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Private Investigator License Delaware

Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Private Investigator in Delaware

Delaware, though small in size, offers a dynamic environment for private investigators. With a range of duties including assisting law enforcement, conducting corporate background checks, and investigating personal matters, the role of a private investigator in Delaware is both challenging and rewarding.

Delaware Private Investigator License Requirements

Overview: In Delaware, private investigators are regulated by the Delaware State Police. The state mandates a license to legally conduct private investigations, ensuring that all practitioners meet the stringent requirements established for the profession.

Minimum Qualifications:

  • Age Requirement: Applicants must be at least 21 years old.
  • Criminal Background Check: Prospective private investigators must undergo fingerprinting to verify the absence of felonies, theft, drug offenses, recent assault convictions, and crimes of moral turpitude.
  • Financial History: Delaware does not impose financial history checks for private investigator licensure.
  • Mental Health: There are no mental health evaluation requirements.
  • Insurance: Unlike many states, Delaware does not require bonding for private investigators.

Automatic Disqualifications:

  • Convictions related to the specified crimes will prevent individuals from obtaining a PI license.

Educational and Training Requirements

Educational Background:

  • There are no specific degree requirements to become a private investigator in Delaware. However, individuals often pursue degrees in criminal justice or related fields to enhance their knowledge and competencies.


  • Candidates must be employed by a licensed private investigation agency to qualify for licensure. This ensures practical, on-the-job training under the supervision of experienced professionals.


  • Delaware requires prospective private investigators to pass a state-administered written exam that covers relevant laws, ethical considerations, and investigative techniques.


  • A mandatory 16-hour state training class must be completed by all applicants. Additionally, those wishing to carry firearms must undergo separate firearms training from an approved instructor.

Application Process


  • Fingerprinting: $69
  • Application Processing: $85
  • Identification Card: $20
  • Lost ID Fines: $200 per day

Application Submission:

  • Applicants must submit their application along with proof of meeting all requirements and the necessary fees.

Licensure Maintenance

  • Delaware sends out notification letters with instructions for renewing your PI license. The renewal process ensures that all private investigators remain compliant with state regulations and up-to-date with industry practices.

Salary and Job Outlook

  • The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports an average annual salary of $53,400 for private investigators in Delaware as of 2015. The field is expected to grow by about 5% nationally through 2024, reflecting steady demand for investigative services.

Professional Growth and Opportunities

Continuing Education:

  • Private investigators in Delaware are encouraged to pursue continuing education and professional development opportunities to stay current in the field. This can include advanced investigative techniques, the latest technological tools, and changes in legislation affecting private investigations.


  • Joining professional organizations such as local or national PI associations can provide valuable networking opportunities, access to resources, and professional development seminars.

Becoming a licensed private investigator in Delaware requires meeting specific regulatory requirements, including passing a state exam and completing required training. While the pathway to becoming a PI may be demanding, the career offers significant opportunities for those interested in a diverse and engaging professional life. Aspiring private investigators should focus on gaining the necessary education, experience, and skills to thrive in this dynamic field, ensuring they are well-prepared to handle the complexities of modern investigations.

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