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Private Investigator License – Vermont

Private Investigator Licensing – State of Vermont

Vermont does require Private Investigator Licensing and it is administered by the Vermont Secretary of State.

https://www.sec.state.vt.us/professional-regulation/professions/private-investigative-security-services/forms-applications.aspx

Forms & Applications

Agency

 

Firearms

 

Registrant

 

2.1 NEED FOR A LICENSE OR REGISTRATION

Title 26, ‘ 3173 states, in part:
“(a) No person shall engage in the business of a private detective or operate a private detective agency in
this state without first obtaining a license to do so from the board.”

Title 26, ‘ 3174 states, in part:
“(a) No person shall engage in the business of security guard or operate a private security agency
providing guard services in this state without first obtaining a license to do so from the board. No person
shall engage in the business of providing guard dog services or operate a private security agency
providing guard dog services without first obtaining a license to do so from the board.”

2.2 APPLICATIONS
Applications and more information about the types of licenses and their requirements are available from the Office. An
applicant shall submit a fully completed application form with all supporting documentation and the fee to the Office. The
Board reviews applications only after the fully completed application and any supporting documentation is received.
An applicant issued an initial license or registration within ninety (90) days of the renewal date will not be required to renew
or pay the renewal fee. The license or registration will be issued through the next full license or registration period. An
applicant issued an initial license or registration more than ninety (90) days prior to the renewal expiration date will be
required to renew and pay the renewal fee.

2.3 HOW TO GET A LICENSE
A. As a Private Investigator, Security Guard or Combination Private Investigator and Security Guard:
1. Individual license applicants shall submit a completed application and two sets of fingerprint
cards with the correct fee to the Office. The applicant must submit documentation showing two years
experience, as defined in ‘ 3173(c) and/or ‘3174(c). For purposes of this Rule, “two years experience” shall
be defined as work experience of 2,000 hours in the three year period
immediately preceding the date of application.
2. Applicants for a combination Private Investigative and Security Guard license shall submit documentation
showing two years experience, as defined in ‘ 3173(c) and/or ‘3174(c). For purposes of these Rules,
“two years experience” shall be defined as work experience of 4,000 hours in the three year period
immediately preceding the date of application.
3. Applicants shall take and pass the required examination.
B. As a Private Investigative Agency, Security Guard Agency or Combination Private Investigative and Security Guard
Agency:
1. Agency applicants shall submit a completed application with the correct fee to the Office. In addition to the
agency application, each partner of a partnership or the president and secretary of a corporation shall
submit an application and two sets of fingerprint cards.
2. The agency must designate a qualifying agent to be the responsible person for the company. The
qualifying agent for a Private Investigative or a Security Guard agency shall hold a license in the same
category of licensure.
3. Qualifying agents who may carry firearms and or handle or use guard dogs shall show evidence of special
training as required by Rules 2.11 and 2.12.
C. When the application is received, the Board shall investigate the background of the applicant, including the
qualifying agent, partners and corporate officers to determine competence, character, integrity and reputation. The
investigation may include, but is not limited to:
1. searching criminal records;
2. contacting personal references;
3. contacting other persons who know the applicant, qualifying agent, partners or corporate officers;
4. verifying employment and experience, and
5. contacting any other sources of information as might be appropriate in a particular case.
D. Individual private investigators or security guards providing those services as sole proprietors or who do not
have any employees providing private investigative or security services must be licensed, but are not required to obtain
an agency license.

2.4 EXAMINATION

The qualifying agent, as defined in 26 V.S.A. ‘ 3151(5), shall pass the Vermont examination(s) required by 26 V.S.A. ‘

3175 within the six (6) months before a license is issued. The Board may waive the examination(s) for a person who is
currently licensed as the qualifying agent for another agency in Vermont in the same license category.
The examination(s) is/are designed to test an applicant’s professional competence and knowledge of the Vermont laws.
The examination(s) will ask questions relevant to the type of license applied for and the laws and rules that regulate the
profession. The Board will give the examination(s) after the completed application has been submitted. A person who fails
an examination(s) may be reexamined; however, a person may not take an examination(s) more than twice during a twelve
(12) month period for the same license category. Information about scheduling an examination(s) may be obtained from
the Office.

2.5 EMPLOYEES OF AN AGENCY
A licensed private investigative agency, security guard agency or a combination private investigative and security guard
agency may employ other persons to perform services under the agency license. The licensee (qualifying agent) is
responsible for the conduct of these employees.
A. Agencies shall register each employee who is to work in Vermont before that employee may perform private
investigative and/or security services. The agency shall:
1. have the applicant complete the registration application;
2. forward the application, two sets of the employee’s fingerprints for applicants who will use firearms (one
set for unarmed) and one passport size photograph to the Board; and
3. submit the registration fee;
B. Agencies shall submit documentation of successful completion of the training program required by 26
V.S.A. ‘3162(7) and these rules. This documentation may be provided when the application is filed, or may
be provided during the temporary registration period, if the training program has not yet been completed.
C. Agencies shall submit documentation of training for employees requesting firearms or guard dog specialties, in
accordance with Rules 2.11 and 2.12.
D. After receiving the application, the Office may issue a temporary registration after an expeditious criminal record
check. The temporary registration will remain in effect for sixty (60) days or until the Board takes final action on the
application, whichever occurs first. For good cause shown, the Board may extend a temporary registration one
time for an additional sixty (60) days. The Board shall investigate the employee’s background to determine
character, integrity, and reputation. The investigation may include, but is not limited to:
1. searching criminal records;
2. contacting personal references;
3. contacting other persons who know the employee;
4. verifying employment and experience; and
5. contacting any other sources of information as might be appropriate in a particular case.

2.6 EMPLOYEE (REGISTRANT) BASIC TRAINING PROGRAMS
A. 26 V.S.A. ‘3162 states, in part:
AThe Board may…adopt rules establishing a security guard or private investigator training program,
consisting of not fewer than forty (40) hours of training, as a prerequisite to registration.@
B. The Board requires that every security guard and private investigator employee registered under these rules
complete a minimum forty (40) hour training program approved by the Board before it will issue a permanent
registration.
C. The basic training course is in addition to any hourly requirements met for firearms or guard dog training or other
specialty training for a specific job or employer.
D. In order to receive Board approval, the courses shall meet the following requirements:
1. Instructors. Basic training courses shall be taught by Board-approved instructors who have at least two
(2) years of experience in the subject area they are instructing or shall be licensed, certified, or able to
demonstrate expertise, to the satisfaction of the Board, in the subject area they are instructing. If licensed
or certified, instructors must hold a current and unencumbered license or certification.
2. Lesson plan. Each course submitted must state the subject matter areas to be covered and the
objectives of each portion of the course.

3. Records. Each course provider shall maintain records on training. At a minimum, records shall identify

the type of training received, students, examinations, pass/fail records and attendance.
4. Exams. Each course provider shall examine its students prior to issuing a certificate of completion. The
exam shall test the student=s knowledge in all of the subject areas covered.
5. Certification. Each student receives a certificate of completion upon successful completion of the training.
This certificate is: signed by the instructor or course provider for the training program; presented to the
student; and may be used for future applications with other employers. A copy of the certificate must be
filed with the Board prior to registration.
6. Courses may be taught in-house by the agency=s own licensed personnel who meet the instructor
requirements set forth above, or may be taught by any other instructor whose course has been approved
by the Board and who meets the requirements of these rules.
7. Subject matter. Each course shall cover the subject matter areas listed in these rules and meet the
minimum hourly requirements for each subject area.
8. On-the-Job Training. The hourly requirements listed in Rules 2.7 and 2.8 may be satisfied in part
by practical hands-on training relating to a specific subject. Up to ten (10) hours of on-the- job training may
be used to satisfy these hourly requirements.
9. Computer and video-based training is allowed, as approved by the Board, as part of basic training
programs. The Board recognizes the value of live presentations and the opportunity for instructor interaction and
questions.
E. Temporary registration and on-the-job training:
1. A temporary registration allows an individual to practice as a security guard pending the processing of his
or her application. No person may practice as a security guard without some form of registration.
2. A temporary registration is required for any periods of unsupervised training. A temporaryregistration is not
required if the trainee is under direct supervision. For the purposes of this rule, “direct supervision” means
on-site supervision where the supervisor is in the trainee’s presence.
3. Nothing prevents the applicant from beginning or completing the training program prior to obtaining a
temporary registration or during the temporary registration period.
4. Training must be completed before the expiration of a temporary registration (60 days) for a permanent
registration to be issued.
F. Once a course has been approved by the Board, it remains a valid and approved course unless substantive
changes are made after approval. In that case, the course, including the changes, must be resubmitted to the
Board for approval with a detailed cover letter explaining the changes. Changes in instructors must always be
submitted to the Board for approval.
G. Training programs submitted to the Board will be treated as trade secret information and as such will not be
subject to public disclosure except to the extent that general discussions occur at public Board meetings when
determining whether to approve a course.

2.7 PRIVATE INVESTIGATOR TRAINING COURSE
A. Private investigator training courses must include the following subject areas for the minimum number
of hours (in parentheses) listed here for each subject. The Board will consider requests for variances from the
minimum hours for each subject. Variance requests must be supported by specific hourly variations and a written
explanation as to why the variance is being requested. The total hours must still
equal forty (40). See Appendix A for suggested topics to cover each of these areas:
1. Role of the private investigator (2);
2. Ethics and conduct (4);
3. Legal powers and limitations (6);
4. Communication and public relations (4);
5. Investigative tools and applications (6);
6. Observation and note taking (4);
7. Statements (4);
8. Evidence (4); and
9. Report Writing (6).
B. The ethics and conduct section must include the Board=s statutes and rules and address the grounds for
unprofessional conduct.

2.8 SECURITY GUARD TRAINING COURSE
A. Security guard training courses must include the following subject areas for the minimum number of hours listed here for each subject. The Board will consider requests for variances from the minimum hours

for each subject. Variance requests must be supported by specific hourly variations and a written
explanation as to why the variance is being requested. The total hours must still
equal forty (40). See Appendix A for suggested topics to cover each of these areas:
1. Role of the security guard (2);
2. Ethics and conduct (4);
3. Legal powers and limitations (4);
4. Communication and public relations (4);
5. Patrolling / investigation (4);
6. Emergency response (8);
7. Observation and note taking (4);
8. Statements (2);
9. Evidence (2);
10. Access control (2); and
11. Report Writing (4).
B. The ethics and conduct section must include the Board=s statutes and rules and address the grounds for
unprofessional conduct.

2.9 WAIVER OF COURSE REQUIREMENTS
A. The Board may waive part or all of the training requirements if the applicant has other training or experience
equivalent to the course requirements and will consider such requests on a case-by-case basis. The Board may
consider;
1. completion of a course in another state with requirements substantially similar to Vermont=s;
2. other relevant training (such as emergency medical technician, military or law enforcement); or
3. long-term practice and experience as a private investigator or security guard.
B. Registrants holding a current registration on the effective date of these rules are not subject to these training
requirements and remain exempt.
C. Registrants who were registered prior to the effective date of these rules but whose registration has lapsed,
and who have re-applied after the effective date of these rules will be allowed to submit any relevant experience to be
considered for a partial or complete waiver of the training course requirements.
D. Registrants who have successfully completed the training course once are not required to re-take the
training program if they re-apply in the future.
E. All applicants are responsible for knowledge of the Board=s statutes and rules and may be required to complete
training or requirements in specific areas for which they are not given credit or a waiver.

2.10 TRANSITORY PRACTICE PERMIT
After receiving a completed application, the Office shall issue a transitory practice permit to qualified applicants. Practice
under a transitory permit as defined in 26 V.S.A. ‘3176a shall not exceed thirty (30) days in any calendar year.

2.11 FIREARMS TRAINING
A. Before carrying or using firearms while performing services, a licensee or registrant shall satisfactorily complete a
firearms training program approved under this section and shall possess a firearms registration issued by the
Board.
B. Firearms training programs shall be approved by the Board. Applications are available from the Office and online
at www.vtprofessionals.org. To be approved, a program shall include the following:
1. Instructors. Instructors shall be trained in a formal program acceptable to the Board and shall possess a
current instructor=s license issued by the Board.
2. Classroom instruction. Curriculum shall cover safe handling and proper use of firearms, and legal
responsibility for improper or negligent use.
3. Examination. A written exam shall adequately test the classroom material.
4. Range qualification. A qualifying course of fire, either police combat or security, appropriate to the
weapon, shall be used.
C. For initial qualification, the applicant shall satisfactorily complete twelve (12) hours of classroom instruction in basic
firearms safety, use, and legal responsibility, four (4) hours on safety and use of the particular weapon to be used,
pass the examination, and fire a qualifying course on the range.
D. For requalification, the applicant shall satisfactorily complete instruction in basic firearms safety, use, and legal
responsibility, safety and use of the particular weapon to be used, and fire a qualifying course on the range.
Requalification courses need not consist of the sixteen (16) hours for initial qualification, but shall not consist of
less than six (6) hours total training.
E. Firearms training shall occur within two years before initial application and within two years before a renewal.

2.12 GUARD DOG HANDLER TRAINING
A. Before handling or using guard dogs while performing services, a licensee or registrant shall satisfactorily
complete a guard dog handling program approved under this section, and shall possess a permanent guard dog
handler registration issued by the Board.
B. Guard dog handler training programs shall be approved by the Board. Applications are available from the Office.
To be approved, a program shall include:
1. Instructors: Instructors shall be trained in a formal program acceptable to the Board and shall possess a
current instructor=s license issued by the Board.
2. Classroom instruction: Curriculum shall cover safe handling and proper use of guard dogs, and legal
responsibility for improper or negligent use.
3. Examination: A written exam shall adequately test the classroom material.
4. Field work: The handler and the particular dog shall work together in the field as a team.
C. For initial qualification, the applicant shall satisfactorily complete classroom instruction in basic guard dog safety,
use, and legal responsibility, pass the examination, and demonstrate proficiency in field work.
D. For requalification, the applicant shall satisfactorily complete classroom instruction in basic guard dog safety, use,
and legal responsibility, and demonstrate proficiency in field work.
E. Guard dog training shall occur within two years before initial application and within two years before a renewal.

2.13 FIREARMS / GUARD DOG INSTRUCTOR LICENSURE
A. Instructors must be licensed by the Board in order for their students to receive Board approval for firearms or
guard dog registration.
B. To become licensed as an instructor, an applicant must submit the information required by 26 V.S.A. ‘3175a,
which includes a copy of the instructor=s course he or she took to become an instructor, proof of certification as an
instructor, and the course he or she intends to teach once licensed.
C. The Board may issue continuing approval of courses for instructor licensing with which it is familiar and
which have previously been approved, but reserves the right to examine each course on an
individual basis.
D. Individuals holding a current instructor license will be granted a firearms or guard dog certification, as
appropriate, upon request. The Board may require proof of training for instructor requalification for renewal
of firearms certifications.

2.14 WRITTEN DECISIONS; HEARINGS; APPEALS
A. If the Board preliminarily denies an application for a license, the Board shall send the applicant written notice of the
decision by certified mail. The notice shall include a statement of the reasons for the action and shall advise the
applicant that the applicant may file a petition with the Board for review of its preliminary decision within thirty(30)
days of the date on which the notice is mailed. After the hearing, the Board shall affirm or reverse the preliminary
denial, explaining the reason therefor in writing.
B. A party aggrieved by a final decision of a board may appeal that decision as provided by statute at 3 V.S.A. ‘130a.

PART 3. INFORMATION FOR LICENSEES AND REGISTRANTS
3.1 RENEWING LICENSES OR REGISTRATIONS
A. The Office has a fixed 24-month licensing schedule. Licensees or registrants renew on a fixed biennial schedule:
June 1 of the odd-numbered years. A licensee or registrant shall renew by the expiration date printed on his or her
license or registration. Before the license or registration expiration date, the Office will mail a renewal application
and notice of renewal fee. A license or registration will expire automatically if the renewal application and fee are
not returned to the Office by the expiration date.
B. A licensee or registrant is responsible for notifying the Office promptly if he or she changes name, mailing address
or business address.
C. Evidence of having completed requalification in special training shall accompany the renewal application, which will
not be granted if requalification has not been completed. Special training includes firearms and guard dog
instructing and/or handling.

3.2 REINSTATING LICENSES
A lapsed license or registration may be renewed within ninety (90) days of the expiration date by submitting a
renewal application and late fee. After ninety (90) days, a new application shall be submitted with a new
application fee.

3.3 INFORMATION FOR AGENCIES AND QUALIFYING AGENTS
A. Each agency, to maintain its license, shall at all times have a qualifying agent who is currently licensed and in good
standing with the Board. The qualifying agent must be readily available to supervise the employees and daily
operation of the agency and perform the duties required of qualifying agents as set forth by the Board=s statutes
and these rules. The qualifying agent must be physically present at the agency a minimum of once every sixty days
for at least six hours for interaction with staff and examination of records. The qualifying agent may delegate dayto-day
supervisory responsibilities to qualified staff, but must continue to meet the availability and physical
presence requirements set forth in these rules.
B. Each qualifying agent shall provide the Board with a current address and contact information and shall notify the
Board immediately of any change in that information. Whenever there is a change of qualifying agent, partners, or
corporate officers, the Office shall be notified within five (5) business days. New qualifying agents shall take the
exam and submit a completed application and supporting
documentation described in Rule 2.4 within thirty (30) days of the change. All new partners and officers shall
submit applications to the Office. An agency which has met the five (5) and thirty (30) day deadlines may continue
to operate until the Board has met and acted on the application.
C. If a registration card is lost or stolen, the qualifying agent shall notify the Board in writing within seventy-two (72)
hours of discovery and describe the facts and circumstances. The qualifying agent shall return the temporary or
permanent registration of an employee to the Office within seventy-two (72) hours of when the employment ends.
If an employee fails or refuses to surrender a registration card, the qualifying agent shall notify the Board in writing
within ten (10) days.
D. Qualifying agents shall require that employees acquire and carry a temporary registration or permanent registration
card. A Registrant shall carry his/her permanent or temporary registration at all times while working and shall
display these to any member of the Board, representative of the Office, or any law enforcement officer, upon
request.
E. The agency or qualifying agent shall notify the Board in writing within seventy-two (72) hours of the arrest, charge
or conviction for a criminal offense of any partner, corporate officer, agent or other employee and give complete
details.

3.4 MAKING AND RESOLVING COMPLAINTS
The Office has a procedure for receiving, investigating and acting on complaints of unprofessional conduct which the Board
follows. Copies of procedure, complaint forms and more information about the complaint process may be obtained from
the Office.

3.5 UNPROFESSIONAL CONDUCT
Violation of any of these administrative rules is grounds for unprofessional conduct. Additional grounds for unprofessional
conduct charges are found under 26 V.S.A. ‘ 3181 and 3 V.S.A. ‘ 129a.

3.6 EFFECTIVE DATE
Adopted: April 15, 2005
Effective: July 1, 2005

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