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. It also 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.

Are you considering a career as a NYC private investigator? Dive into this book to explore services offered and 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, instructions on how to join an association, and updated state information. It’s your essential starting point for 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). Founded in 1938, ALDONYS serves as a pivotal organization for licensed private investigators and security professionals throughout New York. The association aims to uphold standards of excellence and professionalism within the industry and provides members with a platform for networking, continuing education, and advocacy on legislative issues affecting their profession.

ALDONYS offers its members a range of resources and benefits, including access to training seminars, industry updates, and legal support. Through its activities, ALDONYS fosters collaboration among its diverse membership, which includes licensed private investigators, security consultants, and corporate security professionals across the state.

The association plays a crucial role in promoting ethical practices and maintaining high standards of conduct among its members. ALDONYS also engages in outreach to the public and government agencies to enhance awareness of the role and contributions of licensed detectives in safeguarding businesses and individuals.

For New York’s investigative and security professionals, ALDONYS serves as a vital hub for professional growth, education, and community within the industry.

Find a Job

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

Many open positions are also posted on popular job boards and search engines such as,, and ZipRecruiter. 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 obtain the investigative knowledge necessary to get licensed.

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


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.