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How to Get a License to Be a Private Investigator

Becoming a licensed private investigator is one of the most important steps in the career of a private investigator. Whether you've been working as a private investigator for some time or you're a recent graduate from a school that offers private investigator training, being a licensed private investigator can have immense benefits for your career.

In order to get a private investigator license, there is a brief process that you'll have to go through. Luckily, the process is simple enough and you can have your license within a short time of starting the application process.

Where Do You Apply To Get A Private Investigator License?

To become a licensed private investigator, you'll need to apply to the Security Industry Authority. This government body licenses all frontline operators in the private security industry. They also license private investigators who apply to be licensed and are able to meet the qualifications that have been set.

What Do You Need To Get Your Private Detective License?

The Security Industry Authority has a short list of requirements for anyone applying to become a licensed private investigator. These requirements ensure that any licensed investigator has the skills necessary to carry out the job and that they don't have a past that could compromise their work.

For your application to be accepted, you'll need:

  • To be at least 18 years of age
  • To possess an IQ Level 3 Certificate for Private Investigators
  • To be a person that is fit and proper for the job
  • To have a right to work in the UK

In addition to these requirements, you'll also have to pay the £220 application fee. To ascertain that you're fit and proper to hold a private investigator license, you'll be subjected to a background check. Emphasis will be on any criminal record you may have. A criminal record will not be an automatic disqualification factor.

What Do You Need To Do To Get A Private Investigator License?

In order to get your private investigator license from the SIA, you'll need to go through the following application process:

  • Creation of a personal account on the SIA site
  • Completing and submitting an application form for a private investigator license
  • Paying the application fee and going to the post office for verification of identity
  • Submitting additional documents if required and waiting for notification on the application status.
  • Receiving the notification from the SIA regarding whether the application was successful or not.

Not all applications to the SIA are successful. The SIA may refuse to issue you with a license if you don't meet the criteria set forth. In case the SIA notifies you that they intend to refuse your application, you'll need to respond within 21 days.

The process of getting an SIA license may vary slightly if:

  • Some other business is paying for your license
  • You're applying through your employer using license assist or the license management service

In both cases, you'll need to link to the other business on the SIA website when you're making the initial application. In the second case, it's also your employer who'll provide your personal information through an application form that will be sent to them from the SIA. If your employer uses the license management service, you won't even have to visit the post office to verify your identity.

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