How to get your license: Unarmed private investigator
Who needs a license?
Anyone who works for a licensed private investigative agency that:
- Provides investigation, escort, or bodyguard services
- Performs property loss prevention activities.
To be licensed as an unarmed private investigator, you must:
- Be at least 18 years old.
- Be a United States citizen or resident alien.
- Be employed by, or have an employment offer from, a licensed private investigator company.
- Have no convictions that directly relate to your capacity to perform the duties of a private investigator and/or hinders public safety.
- Complete the pre–assignment training requirements.
- Get fingerprinted for state and national background checks.
- Inside Washington: Go to www.identogo.com to schedule an appointment through Idemia, our electronic fingerprinting vendor. You will pay IdentoGO for taking your fingerprints and for the 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.
What you'll need
- A SecureAccess Washington (SAW) account to apply online.
- If you don't have one, you'll be able to create one before you start.
- For help visit How to set up account access.
How to apply
You can apply online or by mail.
Creat your SAW account to apply and pay your fees online.
Send the following:
- Completed Private Investigator License Application and Renewal.
- The non–refundable application fee (check or money order payable to the Department of Licensing).
Private Investigator Program/Private Security Guard 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?
- Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Call us: 360.664.6611