How To Get a Private Investigator License in Washington

Hire a Private Investigator in Washington

If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a private investigator, this article explains how to get a private investigator license in Washington. In this article, we’ll explain what state department handles the licensing process and provide you with their contact information. And, we’ll provide a high-level overview of the licensing requirements and the training necessary to get approved

State Licensing Authority

Private Investigator licensing in Washington is handled by the Washington Department of Licensing, Business & Professional Licensing. The department has different licensing processes for a Private Investigator Agency, and Armed Private Investigator and an Unarmed Private Investigator.

Visit the website for more information on:

  • Requirements for getting your private investigator license in Washington
  • How to renew your private detective license
  • Application forms and fees required
  • State exam study resources
  • Training requirements and resources
  • How to look up a professional license
  • How to file a complaint on a private detective

Other special licensing requirements such as education requirements, experience requirements, 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

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 states and where to find more information.

Washington Private Investigator Associations

  • Washington Association of Licensed Investigators (WALI) – Formed in 1997, as a non-profit organization by a group of Washington State Investigators. The association provides an educational forum for detectives throughout the State that improves the skills and the level of professionalism of those in the industry. The association also provides networking opportunities and hosts educational meetings and also promotes a variety of PI conferences.
  • Pacific Northwest Association of Investigators – The P.N.A.I. is a professional organization of licensed private eyes incorporated in the state of Washington in 1947

Hire a Private Detective in Washington

  • Private Investigation Agencies in Washington State –  To hire a detective in Washington, please visit our worldwide directory of investigation agencies. Our directory may also help you find an agency to sponsor your training and certification efforts, and help you comply with state licensing requirements.


View our list of general training resources for information on various degree programs, training courts, certification programs and home study courses. These courses should be considered in addition to any training or education required by the state.

Questions and Comments

If you have any questions about how to get a private investigator license in Washington, please visit the state licensing authority’s website, or post a message below. If you would like to learn about licensing requirements in other states, check out the Private Investigator’s Licensing Handbook.


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