How to Get a Private Investigator License in Tennessee


Please read the following to learn how to get a private investigator’s license in Tennessee. The article provides information on the licensing authority, including their contact information. In addition, it provides a general list of licensing requirements, information on associations, and training.

Tennessee Private Investigator Licensing Authority

The Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance – Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission handles private investigator licensing in Tennessee.

Licensing Authority Contact Information

State of Tennessee
Department of Commerce and Insurance
Division of Regulatory Boards
Private Investigation and Polygraph Commission
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-1167
Phone: 615-741-4827
Fax: 615-532-2965


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.

To hold a valid Tennessee Private Investigator License, the applicant/licensee must be affiliated with a licensed Tennessee Private Investigators Company.

  • Applicant must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien
  • Not have been declared by any court of competent jurisdiction incompetent because of mental defect or disease (unless subsequently declared competent by a court of competent jurisdiction)
  • Affiliated with a licensed Tennessee PI company or licensed own company
  • Not suffer from habitual drunkenness narcotics addiction, or dependence.
  • Be of good moral character.
  • Meet examination and continuing education requirements
  • Applicants must submit fingerprint cards for processing by TBI and FBI for criminal history checks.

See more.

Other special licensing requirements such as education, experience, examinations, and insurance may be required.  Check the state licensing website for more information.

Tennessee Private Investigator Associations

Once you get a license, we recommend joining one of the private investigator industry associations in the state. Following are the top two:

  • Tennessee Professional Investigators Associations (TPIA) – TPIA was created exclusively for private detectives in Tennessee. The association represents the interests of private eyes in the state legislature and provides training and education resources for its members.
  • Tennessee Association of Licensed Private Investigators (TALPI) – TALPI is a self-regulating group of independent, professional investigators who work to increase awareness and educate the public about investigative services in Tennessee. TALPI offers information about groundbreaking methods and technology through continuing education courses and monthly meetings.

List of Investigation Agencies

If you are ready to seek employment, view our list of Private Investigators in Tennessee. Contact the investigation agencies on the list to see if they are hiring.

Training and Education

View a list of private investigator Training Resources. Improve your chances of obtaining a license 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.

Learn More about Licensing

Do you think you might be interested in pursuing a career as a private investigator? Browse through the pages of this eBook to learn about the services provided by private investigators, the typical work environment, career outlook, and salary range. Learn the basic licensing requirements for each state and where to find more information. Includes sections on training and education, PI associations, and more.

The Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook: How to Get a Private Investigator License in any State
Dive into this book to learn more about state-specific licensing requirements, training resources, and industry associations. Also, get a better understanding of the work environment, career prospects, and salaries.

Already a PI? Use it to learn about licensing in other states. Or, use it to help guide your 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.
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 a licensed Private Investigator from Pennsylvania, now a residence of Chattanooga, TN. What are the requirements to become licensed in Tennessee?

  2. The information on this page has been updated to reflect the most current licensing information. Please read through this information and visit the State of Tennessee Department of Commerce and Insurance, Division of Regulatory Boards at the website listed above for more information.


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