How To Get a Private Investigator License in Virginia

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Virginia Private Investigator Licensing Requirements

Private Investigator licensing in Virginia is handled by the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services – Private Security Section.

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 involved in providing private security services. The Virginia Private Security Services is also responsible for providing technical assistance and has statutory authority to proceed with enforcement action against private investigators in an effort to protect the public from unlicensed and unethical business practiced.

Licensing Authority Contact Information

Please visit the Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, Division of Licensure
and Regulatory Affairs website at https://www.dcjs.virginia.gov/licensure-and-regulatory-affairs/private-investigator.

General Private Investigator Licensing Requirements

The following is general licensing information. Please visit the website listed above for
specific licensing information, application forms, insurance requirements, fees and any
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 requirements, experience requirements, examinations, and insurance may be required.  Check the state licensing website for more information.

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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 who are registered with the Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) in Virginia. Membership in the Association is also available to Private eyes that are 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

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

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

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator license in Virginia, please post a message below.

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