How To Become a Licensed Private Investigator in Massachusetts

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Apply for a license

Licensing Authority

Private Investigator Licensing in the State of Massachusetts is handled by the Massachusetts Executive Office of Public Safety and Security.

State Licensing Requirements

The state requires that you submit an application for a license to engage in the private detective business or a license to engage in the business of watch, guard or patrol agency.

The application must include a certification by each of three reputable citizens of the commonwealth residing in the community in which the applicant resides or has a place of business, or in which the applicant proposes to conduct his business, that he has personally known the applicant for at least three years, that he has read the application and believes each of the statements made therein to be true, that he is not related to the applicant by blood or marriage, and that the applicant is honest and of good moral character.

The applicant, or, if the applicant is a corporation, its resident manager, superintendent or official representative, must be of good moral character.

The applicant shall have been regularly employed for not less than three years as a detective doing investigating work, a former member of an investigative service of the United States, a former police officer, of a rank or grade higher than that of patrolman, of the commonwealth, any political subdivision thereof or an official police department of another state, or a police officer in good standing formerly employed for not less than ten years with the commonwealth, or any political subdivision thereof or with an official police department of another state.

A license will not be granted to any person who has been convicted in any state of the United States of a felony. No person convicted of a violation of section ninety-nine or ninety-nine A of chapter two hundred and seventy-two of the general laws shall be granted a license and any license previously granted to such person shall be revoked.

Other Requirements

Other special licensing requirements such as education requirements, experience requirements, examinations, and insurance may be required.  Check with the Executive Office of Public Safety and Security licensing website for more information.

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State Private Investigator Associations

Hire a Private Detective

  • Hire a Private Investigator Agency – Please visit our worldwide directory of investigation agencies. Our directory may also help you find an agency to sponsor your training and certification efforts, and help you comply with state licensing requirements.

Additional Information

  • Training Resources – Improve your chances of obtaining a license by completing a degree or certification 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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