How To Get a Private Investigator License in Rhode Island


If you are interested in pursuing a career as a private investigator, this article explains how to get a private investigator license in Rhode Island. In addition, you’ll find information on how to apply to the appropriate licensing authority. Plus, we’ll cover joining a private investigator association and where to get training.

Private Investigator Licensing Authority

Private investigator licensing in Rhode Island is handled by the city or town where the private investigator resides. There are no state-level requirements. Applicants who wish to obtain a private investigator license in Rhode Island must meet two of the following three requirements:

  • Prior law enforcement experience
  • A degree in criminal justice
  • Five years of documented experience working for a licensed private investigator

See also the Rhode Island state Law on private investigators.

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

How to Get a Business License

To obtain a business license in Rhode Island, entrepreneurs must navigate a straightforward process through the Rhode Island Division of Taxation. First, they determine the specific type of license required for your business activities by visiting the official website or contacting the Division directly. Subsequently, applicants must register their business with the Rhode Island Secretary of State, which involves choosing a business structure and obtaining a federal Employer Identification Number (EIN) from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Once these foundational steps are completed, individuals can proceed to the Division of Taxation’s online portal to submit the necessary forms and pay any applicable fees. The license application typically requires details about the business, its owners, and its financial aspects. Reviewing the specific requirements for the chosen license type is essential to ensure a smooth and compliant application process. Additionally, aspiring business owners should be aware of any industry-specific regulations or permits that may be required in addition to the general business license.

Learn more about business licensing at the Rhode Island Department of Business Regulation website.

Rhode Island Private Investigator Associations

Once you obtain a license, we recommend joining a private investigator industry association. An association is a great way to stay in touch with what is going on with state laws and regulations. In addition, many associations provide access to training and education opportunities. Also, the meetings are a great way to network with other licensed investigators in your area.

In Rhode Island, we recommend joining the Licensed Private Detectives Association of Rhode Island. The LPDARI was formed in 1998 by professional investigators to provide networking and education opportunities for private detectives. The association works hard to influence legislation that benefits the private detective profession in the state.

Training and Education

Check out our list of Training Resources to identify the universities, colleges, and specialized schools that offer private investigator training programs.

Find a Job as a Private Investigator

If you already have a license and are looking for employment, we recommend you view our List of Private Investigation Agencies in Rhode Island. Use the list to find agencies in your area. Contact each one to see if they have open positions.

Additional Information

If you want a private investigator license in Rhode Island or any other state, check out the Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook. This eBook covers the services provided by private investigators, the typical work environment, career outlook, and salary range. Plus, it includes an overview of the basic licensing requirements for each state and where to find more information. It’s available on for just $3.49.


If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator license in Rhode Island, 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


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