How To Get a Private Investigator License in North Carolina



This article explains how to get a Private Investigator license in North Carolina. We’ll provide an overview of the state licensing authority, a list of the general requirements, and recommended training.

North Carolina State Licensing Authority

The North Carolina Private Protective Services Board handles private investigator licensing in North Carolina. The Private Protective Services Board is part of the North Carolina Department of Public Safety. Primarily, its purpose is to administer the licensing, education, and training requirements for people or agencies engaged in private protective services in the state of North Carolina.

Licensing Authority Contact Information

This physical and mailing address is:
3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 104, Raleigh, NC 27609

Phone: 919-788-5320
Fax: 919-788-5365

General Licensing Requirements to Get a Private Investigator License in North Carolina

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. All applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Must have a high school degree or equivalent
  • Be a United States citizen or a resident alien
  • Be of good moral character with temperate habits (cannot have a criminal record).

Experience Requirements

In addition, you must have three years of experience in private investigative work. Or, you must have three years in an investigative capacity as a member of a law enforcement or other governmental agency.

How to Apply

Before you apply, review the application checklist. Once all documents are acquired (and in digital format for uploading), go here to begin the process online.


The Board has reciprocal licensing agreements with California, Florida, Georgia, Louisiana, South Carolina, Tennessee, and Virginia. These agreements allow currently licensed private investigators from these states to enter North Carolina for a specific period (30 days maximum, except for Tennessee, which is 15 days) to work a case that originated in their home state. Visit the website for more detailed information on reciprocity rules.

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 North Carolina Private Investigator Association

Once you have a license, we recommend joining the North Carolina State Private Investigator Association. The North Carolina Association of Private Investigators, Inc. was chartered in 1987 and is the oldest association of Private Investigators in the state. Visit the website for more information about the organization and learn how to become a member. Also, you’ll find news articles, newsletters, and details of upcoming events and conferences in the area.

List of Investigation Agencies in North Carolina

If you’re looking for a job, view our list of North Carolina Private Investigators. The list will help you find existing private investigators and investigation agencies to contact.

Additional Information

  • Training Resources – Improve your chances of getting licensed by completing a private investigator degree program, training course, or home study course. Learn what options are available to get the private investigation knowledge necessary to get licensed.

Questions and Comments

If you have any additional questions about getting a private investigator license in North Carolina, please post a message 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 am going into my 20th year in education. I am trying to figure out how to get my private investigator license in North Carolina. I’ve read this page but I still have questions.

  2. I’m currently a Private Investigator In New York State I retied from Law Enforcement 2yrs ago with a total of 29yrs of Investigation experience as an Investigator for NYSDOCCS/OSI Office and was assigned to the U.S.
    Marshal’s Task Force.

  3. I have worked in mental health for 11 years and have experience in investigating various situations with children and adults. I also have a Bachelor’s Degree in psychology. I am trying to gather information on becoming a private investigator in North Carolina.


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