Arizona Private Investigator Licensing
The metropolitan area of Phoenix is full of corporations and major law firms who need a full range of investigative services. Private investigators in Arizona can obtain work to perform functions like surveillance, witness interviews, background investigations, asset research and much more. Arizona is one of the many states that require private investigators to be licensed. Arizona Private Investigator Licensing is regulated according to ARS Title 32, Chapter 24 and is administered by the Arizona Department of Public Safety. The licensing page can be found here.
The statute is broad, covering most types of investigations. Providing private investigation services without a license is a class 1 misdemeanor. Additionally, a violation of these regulations can prevent you from obtaining a license and/or registration certificate in the future. The Arizona Department of Public Safety references the description of Private Investigator below:
Legal Definition of a Private Investigator (ARS §32-2401-16)
16. “Private investigator” means a person other than an insurance adjuster or an on-duty peace officer as defined in section 1-215 who, for any consideration, engages in business or accepts employment to:
(a) Furnish, agree to make or make any investigation for the purpose of obtaining information with reference to:
(i) Crime or wrongs done or threatened against the United States or any state or territory of the United States.
(ii) The identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, associations, transactions, reputation or character of any person or group of persons.
(iii) The credibility of witnesses or other persons.
(iv) The whereabouts of missing persons, owners of abandoned property or escheated property or heirs to estates.
(v) The location or recovery of lost or stolen property.
(vi) The causes and origin of, or responsibility for, a fire, libel, slander, a loss, an accident, damage or an injury to real or personal property.
(b) Secure evidence to be used before investigating committees or boards of award or arbitration or in the trial of civil or criminal cases and the preparation therefor.
(c) Investigate threats of violence and provide the service of protection of individuals from serious bodily harm or death.
There are a few exceptions to the licensing requirement which are covered in ARS §32-2409.
Types of Arizona Private Investigator Licenses
There are currently three types of private investigator licensing in Arizona.
1) Arizona Qualifying Party Private Investigative License: The Qualifying Party or agency owner must apply for a license with the state. In order to qualify to have an agency license, the licensee must have had a minimum of three years of full-time investigative experience or the equivalent of three years of full-time investigative experience that consists of actual work performed as an investigator for a private concern, for the federal government or for a state, county or municipal government.
2) Arizona Associate Private Investigative License: An Associate license is granted for members that live and work in the State of Arizona. They are part of the legal private investigative entity such as Corporate Officer or Partner.
3) Arizona Employee Investigator: As am employee investigator, you are issued a licensee under a Qualifying Parties license. The qualifying party is required to monitor your activities and must carry worker’s compensation insurance for you. As an Employee Private Investigator you are able to work for different qualifying parties at the same time, but each company must register you under their own license and you will be issued a separate ID card for each qualifying party. You are not allowed to work by yourself utilizing any of these Employee licenses.