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Private Investigator License Georgia

Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Licensed Private Investigator in Georgia


Private investigators in Georgia offer a vital service by conducting investigations that cover a wide spectrum of areas including legal, financial, and personal matters. These professionals may undertake tasks such as verifying statements, checking backgrounds, uncovering infidelity, locating missing persons, and more. They often employ a mix of undercover work, surveillance techniques, and detailed investigative research to gather essential evidence. For those interested in this intriguing and dynamic field, becoming licensed is the first critical step.

Licensing Requirements for Private Investigators in Georgia

Eligibility and Minimum Requirements:

  • Age: Applicants must be 18 years or older to qualify for a license.
  • Provisional Requirements: In Georgia, individual licenses are not issued. Rather, licenses are granted to private investigative companies. If you wish to operate independently, you must register as a business and fulfill the roles of partner, owner, or officer to hold the license.
  • Criminal Background Check: It's mandatory to have a clean criminal record, particularly free from any history of violence or convictions.
  • Mental Health: Applicants judged mentally incompetent or considered a danger to themselves or others are disqualified.
  • Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens.
  • Automatic Disqualifiers: Past criminal activities such as felony convictions, illegal use of weapons, practicing without a license in Georgia, or having a physical disability that prevents the performance of PI duties can prevent licensure.

Educational and Experience Requirements


  • Degree: Possessing a four-year degree in criminal justice or a closely related field from an accredited institution is advisable and often preferred.


  • Accepted Experience: Two years of work in law enforcement or with a licensed private detective agency are required.


  • Courses: Prospective PIs must complete a 70-hour basic training course covering aspects such as the history of private investigation, criminal law, surveillance, and investigation techniques.

Application Process and Examination

  • Written Examination: All candidates must pass a comprehensive state examination to practice as a private investigator in Georgia.
  • Application Fees: Fees include $52 to $60 for digital fingerprinting and a $70 application fee payable to the Georgia Board of Private Detectives & Security Agencies.
  • Documentation Required: Applicants must submit proof of residency, citizenship, weapons permits (if applicable), and successful completion of the required training courses.

Maintaining Licensure

  • Continuing Education: Licensed private investigators in Georgia must complete 16 hours of continuing education annually to maintain their licensure.

Career Prospects and Salary

  • Job Outlook: The demand for skilled private investigators continues to grow as the need for their services expands across various sectors.
  • Salary: The average annual salary for private investigators in Georgia is approximately $42,749, with variations based on experience, specialization, and the complexity of the assignments handled.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: Can I work as a private investigator in Georgia without being associated with an agency?

  • A: In Georgia, all private investigator licenses are issued to businesses. To work independently, you must own or be an officer in a licensed private investigative company.

Q2: What are the automatic disqualifications for becoming a private investigator in Georgia?

  • A: Non-U.S. citizenship, felony convictions, illegal weapon use, being on parole, practicing without a license, or having a disqualifying physical disability can all result in automatic disqualification.

Q3: Are there any specific subjects I should focus on in my education to become a private investigator?

  • A: Yes, focusing on criminal justice, law enforcement, forensics, or other related fields can be highly beneficial.

Q4: How often do I need to renew my private investigator license in Georgia?

  • A: The license needs to be renewed annually, with a requirement to complete continuing education credits each year.

Becoming a licensed private investigator in Georgia requires meeting stringent criteria to ensure only qualified individuals enter this field. With the right educational background, requisite experience, and successful completion of state-mandated training and exams, you can embark on a rewarding career helping uncover vital information that can significantly impact various aspects of personal and professional disputes. The path to becoming a PI is rigorous but offers a unique blend of challenges and opportunities that can lead to a fulfilling professional life.

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