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How to get your license: Unarmed 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 works for a licensed private investigative agency that:

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

Requirements

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 MorphoTrust, 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.

How to apply

You can apply online or by mail.

Online

Creat your SAW account to apply and pay your fees online.

Apply online

By mail

Send the following:

Mail to:

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?

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