Private Investigator Licensing – State of Ohio
PISGS General Information
Licensure Information Requirement
I. Who needs a Private Investigator License? The “business of private investigation” is defined in Section 4749.01 (B)(1) of the Ohio Revised Code (R.C.) and means:
. . . except when performed by one excluded under division (H) of this section, the conducting, for hire, in person or through a partner or employees, of any investigation relevant to any crime or wrong done or threatened, or to obtain information on the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, transactions, reputation, credibility, or character of any person, or to locate and recover lost or stolen property, or to determine the cause of or responsibility for any libel or slander, or any fire, accident, or damage to property, or to secure evidence for use in any legislative, administrative, or judicial investigation or proceeding.
II. Who needs a Security Services License? The “business of security services” is defined in Section 4749.01 (D) of the R.C. and means either of the following:
(1) Furnishing, for hire, watchpersons, guards, private patrol officers, or other persons whose primary duties are to protect persons or property;
(2) Furnishing, for hire, guard dogs, or armored motor vehicle security services, in connection with the protection of persons or property.
The exceptions to licensure for private investigators and security services providers are listed in Section 4749.01 (H).
III. Requirements for licensure as a Private Investigator or Security Services Provider are found in Section 4749.03 of the R.C. Any individual, partnership or corporation may be licensed to conduct the business of private investigation or security services, or both, if the applicant meets the following requirements:
a. Has a good reputation for integrity, has not been convicted of a felony within the last three years or any offense involving moral turpitude, and has not been adjudicated incompetent for the purpose of holding the license, as provided in 5122.30.1 of the R.C., without having been restored to legal capacity for that purpose.
b. Depending upon the class of license for which application is made, for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding application for a license, has been engaged in investigatory or security services work for a law enforcement or other public agency engaged in investigatory activities, or for a private investigator or security guard provider, or engaged in the practice of law, or has acquired equivalent experience as determined by rule of the director of public safety.
c. Demonstrates competency as a private investigator or security guard provider by passing an examination devised for this purpose by the director of public safety.
d. Submits evidence of comprehensive general liability insurance coverage, or other equivalent guarantee approved by the director in such form and in principal amounts satisfactory to the director, but not less than one hundred thousand dollars for each person and three hundred thousand dollars for each occurrence for bodily injury liability, and one hundred thousand dollars for property damage liability.
e. Pays the requisite examination ($30 fee which is non-refundable) and license fee ($375 which is refundable if a license is not issued).
f. Satisfactorily passes the criminal background check.
g. Provides character references from at least five reputable citizens, each of whom has known the applicant, officer, or qualifying agent for at least five years preceding the application, and none of whom are connected with the applicant, officer, or qualifying agent by blood or marriage.
BCI fingerprint background checks are required for registrations; FBI fingerprint background checks are only required for those applicants that want to be Firearm Bearer (FAB). BCI and FBI fingerprint background checks submitted with a registration or FAB application will not be accepted if they are older than 30 days. Do not have the FBI WebCheck done until you are ready to submit the FAB application.
Request your background check results be sent via “direct copy” to PISGS, Ohio Department of Public Safety for faster results. This coupon – PSU 0019 Word / PDF – should be completed and taken to the WebCheck facility to ensure proper delivery of results.
To locate a WebCheck facility, log onto the Attorney General’s Website. Please contact the location directly to determine which criminal record checks are available, the fee, and when a check can be completed.
Electronic Fingerprint WebCheck “Reason For Fingerprint Code”
BCI recently added additional fingerprinting “Reason Codes” to the electronic WebCheck drop down list. To ensure PISGS receives BCI results, please select “License for private investigator/security guard,” check the “direct copy” option and send to the PISG Ohio Department of Public Safety. The FBI selection choice should be “private investigator/security guard.” If you have any questions, please contact PISGS at 614-466-4130 for assistance.
Registration Application Forms
Forms used by a business to register employees.
|Employee Registration Application and Instructions (PSU 0015)
Required to register new employee no sooner than 3 days and no later than 7 calendar days after the date employee is hired.
|Firearm Bearer Notation Application and Instructions (PSU 0016)
This application along with the applicable OPOTC certificate is required to re-qualify or add a firearm notation to a registration.
|Registration Renewal (PSU 0017)
Required annually to renew a registration.
|Termination Report (PSU 0013)
Required within 10 business days after the termination of a registrant’s employment.
|Employee Transfer Form (PSU 0018)
Required to change the location of a current employee from one branch to another branch office.
|Quarterly Report (PSU 0014)
At the end of each quarter, every licensee shall submit to the Ohio Department of Public Safety a current list of registered employees.
Forms used to apply for a company/sole proprietor PISGS license and used to update company information.
|Provider Application (PSU 0006)
This application in addition to $375.00 is required to start a new company.
|Qualifying Agent Application (PSU 0007)
Each company is required to have at least one qualifying agent. This application and an additional $30.00 is required to add a qualifying agent. The forms on this site and the PISGS laws and rules (PSU 0004 below) can be used as study guides for the PISGS Qualifying Agent Exam.
|Firearm Bearer Notation Application and Instructions (PSU 0016)
This application along with the applicable OPOTC certificate is required to re-qualify or add a firearm notation to the qualifying agent’s registration.
|Branch Office Application (PSU 0010)
This application in addition to $100.00 is required to start a new branch office.
|Multiple Change Application (PSU 0011)
Required for: replacement of lost, damaged or stolen licenses; changing or adding a trade name; changing an address of an office location, adding or changing a mailing address or changing the business contact person.
If you changed your business name or structure, your license expired or you previously closed your business:
A new license is required.
|PISGS Fees Schedule|
|Private Investigator & Security Services Law and Rules (PSU 0004)|
|Frequently Asked Questions|