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California Investigator License

If you are thinking of hiring an investigator, you may want to use a California private investigator license search. This way, you’ll confirm if the ones you’re considering have the necessary license to offer their services. Or maybe you are working on becoming a private investigator and want to verify that your information appears on the State of California private investigator license search. Before completing any searches on the lookup or hiring a private investigator, you should know a few critical things about the profession.

What Are the Requirements for Becoming a Licensed Private Investigator in California?

To become a licensed private investigator in California, you have to be at least 18 years old. You also have to complete and pass a background check for criminal history with both the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the California Department of Justice (DOJ). Keep in mind that you need to submit the application to the FBI before the background check, which is part of FBI guidelines.

You also have to pass a two-hour exam that includes multiple-choice questions about regulations and laws, criminal and civil liability, terminology, undercover investigations, surveillance, and evidence handling.

There is also an experience requirement before you can get your license and appear on a California license search private investigator lookup. There are three options to fulfill this:

  • Have three years (or 6,000 hours) of investigative work experience that was compensated
  • Have two years (or 4,000 hours) of experience plus a four-hour police science degree or a law degree
  • Have 2.5 years (or 5,000 hours) of experience plus an associate’s degree in justice, criminal law, or police science

Keep in mind that you will need to verify your experience.

After you pass the exam, you have to pay a licensing fee.

Do You Need Qualifications to Be a Private Investigator?

Yes, private investigators must meet all of the above requirements. These include being at least 18 years old, passing a background check, having experience, and passing the exam. Everyone who appears on the State of California private investigator license search has met all of these requirements.

Additionally, some private investigators need to have commercial general liability insurance. This is required if you are not an LLC, provide armed bodyguard services, and carry a firearm. If you are an LLC, you also need a liability insurance policy.

How Do You Become an Investigator? How Do I Become an Investigator in California?

To start your path toward becoming an investigator in California, work on gathering experience. You may also want to complete a degree in police science or a law degree to reduce the experience requirements.

You will then have to get fingerprinted and take the background check. After this, you can submit your application and schedule your exam. Once you pass the test, you pay the fee and get your license.

Can Private Investigators Carry Guns in California?

You can only carry a gun as a private investigator if you have a firearm permit from the Bureau of Security & Investigative Services. You do not automatically qualify to carry a gun when you are a private investigator. Additionally, the firearms permit does not allow for concealed carry.

To get that firearms permit, you must be at least 21 years old and either a citizen or permanent legal alien. You will then have to pass courses in both the Power of Arrest and the use and carrying of firearms. The first of these is eight hours, while the latter includes eight classroom hours and six hours at the range. The firearm permit also requires passing a criminal background check, which you will have to do anyway to get your investigator license.

How Do I Check My California Guard Card?

You can check your California Guard Card by contacting the BSIS via phone. You can also use a California private investigator license search.

For those who need a refresher, the Guard Card is the California Bureau of Security & Investigative Service’s basic license. Someone with a Guard Card can legally work as a security guard, loss prevention agent, bouncer, or security patrol.

How Much Does It Cost to Get a Guard Card in California?

If you opt for the eight-hour online training for initial guard cards, the total cost is between $141 and $161. This includes $20 for the course, $56 for the fees from the California BSIS, and $65 to $85 for the Live Scan and DOJ/FBI background check. If you opt for the full 40-hour online guard card training, the total cost is $221 to $241. The breakdown is identical, except the 40-hour training costs $100 instead of the $20 for the eight-hour version.

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