How To Get a Private Investigator License in Illinois


Illinois Licensing Requirements

Licensing Authority

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR), Division of Professional Regulation, handles private investigator licensing in Illinois. The department issues licenses for private detective professions:

  • Licensed Private Detective
  • Licensed Private Detective Agency
  • Licensed Private Detective Agency Branch Office
  • Approved Training Course School
  • Firearm Control Card (FCC)
  • Permanent Employee Registration Card (PERC)
  • Firearm Instructor
  • Approved 20-Hour Basic Training Program
  • Approved Basic 40-Hour Firearm Training Course

Contact Information

Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation
100 West Randolph, 9th Floor, Chicago, IL 60601
320 West Washington, 3rd Floor, Springfield, IL 62786
Phone: 1 (888) 473-4858


Call the Division Call Center at 1-800-560-6420 to check the status of your application.

General Licensing Requirements

The following is general licensing information. Please visit the website above for specific licensing information, application forms, insurance requirements, fees, and any special licensing requirements.

You must also be able to meet the following minimum requirements to be eligible for private investigator jobs in Illinois:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Have either no felony convictions or at least ten years have passed since your sentence was completed
  • May not be a registered sex offender
  • Must be of good moral character
  • Must be psychologically and physically fit for the duties of a private detective
  • Must have no narcotic or alcohol addictions

Please visit the website above for a complete list of requirements and to learn the steps involved in the application process. Via the website, you can learn how to get licensed, look up an existing licensee, and learn about the laws and rules governing private eyes in Illinois.

Special Requirements

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

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.

Join a Private Investigator Association

Associated Detectives & Security Agencies of Illinois – The ADSAI, formerly known as ADI is a state-chartered, not-for-profit organization founded in 1933, incorporated in 1937, and organized for the betterment of the Detective and Security Professions.

Find a Job as a Private Investigator

When you’re ready to start looking for a job, use this list of Private Investigators in Illinois as a starting point. Contact each private investigator and agency in your area. Ask if they have any open positions, now or in the future.

Training Information

To get a license, applicants must pass a private detective examination. Visit the IDFPR website listed above for details on the exam length, study guides, and sample questions.

Training Resources – Improve your chances of getting licensed by completing a professional degree program, training course, or home study course. Learn what options are available to get the investigative knowledge necessary to get licensed and begin your career.

If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator’s license in Illinois, 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


  1. I’m currently going to school to get my PI Certification as i’m almost done with school what do I do after I have my certification can someone help for illinois

  2. Hi
    I have a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice, and I was wondering if I can get my license with no work experience?
    I will like to start my own business and I have the degree for it.

  3. Like to know what I need to do to get a P/I licenses in State of Illinois. I’m a retired Army Veteran looking to do some free lance work.


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