Is your driver license expiring soon? Renew your license online!
Limited in-person appointments available. Learn more.
Apply for a first-time instruction permit online.

If the information on this translated website is unclear, please contact us at 360.902.3900 for help in your language of choice.

How to get your license: Armed private investigator

Who needs a license?

Anyone who carries a firearm on duty while working for a licensed private investigative agency that:

  • Provides investigation, escort, or bodyguard services.
  • Performs property loss prevention activities.


To be licensed as an armed private investigator, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Be licensed as an unarmed private investigator or agency principal.
  • Have a current firearms certificate issued by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission (WSCJTC).
  • Have a current license to carry a concealed pistol.
  • Get fingerprinted for state and national background checks.
    • Inside Washington: Go to www.identogo.com to schedule an appointment through MorphoTrust. Pay IdentoGO for your fingerprints and background checks required for your license type.
    • Outside Washington: Call the Security Guard program at 360.664.6611 for fingerprint card submission instructions.
    • For more details, see Fingerprinting and background checks.

How to apply

You can apply online or by mail.

What you'll need


Apply online

By mail

Send the following:

Check or money order for the non-refundable application fee (payable to Department of Licensing)

Mail to: Private Investigator Program
Department of Licensing
PO Box 35001
Seattle, WA 98124-3401

For veterans, military personnel, and partners

Your military experience or training might help you meet licensing requirements. You may also be able to get a temporary license if you're moving here with a current license from another state. For more information visit military assistance.

If you're a U.S. veteran, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement of your fees. For more information, visit Get paid back for test fees.

Questions? Need help?

Chatbot icon
Washington Healthcare Finder
Good To Go!
Access Washington – official state government website