The following is general licensing information. Please visit the states website for specific licensing detailed information, application forms, insurance requirements, education and training, fees, and any special licensing requirements.
Investigators General Licensing Requirements:
“An agency must have a qualified manager who has to have a minimum of 3 years experience (or combination of higher education and experience), pass a written exam and show proof of liability insurance. If the person does not qualify as the manager/owner, they will have to locate an agency that will hire and train them as a private investigator. To be licensed as a PI, you must be 18 years of age or older with no criminal history (see specific requirements). Again, it is like applying for any other job and you must find a licensed agency that will hire and train you as a private investigator if you do not meet the requirements to own your own agency.” [https://www.tali.org/texas-licensing-requirements]
To get your license you must meet one of the following:
- Three (3) consecutive years of investigation-related experience
- A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice; a bachelor’s degree, with an additional six months of investigation-related experience
- An associate degree in criminal justice or related course of study, with an additional twelve months of investigation-related experience; or a specialized course of study directly designed for and related to the private investigations profession, taught and presented through affiliation with a four-year college or university accredited and recognized by the State
- of Texas. This course of study must be endorsed by the four year college or university’s department of criminal justice program and include a departmental faculty member(s) on its instructional faculty. This course of study must consist of a minimum of two hundred face-to-face classroom hours including coverage of ethics, Private Security Board administrative rules, the Private Security Act, and related statutes. Other combinations of education and investigation-related experience may be substituted for the above at the discretion of the Bureau manager. The bachelor’s degrees, associate degrees and specialized courses referenced in section (a) of this rule must be affiliated with a college or university recognized by the Texas Higher Education Coordination Board, Southern Association of Schools and Colleges or other accreditation organization recognized by the State of Texas.
- All of the below requirements.
To be hired as a P.I. for a licensed individual:
- Be at least 18 years of age;
- Not have been convicted, in any jurisdiction, of a felony level offense;
- Not have been convicted, in any jurisdiction, of a Class A or equivalent misdemeanor;
- Not have been convicted, within the past 5 years, in any jurisdiction, of a Class B misdemeanor or equivalent offense;
- Not currently charged with, or under indictment for, a felony, or a Class A misdemeanor;
- Not currently charged with, a Class B misdemeanor;
- Not have been found by a court to be incompetent by reason of a mental defect or disease and not have been restored to competency;
- Not have been dishonorably discharged from the United States armed services, discharged from the United States armed services under other conditions determined by the Board to be prohibitive, or dismissed by the United States armed services if a commissioned office in the United States armed services;
- Not be required to register in this or any other state as a sex offender.
Private Investigators Licensing Authority in Texas:
Texas Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau
5805 North Lamar Blvd
Austin, TX 78752-4431
PO Box 4087
Austin, TX 78773-0001
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