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Private Investigator License Florida

Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Private Investigator in Florida

The role of private investigators in Florida is expanding rapidly due to the increasing prevalence of internet-related frauds and crimes. This growth makes the profession an appealing career option with promising prospects. Private investigators in Florida play a crucial role in both the public and private sectors by providing investigative services that help in solving complex cases ranging from personal to cyber crimes.

Licensing Requirements for Private Investigators in Florida

Overview: In Florida, becoming a licensed private investigator is mandatory and regulated by the state to ensure that only qualified individuals practice in this sensitive field.

Minimum Requirements:

  • Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years old.
  • Criminal Background Check: A thorough background check is conducted, reviewing any criminal history.
  • Military History: Any military discharge, fine, or disciplinary action must be reported.
  • Mental Health Check: Applicants must disclose any mental health disorders.
  • Citizenship: Applicants must be a U.S. citizen or a legal resident.
  • Automatic Disqualifiers: Previous convictions, lack of legal residency, mental or physical incapacity, or previous illegal activity as a P.I. without a license.

Educational and Experience Criteria


  • Accepted Experience: A minimum of two years of relevant experience is necessary to apply for a Class “C” private investigator license. This experience could be from law enforcement, military background, or an internship at a licensed private investigative agency.
  • Substitutable Education: College coursework in criminology, criminal justice, or related fields can account for up to one year of the required experience.


  • One year of experience can be substituted with law enforcement-related training acquired through state, county, municipal, or federal training programs.

Application and Examination Process

Written Exam:

  • A critical component of the licensing process is passing a written exam that covers Florida laws relevant to private investigation and business practices within the industry.


  • Application Fee: $50
  • Fingerprint Processing Fee: $42
  • License Fee: $75
  • Examination Fee: $100

Application Package:

  • The application must include verified personal details such as SSN, citizenship status, permanent address, educational and military backgrounds, criminal history, and any aliases. A photograph and fingerprints are also required, along with proof of passing the examination. If upgrading from a Class “CC” intern license, a sponsorship letter is necessary.

Maintaining and Renewing Your License

  • The private investigator license in Florida is valid for two years, requiring renewal that includes completing a renewal application form and meeting the continuing education or experience criteria set by the state.

Salary and Job Prospects

  • According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary for private investigators in Florida is approximately $45,240. The job market for private investigators is expected to grow by 5% through 2024, reflecting an ongoing need for investigative services in various sectors.

Continuing Professional Development

Education and Training:

  • Continuous learning through advanced courses in criminal justice and private investigation is recommended to stay updated with the latest trends and techniques in the field.

Professional Associations:

  • Membership in professional bodies such as the Florida Association of Licensed Investigators provides valuable networking opportunities, resources, and updates on industry standards and legislation.

Embarking on a career as a private investigator in Florida requires meeting rigorous standards set by the state to ensure professionalism and competence in the field. With the right education, training, and adherence to legal requirements, individuals can build a successful career as a private investigator, contributing significantly to the safety and security of society. As the demand for skilled investigators continues to grow, the opportunities for engaging in this challenging yet rewarding profession will expand, offering a fulfilling career path to those interested in making a difference.

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