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How to get your license: Armed private investigator

We have a new online service for managing professional and business licenses. Learn how to set up account access. If you need help with the new service, please contact your professional licensing program.

We expect a processing delay for mailed applications and renewals. Renew or apply online for faster processing of your license. Thank you for your patience and we apologize for any inconvenience.

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.

Requirements

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

Online

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.

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