How To Get a Private Investigator License in New York


This article provides an overview of how to get a private investigator license in New York. In addition, it includes recommendations for joining an industry association and finding training and education resources.

New York Private Investigator Licensing Requirements

The Department of State Division of Licensing Services handles private investigator licensing in New York. For additional information, see the New York State Law governing private investigators. Visit the website for the most up-to-date information, get advice on licensing requirements, download applications and forms, learn about the rules and laws governing private investigators, and more.

Licensing Authority Contact Information

New York Department of State Division of Licensing Services
Department of State, Albany Location:
One Commerce Plaza, 99 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12231-0001

Department of State, New York City Location:
123 William Street, New York, NY 10038-3804
Phone: (518) 474-4429
Fax: (518) 473-6648

General Licensing Requirements

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

  • Provide character references
  • Bonding ($10,000 surety bond)
  • Provide Proof of Training/Experience
  • Personal Background Information
  • Proof of liability insurance (if employing security guards)
  • Applicant must be at least 25 years of age
  • Electronic Fingerprints

Please visit the New York State Business Express website for more detailed information, requirements, forms, and fees. Search for the keyword “private investigator” and review the results.

Other special licensing requirements such as education, experience, examinations, and insurance may be required. 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.

New York Private Investigator Associations

Once you have a license, we recommend joining a private investigator industry association. The most popular association in New York is the Associated Licensed Detectives of New York State (ALDONYS).

ALDONYS was founded in 1950 as a not-for-profit industry membership association. ALDONYS is the largest New York State organization solely representing the interests of licensed private investigators and watch, guard, and patrol agencies.

Find a Job

If you’re looking for a job, view our list of Private Investigators Investigation Agencies in New York.

Also, many open positions are posted on popular job boards and search engines such as,, and ZipRecruiter. Also, I highly recommend using LinkedIn for your job search.

Additional Information

Training Resources – Improve your chances of getting licensed in NYC by completing a private investigator 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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