Private Investigator Licensing in California

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Private investigation licenses are typically issued for individuals and organizations conducting investigative services. This guide contains information about private investigator licensing in California. For assistance with licensing, please contact us to learn about our software and managed license services.

Company Licenses

California Security Company Licenses

California Private Investigation Agency License

Agency:California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services

Initial Registration

Form:

Private Investigator Application for License

Agency fee:

$50 application fee + $175 license fee once the application is approved.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Renewal Application for Private Investigator License

Agency fee:

$125

Due:

Licenses expire two years from the date of issuance.

Individual Licenses

California Individual Security Licenses

California Private Investigator License

Agency:California Bureau of Security and Investigative Services

Initial Registration

Form:

Private Investigator and Qualified Manager License Application Packet

Agency fee:

$50 application fee + $175 license fee + $49 for fingerprinting.

Notes:

Investigators planning to carry a firearm will also need to file a firearm permit.

Registration Renewal

Form:

Renewal Application for Private Investigator License

Agency fee:

$125

Due:

Licenses expire two years from the date of issuance.

Firearm Qualification - An additional qualification attached to license applications for armed private investigators.

Private Investigator Apprentice - Apprentices are issued limited licenses and can only operate under the direction of a licensed investigator.

Qualified Representative - A licensed private investigator who is responsible for the operation and management of an investigative agency.

Reciprocity - When a private investigator is allowed to do business in a different state under the license issued by their home state.

National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI)
Industry association that sponsors education and certification efforts for members.

National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS)
Private investigation and security advocacy group.

United States Association of Professional Investigators (USAPI)
Industry association focused on education and certification.

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