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Private Investigator License – Virginia

Private Investigator Defined

A private investigator means any individual who engages in the business of, or accepts employment to make, investigations to obtain information on crimes or civil wrongs; the location, disposition, or recovery of stolen property; the cause of accidents, fires, damages, or injuries to persons or to property; or evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigative committee.

Initial Registration

The requirements can be found in 6 VAC 20-171-120 of the Regulations. Registrations are issued for 24 months.

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  2. Successful completion of all initial training requirements for each registration category, including firearms endorsement if applicable.
  3. Be a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States.

Training Requirements

60 Hours, Consisting of:

Submit to the Department

  1. Initial registration application and applicable non-refundable fee;
  2. Mailing address;
  3. Fingerprint card, fingerprint processing application and applicable non-refundable fee. For more information, view the Fingerprints page.

Additional Applications

  1. For those who will have access to a firearm, they must complete the requirements for a Firearms Endorsement. For more information, view the Firearms Endorsement page.
  2. Any individual who is already registered with the department and wishes to add categories to his/her current registration must complete the requirements for an Additional Registration Category. For more information, view the Additional Registration Category page.
  3. Any currently registered individual who has lost their registration card may apply for a replacement. For more information, view the Duplicate/Replacement Registration page.
  4. Any individual who has ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective ordersmust submit a Criminal History Supplemental Form. For more information, view the Criminal History page.
  5. Certain training exemptions may be granted for required training courses. For more information, view the Training Exemptions page.

Before a registration will be issued, individuals must complete all required training for each category of their registration.

Required Forms

Additional Forms

  • Criminal History Supplemental Form (.pdf, 1 page)
    • The form must be submitted with the PSS_FP form if you have ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective orders.
  • Replacement Registration Form (.pdf, 1 page)
  • Firearms Endorsement (.pdf, 2 pages)
    • Complete this form and the necessary training if you carry or have immediate access to a firearm in the performance of your duties.
  • Partial Training Exemption Application – Entry Level (.pdf, 3 pages)
    • You may be eligible to waive a portion of your entry-level training if you have completed certain private security services training or if you are a qualified law enforcement officer.

Renewal Registration

The requirements can be found in 6 VAC 20-171-130 of the Regulations. Registrations are issued for 24 months.

Training Requirements

8 Hours, Consisting of:

Submit to the Department

  1. Registration renewal application and applicable non-refundable fee;
  2. Completion of in-service training. The school will submit a roster, do not send your training completion form to DCJS.

Additional Applications

  1. For those who will have access to a firearm, they must complete the requirements for a Firearms Endorsement. This endorsement must be renewed every 12 months. For more information, view the Firearms Endorsement page.
  2. Any individual who is already registered with the department and wishes to add categories to his/her current registration must complete the requirements for an Additional Registration Category. For more information, view the Additional Registration Category page.
  3. Any currently registered individual who has lost their registration card may apply for a replacement. For more information, view the Duplicate/Replacement Registration page.
  4. Any individual who has ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective ordersmust submit a Criminal History Supplemental Form. For more information, view the Criminal History page.
  5. Any individual who meets limited circumstances, may apply for a renewal extension. For more information, view the Extension page.
  6. Certain training exemptions may be granted for required training courses. For more information, view the Training Exemptions page.

Before a registration will be issued, individuals must complete all required training for each category of their registration.

Required Form

Additional Forms

  • Criminal History Supplemental Form (.pdf, 1 page)
    • The form must be submitted with the Fingerprint form if you have ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective orders.
  • Replacement Registration Form (.pdf, 1 page)
  • Firearms Endorsement (.pdf, 2 pages)
    • Complete this form and the necessary training if you carry or have immediate access to a firearm in the performance of your duties.
  • Partial Training Exemption Application – In-Service (.pdf, 2 pages)
    • You may be eligible to waive a portion of your entry-level training if you have completed certain private security services training or if you are a qualified law enforcement officer.

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