This article explains how to get a private investigator license in Hawaii. The article includes an overview of the general licensing requirements and where to apply. Also, it includes recommendations for joining a private investigator association and where to find training and education.
Hawaii Private Investigator Licensing Requirements
Private Investigator licensing in the state of Hawaii is handled by the Hawaii Department of Commerce and Consumer Affairs – Professional and Vocational Licensing.
Licensing Authority Contact Information
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 on a licensee. This is helpful if you’re considering hiring someone and want to make sure 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 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 at https://cca.hawaii.gov/pvl/boards/private/ for more detailed information.
Other special licensing requirements such as education requirements, experience requirements, 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 a 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 in black ink. Attached a 2 x 2 photograph of yourself to the application.
Attach the appropriate fees. Fee amounts are included on the application instruction form.
- Mail the completed application and all of the supporting forms to:
BOARD OF PRIVATE DETECTIVES & GUARDS
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). If you pass the exam, you will need to appear before the licensing board for an in-person interview.
- The next step is to get a $5000 bond issued by a surety.
- Then, you have to pay the private investigator licensing fees
The most up-to-date version of these requirements are included on the Hawaii private investigator application form. As requirements, fees and procedures sometimes change, visit the website and view the form for the most recent instructions.
Hawaii Private Investigator Associations
After you get a private investigator license, we recommend that you join a private investigation association. In Hawaii, the most well-known association is the Investigative and Security Society of Hawaii. Their contact information is:
Investigative and Security Society of Hawaii
1000 Bishop Street No 608
Honolulu HI 96813
Phone 808 526-2002
If you’re looking for a job as a private investigator, or for 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 Process of Investigation, 2nd Edition, by Charles A. Sennewald and John K. Tsukayama (note: we couldn’t find the 2nd Edition, but there are a 3rd and 4th edition available on Amazon.
The two other books on their list appear to be for those who wish to apply to be a security guard.
Also, view our list of general private investigation Training Resources. However, please note that none of the training programs on the list are required to become a licensed private investigator in Hawaii.
Licensing Requirements in other States
If you would like 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.
If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator license in Hawaii, please post a comment below.