How To Get a Private Investigator License in Hawaii


This article explains how to get a private investigator’s license in Hawaii. The article includes an overview of the general licensing requirements and where to apply. Also, it contains recommendations for joining a private investigator association and where to find training and education.

Hawaii Private Investigator Licensing Requirements

The Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs – Professional and Vocational Licensing handles private investigator licensing in Hawaii.

Licensing Authority Contact Information

Attention: PDG
P.O. Box 3469
Honolulu, HI 96801
Telephone: (808) 586-2705

On the Hawaii Professional and Vocational Licensing website, you can:

  • Request an application to apply to become a Hawaii private investigator license
  • Inquire about licensing requirements
  • Check the status of an existing application
  • Inquire about licensee maintenance requirements and fees
  • Verify if a person has an active private detective license
  • File a complaint on a licensee and/or get the complaint history of a licensee. This is helpful if you’re considering hiring someone and want to ensure they are professionally licensed.

General Private Investigator Licensing Requirements

The general requirements for an individual to get a private investigator license are as follows:

  • You must be at least 18 years old
  • You must provide evidence that you have a high school education or the equivalent
  • You must verify that you have at least four years of full-time investigation work. The board may accept the following as proof of employment history:
    • Employment that you previously had under another licensed private detective.
    • In addition, they may accept the time you worked as a police officer with an official police department of a state or political subdivision. 
    • Time worked as an investigator with a federal, state, county, or municipal government agency.
    • Time worked as an investigator by an attorney or law firm

The requirements to apply for an investigative agency license are different. Please view the Frequently Asked Question document for more detailed information.

Special Requirements

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

How to Apply for a License

If you meet all of the requirements listed above, visit the licensing website and 

  • You must submit an FBI Fingerprint Check. This is for an FBI National Criminal History Record Check and the State of Hawaii Criminal History Record Check. Visit the website for instructions on how to get fingerprinted at a Fieldprint, Inc. location near you.
  • Fill out the application form online, or print and complete it in black ink. Attach a 2 x 2 photograph of yourself to the application.
    Attach the appropriate fees. Fee amounts are included in the application instruction form.
  • Mail the completed application and all of the supporting forms to:
    DCCA, PVL Licensing Branch
    P.O. Box 3469
    Honolulu, HI 96801
  • Or, deliver the application and supporting documents to:
    335 Merchant Street, Rm. 301
    Honolulu, HI 96813
    Phone: (808) 586-3000
  • Complete the required exam (visit the website for details on the examination requirements). You must appear before the licensing board for an in-person interview if you pass the exam.
  • Next, obtain a $ 5,000 bond from a surety.
  • Then, you have to pay the private investigator licensing fees

The Hawaii private investigator application form includes the most up-to-date version of these requirements. As requirements, prices, and procedures sometimes change, visit the website and view the form for the most recent instructions.

Hawaii Private Investigator Associations

After getting a private investigator license, we recommend joining a private investigation association. Hawaii’s most well-known association is the Investigative and Security Society of Hawaii. Their contact information is as follows:

Investigative and Security Society of Hawaii
1000 Bishop Street No 608
Honolulu HI 96813
Phone 808 526-2002

Find Employment

If you’re looking for a private investigator job or a position to help meet your experience requirements, view our List of Investigation Agencies in Hawaii. Contact the individual agencies to see if they have any open positions.

Preparing for the Exam

The state of Hawaii requires that you pass an exam to get licensed. There is a list of recommended study materials on the website. The materials include three books and knowledge of the relevant statutes and administrative rules.

The two other books on their list appear to be for those who wish to apply to be security guards.

Also, please view our list of available private investigation Training Resources. However, no training programs are required to become a licensed private investigator in Hawaii. 

Licensing Requirements in Other States

If you want to learn about the licensing requirements in other states, check out the Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook (eBook). The ebook provides an overview of the licensing process and where to get training and education. In addition, it provides advice for getting your business up and running and how to join an industry association.

The Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook: How to Get a Private Investigator License in any State
Considering a career as a private investigator? Dive into this book to explore services offered, learn about the work environment, career prospects, and salaries. Discover state-specific licensing requirements, training resources, and industry associations. Already a PI? Use it to learn about licensing in other states. Also, agencies can guide new hires through the licensing process. This edition includes enhanced training recommendations, suggestions for starting a new business, how to join an association, and updated state information. It’s your essential starting point on the path to becoming a private investigator.

If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator license in Hawaii, please post a comment below.

Michael Kissiah is the owner of Brandy Lane Publishing, LLC, which owns and operates a small portfolio of websites, including Michael created more than 20 years ago after working as a private investigator in the state of Florida. Since that time, he has become an expert at how to find information online and has written over 1000 articles on topics related to the investigation industry. In addition, he is the author of the "Private Investigator Licensing Handbook", available at


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