Licensing Requirements

How To Become a Licensed Private Investigator in California

California Private Investigator Licensing Requirements

Private investigator licensing in California is handled by the Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services. For more information on how to become a licensed investigator in California, verify the license of a detective, and more, visit their website at http://www.bsis.ca.gov/, or view the State Law on Private Investigator licenses.

Other special licensing requirements such as education requirements, experience requirements, examinations, and insurance may be required. Check the state licensing website for more information.


California Private Investigator Associations

Associations are a great resource for both aspiring and existing P.I.’s. We highly recommend joining a state or national association to take advantage of the training, resource and networking opportunities offered by such organizations. They can be a great source of business through information and case sharing. Also, they are a great way to stay informed of legislative changes and legal issues.

  • California Association of Licensed Investigators – The largest private investigator association in the world. Join and take advantage of their broad membership base to network and learn from others.
  • Certified Investigative Professionals - Certified Investigative Professionals Inc. ® (CIPI), is a membership organization consisting of investigative professionals and affiliates, whose mission is to promote a standard of excellence among individual investigators, enhance public confidence in the profession, and represent the industry in business, education, and political forums
  • California Associate Photocopiers and Process Servers (CCAPPS)
  • California Association of Polygraph Examiners

Hire a Private Detective in California


Additional Licensing Information

  • Training Resources - Improve your chances of getting licensed by completing a certificate or degree program, training course, or home study course. Learn what options are available to get the investigative knowledge necessary to get licensed.



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