Private Investigator

A private investigator means any individual who engages in the business of, or accepts employment to make, investigations to obtain information on crimes or civil wrongs; the location, disposition, or recovery of stolen property; the cause of accidents, fires, damages, or injuries to persons or to property; or evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigative committee.

Click here to view the Private Investigator Apply and Renew Checklist

Eligibility Requirements

  1. Be a minimum of 18 years of age.
  2. Successful completion of all initial training requirements for each registration category, including firearms endorsement if applicable.
  3. Be a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States.

Training Requirements

60 Hours, Consisting of:

Submit to the Department

  1. Initial registration application and applicable non-refundable fee;
  2. Mailing address;
  3. Fingerprint card, fingerprint processing application and applicable non-refundable fee. For more information, view the Fingerprints page.

Additional Applications

  1. For those who will have access to a firearm, they must complete the requirements for a Firearms Endorsement. For more information, view the Firearms Endorsement page.
  2. Any individual who is already registered with the department and wishes to add categories to his/her current registration must complete the requirements for an Additional Registration Category. For more information, view the Additional Registration Category page.
  3. Any currently registered individual who has lost their registration card may apply for a replacement. For more information, view the Duplicate/Replacement Registration page.
  4. Any individual who has ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective ordersmust submit a Criminal History Supplemental Form. For more information, view the Criminal History page.
  5. Certain training exemptions may be granted for required training courses. For more information, view the Training Exemptions page.

Before a registration will be issued, individuals must complete all required training for each category of their registration.

Required Forms

Additional Forms

  • Criminal History Supplemental Form (.pdf, 1 page)
    • The form must be submitted with the PSS_FP form if you have ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective orders.
  • Replacement Registration Form (.pdf, 1 page)
  • Firearms Endorsement (.pdf, 2 pages)
  • Complete this form and the necessary training if you carry or have immediate access to a firearm in the performance of your duties.
  • You may be eligible to waive a portion of your entry-level training if you have completed certain private security services training or if you are a qualified law enforcement officer.
  • Partial Training Exemption Application - Entry Level (.pdf, 3 pages)

Training Requirements

8 Hours, Consisting of:

Submit to the Department

  1. Registration renewal application and applicable non-refundable fee;
  2. Completion of in-service training. The school will submit a roster, do not send your training completion form to DCJS.

Additional Applications

  1. For those who will have access to a firearm, they must complete the requirements for a Firearms Endorsement. This endorsement must be renewed every 12 months. For more information, view the Firearms Endorsement page.
  2. Any individual who is already registered with the department and wishes to add categories to his/her current registration must complete the requirements for an Additional Registration Category. For more information, view the Additional Registration Category page.
  3. Any currently registered individual who has lost their registration card may apply for a replacement. For more information, view the Duplicate/Replacement Registration page.
  4. Any individual who has ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective ordersmust submit a Criminal History Supplemental Form. For more information, view the Criminal History page.
  5. Any individual who meets limited circumstances, may apply for a renewal extension. For more information, view the Extension page.
  6. Certain training exemptions may be granted for required training courses. For more information, view the Training Exemptions page.

Before a registration will be issued, individuals must complete all required training for each category of their registration.

Required Form

Additional Forms

  • Criminal History Supplemental Form (.pdf, 1 page)
    • The form must be submitted with the Fingerprint form if you have ever been convicted or found guilty of a felony or misdemeanor (not to include minor traffic violations) in Virginia or any other jurisdiction to include military court martial or currently under protective orders.
  • Replacement Registration Form (.pdf, 1 page)
  • Firearms Endorsement (.pdf, 2 pages)
  • Complete this form and the necessary training if you carry or have immediate access to a firearm in the performance of your duties.
  • You may be eligible to waive a portion of your entry-level training if you have completed certain private security services training or if you are a qualified law enforcement officer.
  • Partial Training Exemption Application - In-Service (.pdf, 2 pages)

A person who engages in the business of or accepts employment to make investigations to obtain information on (i) crimes or civil wrongs; (ii) the location, disposition, or recovery of stolen property; (iii) the cause of accidents, fires, damages, or injuries to persons or to property; or (iv) evidence to be used before any court, board, officer, or investigative committee. 

You must possess a valid registration in this category. 

For information on how to apply, please visit the Private Investigator page.

Yes. You must have a current registration in order to work in this registered category. 

Yes. You must have completed all required training and have a current registration in order to work in this registered category. 

60 hours -- 02E private investigator (60 hours) 

8 hours -- 02I private investigator (8 hours) 

Yes, provided that the investigation originates in their state of licensure or registration when the other state offers similar reciprocity to private investigators licensed and registered by the Commonwealth. View the current Limited Reciprocity Agreements for Private Investigations that the Commonwealth of Virginia has entered into with other states. 

Only if they are also registered as a personal protection specialist. 

No. Persons who carry or have access to a firearm while on duty must have a firearm endorsement as described under 6 VAC 20-171-365 of the state regulations. If carrying a concealed handgun, the person must also have a valid concealed handgun permit, and the written permission of his employer pursuant to 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.