Learn how to get your license to work as an unarmed private investigator.
Who needs a license?
You must be licensed to work for a private investigation agency that:
- Provides investigation, escort, or bodyguard services
- Performs property loss prevention activities
How to apply
1. Meet the 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 hinder public safety
- Complete the pre-assignment training requirements
2. Submit fingerprints
Submit your fingerprints for state and national background checks.
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.
Please contact your local law enforcement agency to complete the fingerprint submission process. For more details, read about fingerprinting and background checks.
3. Submit your application
You must pay the license fee when you apply. Choose the method that works best for you.
Apply for your license online
You'll receive your license faster by applying and paying online.
Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create a SAW account.
Apply for your license by mail
Mail your completed Private Investigator License Application and Renewal form and a check or money order for the license fee (payable to the Department of Licensing) to:
Public Protection Services
Department of Licensing
PO Box 35001
Seattle, WA 98124-3401
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