How To Get a Private Investigator License in Virginia


Virginia Private Investigator Licensing Requirements

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services – Private Security Section handles private investigator licensing in Virginia.

The Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Private Security Services reviews and processes all applications for registration, certification, and licensure for individuals, businesses, and training schools that provide private security services.

The Virginia Private Security Services is also responsible for providing technical assistance and has statutory authority to act against private investigators to protect the public from unlicensed and unethical business practices.

Licensing Authority Contact Information

  • Customer Service – 804-786-4700, 804-786-6344 (fax)
  • Mailing Address – PO Box 1300, Richmond, VA 23218
  • Physical Address – 1100 Bank Street, Richmond, VA 23219

Please visit the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Division of Licensure and Regulatory Services website for more detailed information on licensing requirements, online forms, and contact information.

General Private Investigator Licensing Requirements

The following is general licensing information. Please visit the website for specific licensing information, application forms, insurance, fees, and special licensing requirements.

  • Be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  • Successful completion of all initial training requirements for each registration category,
    including firearms endorsement if applicable
  • Be a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States

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

The Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook: How to Get a Private Investigator License in any State

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. Plus, 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
  • Amazon Kindle Edition
  • Kissiah, Michael (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 188 Pages – 06/05/2017 (Publication Date)

Virginia Private Investigator Associations

Once you obtain a license, we recommend joining the Private Investigators Association of Virginia (PIAVA). The PIAVA is a professional association of detectives registered with the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in Virginia.

Membership in the Association is also available to Private eyes licensed in states other than Virginia and to individuals who work in areas related to the private security industry. PIAVA is a network of private investigative personnel and security industry professionals. PIAVA members share information, resources, and business opportunities.

List of Investigation Agencies in Virginia

If you’re looking for a job, use our List of Private Investigators in Virginia as a starting point. Give each investigation agency a call and inquire about open positions and internships.

Training and Education

Virginia requires applicants to complete a 60-hour entry-level private investigator training course. Visit the state licensing website for more information.

Also, please view our list of Training Resources. This list provides information on degree and certification programs, training, and home study courses. Please note that these resources are general in nature and should be considered in addition to the training course the state requires.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator’s license in Virginia, 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. Our company is currently licensed in NY, NJ, PA, DE, and WV can you point me in the correct direction to get our company licensed in VA everything I’ve been able to find so far has been about individual licensing

  2. I am retired military. Was in LE for 28 years last 15 as a special agent with the Air Force office of investigation. Can the training requirements be waived?

    • Yes. It is possible. On the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services website, it states, “Certain training exemptions may be granted for required training courses. Refer to the Regulations related to the area of interest to check the eligibility for a training exemption.” Visit the site and scroll down to the links for exemptions.


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