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Private Investigator License Hawaii

Comprehensive Guide to Becoming a Licensed Private Investigator in Hawaii


Private investigators play a crucial role in gathering information for clients on personal, legal, and financial issues, significantly aiding in crime investigation. In Hawaii, the profession is not only rewarding but also in demand, with employment projected to grow in line with national trends. Those looking to enter this field need to navigate a series of regulatory requirements to ensure they are eligible to practice effectively and ethically.

Licensing Requirements in Hawaii

Minimum Requirements:

  • Age: Applicants must be at least 18 years old to qualify.
  • Citizenship: Must be a U.S. citizen.
  • Criminal Background Check: A thorough background check is conducted to ensure no convictions that might reflect poorly on the potential to perform investigative duties.
  • Financial History: Candidates should demonstrate financial integrity, with no history of fraud or dishonest financial practices.
  • Mental Health: Must not have a history of mental incompetency or be considered a danger to self or others.

Automatic Disqualifiers:

  • Being under 18, not a U.S. citizen, having felony or violent crime convictions, or attempting to practice without a license are automatic disqualifiers.

Education and Experience Requirements


  • While higher education is not mandatory, degrees in criminal justice or related fields from accredited institutions are highly beneficial and can count as part of the experience requirement.


  • A minimum of four years of relevant investigative experience is necessary. This can also include time spent working under the supervision of a licensed Hawaiian private investigator.

Examination and Training

  • Written Exams: Candidates must pass a state-administered exam that covers Hawaii laws and business practices related to private investigations.
  • Training: Required training covers a variety of topics, including Hawaii’s laws and ethics, investigation strategies, surveillance techniques, evidence handling, privacy regulations, and basic first aid/CPR.

Application Process

  • Fees: Application fees vary, with charges of $81 or $117 depending on the timing of the application, plus a $17 fingerprinting fee.
  • Required Documents: Applicants must submit a completed application form, proof of education (high school diploma/GED at minimum), fingerprint cards, and evidence of completed training programs.

Maintaining Licensure

  • Private investigators in Hawaii are required to complete four hours of continuing education to renew their licenses, ensuring they remain up-to-date with the latest practices and regulations.

Salary and Job Outlook

  • The average annual salary for private investigators in Hawaii is approximately $53,180, which is above the national average, reflecting the demand and cost of living in the state.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Q1: Can I become a private investigator in Hawaii directly after high school?

  • A: Yes, although a high school diploma is the minimum education requirement, you must also accumulate four years of relevant investigative experience.

Q2: What happens if I have a criminal record?

  • A: Having a criminal record, especially for felonies or violent crimes, automatically disqualifies you from becoming a licensed private investigator in Hawaii.

Q3: How often do I need to renew my private investigator license in Hawaii?

  • A: Private investigator licenses must be renewed periodically with the requirement of completing continuing education hours.

Q4: Are there special requirements for private investigators who wish to carry firearms?

  • A: Yes, additional training and certifications may be required for private investigators in Hawaii who choose to carry firearms during their duties.

Embarking on a career as a private investigator in Hawaii requires careful consideration of the state’s licensing requirements, a commitment to ongoing education, and a clear criminal record. For those who meet the criteria, the role of a private investigator offers a challenging but rewarding career path, with the opportunity to make significant contributions to legal and personal resolutions. Prospective PIs should strive to surpass the minimum requirements and continuously update their skills to thrive in this dynamic field.

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