set to embark on a lucrative new career. T'ain't so.
  16. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

    I've found that it's a 'feast or famine' career field. When it's good, it's really good. But when things slow down, it might get as slow as one call per week.

    On the subject of schools, I've only found one that's worth its salt. Detective Training Institute. Great school.

    Detective Training Institute

    Back in the '40s, most P.I.'s got their education through correspondence schools, or retired from a P.D. somewhere. To see what a real P.I. outfit looks like (on the web, anyway), take a look at our site.

    Gumshoe Detective Agency
  17. neoncowboy

    neoncowboy Well-Known Member

    I haven't found this to be the case at all.

    I'm in the outer Atlanta suburbs and able to work more or less all over NE Georgia. There are a number of agencies whose bread and butter seems to be insurance fraud investigations. I get the impression (from meeting other investigators and especially reading their reports) that licensed PI agencies have a very hard time recruiting and retaining good people.

    It's a relatively easy field to distinguish yourself in, oftentimes that distinction comes with better pay...even in the entry level positions.

  18. enfield

    enfield Well-Known Member

    Read a few Raymond Chandler stories and you'll change your mind (unless you have a weak spot for short blondes with long stories). :D

    Marlowe never had to put up with all this licensing crap, but he did get beat up by the cops regularly. Ya pays yer money and ya makes yer choice.
  19. M-Rex

    M-Rex member

    "Never fall in love with a client."

    "Guns don't kill people. Love does."

    We supplement our P.I. work with legal process service. Both of us are ex-LEO's, which works to our advantage sometimes. We specialize in mobile and stationary surveillance.

    Plus both of us are goonies for the whole 1940's schtick. We have a lot of fun in our office.
  20. culleniii

    culleniii Member

    I have a full investigator Class C license and have my own agency here.

    The state is very clear in what is needed to be a private investigator. The Department of Agriculture is in charge of this license.

    The license is 60 dollars for 2 years.....if you have an agency its more of course but not 5000.

    As far as training---you do need 2 years experience or equivalent:

    This means either law enforcement--broad in that regards which would include juvenile probation officers and child welfare investigators, criminal justice program, or a state approved course.

    I was both a welfare investigator, probation officer and have an AS in criminal justice.

    Or you can just work for 2 years as an "CC intern" under leadership of C.

    Many PI companies here hire people and make them CC they pay for license and fees etc--so its actually quite easy for a person to be a PI.

    There are several Court Districts that sponsor PI training programs through there public defender program. Basically a PI teaches you at community college and you volunteer X amount of time in PD officer helping them out and your good to go for a license after 6 months. My dad did this in Fort Pierce Circuit 19.

    As far as criminal background, they are less stringent then getting a Florida CCW.

    For firearms, while on duty as a PI have to follow same rules as a security guard.

    For gun: either .38 special, .357magnum, .380acp or 9mm.

    For ammo: no .357 mag ammo, no hollowpoint or frangible, and no fmj unless in an auto--

    Funny is that you can carry a .357 but can only have .38 in it.

    For work i generally carry a Kahr 9 with Federal EFMJ and Kel P3AT orSW442

    In general regards most PI companies prohibit employees from carrying since its against most policies of the companies(especially insurance-workman compensation) that hire them.

    For you to carry as an investigator---

    1--Agency needs to approve it.
    2--You need a Class G CCW
    3--Maximum of 2 guns at one time in possession--ie in car
    4--PI rules for firearms trump rules of Class G and general carry--Meaning you can not use excuse that your .45 is in glove compartment and is okay since florida allows loaded handgun in conveyence without permit---but if your a PI then thats a no-no since its a .45 and is not an approved caliber.

    A Florida PI license covers you as being employed as a bodyguard.

    For pay an individual can expect to make entry level 13 an hour and experienced 18-22 plus expenses--gas card, cell phone, lap top, camera, recorder. When working for any of the big agencies, you will work for at least 5 days a week and sometimes 7. The companies get between 55 and 65 an hour. I worked for 3 big agencies and they ran at least 40 investigators every day and that was just in Florida.

    I worked as a workman comp fraud field surveillance investigator--I dont do it full time anymore--because the hours just really suck. Work 330am to whenever.

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