Learn how to get your license to work as an armed private investigator.
Who needs a license?
Anyone who carries a firearm on duty while working for a licensed private investigation agency that:
- Provides investigation, escort, or bodyguard services
- Performs property loss prevention activities
1. Meet the 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
- Have a current license to carry a concealed pistol
2. Gather the necessary documents
- A copy of your current concealed pistol license
- If you're a resident alien: proof of your alien firearm license
3. Submit fingerprints
Submit your fingerprints for state and national background checks.
- Inside Washington: Schedule an appointment through Identogo, our electronic fingerprinting vendor. You'll pay a fee for the fingerprinting service and background checks required for your license type.
- Outside Washington: Please contact your local law enforcement agency and follow the out-of-state background check instructions to complete the fingerprint submission process.
For more details, read about fingerprinting and background checks.
3. Submit your application
You can apply online or by mail.
Apply for your license online
You'll receive your license faster by applying and paying online.
Apply for your license by mail
Mail your completed Private Investigator License Application and Renewal form and a check or money order for the application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing) to:
Private Investigator Program
Department of Licensing
PO Box 35001
Seattle, WA 98124-3401