License Required
No License Requirement


Verify A Private Investigator’s License

If you’re looking for a licensed private investigator near you, or to verify a private investigators’ license, take a look at our convenient, easy-to-read map! Finding a PI that has a valid license in your state is essential when considering viable investigators for your case. However, if you’re in a state that doesn’t require a license, don’t immediately assume your closest investigator isn’t qualified. An investigator’s reputation will likely be broadly documented online and within the local community. Chances are, if attorneys are employing a particular investigative association, or if online reviews for a particular investigator are universally positive, it’s likely they hold themselves to as high of a standard as other PIs in states that do require licensing.

Do Private Investigators Need To Get Licensed?

In certain states, licensing is required. However, for others, different qualifications and business requirements may still be essential for PIs to operate. States that do require licenses are:

  • New Hampshire
  • Vermont
  • Massachusetts
  • New York
  • Rhode Island
  • Connecticut
  • Pennsylvania
  • New Jersey
  • Delaware
  • Maryland
  • Florida
  • Ohio
  • Indiana
  • Kentucky
  • Tennessee
  • Alabama
  • Illinois
  • Iowa
  • Missouri
  • Louisiana
  • Texas
  • Oklahoma
  • Colorado
  • New Mexico
  • Nevada
  • Utah
  • Idaho
  • Montana
  • Arizona
  • California
  • Oregon
  • Alaska

States that do not require licenses are:

  • Maine
  • Washington
  • Michigan
  • Wisconsin
  • Minnesota
  • North Dakota
  • South Dakota
  • Wyoming
  • Nebraska
  • Kansas
  • Arkansas
  • Mississippi
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • South Carolina
  • North Carolina
  • Virginia
  • West Virginia

Are Licensed Private Investigators Better?

When it comes to choosing a trustworthy, reliable private investigator, a variety of factors must be considered:

First, your budget. While we discuss private investigator rates in another article, it’s important to understand what budget will narrow down your selection to only trustworthy professionals. Even a licensed PI can still fail to complete your case in a timely or satisfactory manner! Thus, it’s important to choose a budget that places you within the “sweet spot” for choosing the right PI for your job.

Second, whether your state requires licensing or not. If your state does require a license, verify that your selected PI actually has a legitimate license. If they have failed to meet your state’s minimum requirement, it’s a good indication that the “investigator” is a fraud, and will likely fail your case (if they don’t end up taking your money and running to begin with)! However, if your state does not require a license, this does not immediately disqualify all investigators near you. Private investigators are held to an incredibly high standard by their clients, as cases have a very narrow margin of error. Thus, inquiring about their level of experience and any prior training alongside reading online reviews can help you determine whether or not the investigator you’ve selected is legitimate. However, be wary of former law enforcement – sometimes, ex-cops can approach cases without the proper “PI mentality”. Ultimately, choose the right investigator for the job, as certifications and licenses aren’t everything!

Lastly, consider the level of engagement and personal investment your selected PI has. Chances are, if they’re willing to learn about you and your case in a meaningful, personalized manner, they’re a worthwhile association to do business with. At the end of the day, a healthy business relationship between two parties is essential to the overall success of your case – if you can’t communicate with the PI and feel like you can’t trust them, no license or certification can make up for that shortcoming!

Find A Licensed Private Investigator Near You

To learn more about licensing, verifying a license or any other aspects of hiring or becoming a private investigator, read more of our articles! At Find Your Investigator, our team of career PIs are committed to providing honest, transparent information about hiring, working with, and beginning careers as private investigators for anyone looking to learn more about the field.

Subscribe to get FYI news