How to Get a Private Investigator License in South Dakota


South Dakota Private Investigator License

You don’t need a private investigator’s license in South Dakota to work as a private investigator. It is one of a handful of states that don’t require private investigators to be licensed. However, you must obtain a sales tax license through the Department of Revenue.

How to Get a Sales Tax License / Permit

In South Dakota, any retailer engaged in selling, renting, or leasing tangible personal property or products delivered electronically or selling services must have a tax permit. These requirements apply whether your business is a sole proprietorship, partnership, corporation, or any other organization, including non-profits. This means you’ll need a sales tax license to operate as a private investigator in the state. Even though a South Dakota Private Investigator License isn’t required, you will be penalized if you don’t get a sales tax license. So be sure to get one.

How to Apply for a Sales Tax License: You can submit an application online, visit one of the offices in person, or call 1-800-829-9188. There aren’t any fees to get the license. Once your application is approved, you’ll receive a license card in the mail.

You may need a bond: Depending on the nature of your business, the Department of Revenue may require you to post a bond or security to guarantee payment of state and local taxes. Inquire about this when you contact the DOR.

Department of Revenue Contact Information

South Dakota Department of Revenue
445 E Capitol Avenue, Pierre, SD 57501
Phone Number: 1-800-829-9188
Email Address:

Local Offices:

  • Aberdeen: 14 South Main, Suite 1-C, Aberdeen, SD 57401
  • Mitchell: 417 N. Main, Suite 112, Mitchell, SD 57301
  • Rapid City: 1520 Haines Avenue, Suite 3, Rapid City, SD 57701
  • Sioux Falls: 300 S Sycamore, Suite 102, Sioux Falls, SD 57110

South Dakota Private Investigator Associations

We recommend that anyone in the private investigation industry join an industry association. Investigation associations are a great way to stay in touch with state laws and legislation changes. In addition, they are a great way to get access to training and education. Also, they are an excellent way of meeting other investigators and developing a referral network.

We couldn’t find any information on South Dakota Private Detective associations at the time of this writing. If you have information on active associations in South Dakota, please send us the details at

Although there aren’t any state-level investigation associations in South Dakota, you can still join a national organization. We suggest one of the following:

  • National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI)
  • United States Association of Professional Investigators (USAPI)
  • World Association of Professional Private Investigators (WAPI)
  • National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS)

Also, depending on the services you plan to offer, there may be other organizations you can join—for example, the South Dakota Claims Association or an organization in a neighboring state.

Training and Education

Even though a South Dakota Private Investigator License is not required, you still need to know what you’re doing. If you don’t have experience in the military or law enforcement, it makes sense to complete a degree program (such as Criminal Justice) or an investigation training course. Visit our Training Resources page for information on various training programs.

Licensing Requirements for the Other States: If you need to learn about licensing requirements in other states, check out the Private Investigator Licensing Handbook.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator license in South Dakota, 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. If I have a private investigator business in South Dakota can I track someone in Florida for that case I’m working on?

  2. I like this link, my question is….how much does it cost for a business license for a private investigator in south Dakota?

    • A license is not required to work as a private investigator in the state. However, you do need a Sales Tax permit. Instructions for how to get the permit are in the updated article above.


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