This article explains how to get a private investigator’s license in South Carolina. In addition, it includes information on investigation industry associations in the state. Also, it provides recommendations for training and education, as well as contact information for existing agencies in the state.
South Carolina Private Investigator Licensing Requirements
State Licensing Authority
Private Investigator licensing in the state of South Carolina is handled by the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division (SLED). Visit the website to access specific information such as licensing requirements, application forms, and the laws and regulations that apply to private investigators in South Carolina.
South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division
SLED Headquarters is located at:
4400 Broad River Road
Columbia, SC 29210
The public may reach SLED through telephone number (803) 737-9000 or a mailing address of:
Post Office Box 21398
Columbia, SC 29221
The following is general licensing information. Please visit the website above for specific licensing information, application forms, insurance requirements, fees, and special licensing requirements. Applicants for private investigative business licenses or registrations will be ineligible for licensing/registration if any of the following apply:
- Not a United States citizen
- Under 18 years of age
- Any discharge from military service that is other than honorable
- Currently holding any other position that would constitute dual-office holding and/or a conflict of interest, such as Actively commissioned law enforcement officers, Coroners, Jailers or detention officers, Probation or Parole Officers, Reserve officers, State Constables, Federal officers, investigators, or inspectors (including military
- Conviction of a felony or crime involving moral turpitude
- Has a criminal charge pending that, if convicted, would prohibit an individual from being licensed or registered
- The applicant fails to meet any other criteria outlined in S.C. Private Investigative or Contract Security Agencies Act or falsifies the application for a license and/or registration.
- Please visit the website for a complete list of requirements and to learn the steps involved in the application process.
Other special licensing requirements such as education requirements, experience requirements, examinations, and insurance may be required. Check the state licensing website for more information, or buy the Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook.
South Carolina Private Investigator Associations
South Carolina Association of Legal Investigators (SCALI) – A non-profit professional association for licensed private detectives and professional investigators employed by law firms and public defenders. Students and individuals who study or work within the criminal justice system may join the association as associate members.
Find a Job as a Detective
Once you have a license, you’re ready to find a job as a private investigator. Use our list of private investigation agencies in South Carolina as a starting point. Contact all of the agencies in your area and ask about job openings.
Training Resources – Improve your chances of obtaining a license in Wisconsin 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.
If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator’s license in South Carolina, please post a comment below.
Can a Virginia licensed private detective conduct investigations on a murder that occurred in South Carolina?
I am writing a murder mystery. The premise is this: The private investigator lives in Virginia. Her family who lives in South Carolina wants her to come to South Carolina and investigate the murder of a friend.
In real life, can a PI from Virginia investigate a murder in South Carolina?
Generally, a private investigator can’t conduct investigations in states where they aren’t licensed. So, if the private investigator is licensed in Virginia, he/she can’t investigate a murder in South Carolina.
Some states have reciprocity agreements that allow investigators to conduct investigations in other states, but the crime must originate in their home/licensed state. For example, Virginia has reciprocity agreements with North Carolina, Georgia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Louisiana, and Florida.
I am checking to see what should I do to have my own private investigating business. I want to work with women who have issues with cheating spouses or boyfriends , etc. Are there courses I can take?
Visit the South Carolina state website and review the list of documents, application forms, and reference documents at https://www.sled.sc.gov/PI_Security.html#private. If you want to get licensed in South Carolina, make sure you complete any training they require.
Also, we have a list of general private investigator training options here – https://www.einvestigator.com/private-investigator-training-2/. However, these resources are generally to build your investigation knowledge in general, and may not necessarily help you qualify for a license.
I’m Retired Military Police Investigator (v5). Graduate of FLETC. Is it possible that I could be qualified to become a Private Investigator.
Absolutely. Just visit the South Carolina State Law Enforcement Division at the link listed above to learn more about the requirements, fees and forms required to apply.