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Private Investigator License Idaho

Becoming a Private Investigator in Idaho: Comprehensive Guidelines

In Idaho, the role of a private investigator involves a variety of tasks such as conducting interviews, performing background checks, engaging in surveillance, and analyzing public records. Private investigators are essential to attorneys, businesses, and individuals by uncovering vital information that aids in legal, personal, and financial decisions.

Understanding Idaho's Regulations for Private Investigators

Idaho does not currently require specific licensing for private investigators, simplifying entry into the profession. However, potential private investigators are encouraged to pursue relevant education and training to enhance their skills and marketability.

Key Requirements and Recommendations

Minimum Age Requirement:

  • Private investigators in Idaho must be at least 18 years old.

Business Licensing:

  • Operating legally as a private investigator in Idaho requires a general business license.

Criminal Background Check:

  • Although not mandated by the state, individual agencies may require a background check to ensure the suitability of candidates for handling sensitive information.

Financial History:

  • A sound financial history supports the credibility of a private investigator, although it is not a formal requirement.

Mental Health Check:

  • Candidates should be free from mental health conditions that could impair job performance.

Automatic Disqualifications:

  • Criminal convictions, lack of experience, or physical disabilities that impede essential job functions can disqualify a candidate.

Educational Pathways and Training

Educational Background:

  • While post-secondary education is not mandatory, degrees in law enforcement, criminology, or related fields are beneficial.


  • Gaining experience through work or under the supervision of an experienced private investigator can provide practical skills and improve job prospects.


  • Opting for national certification, such as through the Certified Private Investigator program, involves passing an examination and can enhance professional standing.

Licensing and Professional Development


  • The certification fee for the Certified Private Investigator program is $200 for non-members of the Private Investigators Association of Idaho and $150 for members. Renewal costs are lower.

Continuing Education:

  • Certified private investigators are required to complete 30 hours of continuing education every two years to maintain their certification.

Economic Outlook and Opportunities


  • As reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in 2015, private investigators in Idaho earned an average annual salary of $45,810.

While Idaho offers a more straightforward path to becoming a private investigator compared to states with stringent licensing requirements, aspiring private investigators should consider enhancing their qualifications through education and national certification. This approach not only broadens their knowledge but also increases their attractiveness to potential clients and employers.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

  1. Do I need a private investigator license to operate in Idaho?

    • Idaho does not require a specific private investigator license, but you will need a general business license to operate legally.
  2. What qualifications improve a private investigator's job prospects in Idaho?

    • A degree in a related field, experience under a seasoned investigator, and national certification are all valuable.
  3. How much does it cost to become a certified private investigator in Idaho?

    • The initial certification fee is $200 for non-members of the Private Investigators Association of Idaho, with renewal fees being lower.
  4. What is the average income for a private investigator in Idaho?

    • The average annual income for a private investigator in Idaho was approximately $45,810 as of the last reporting in 2015.
  5. Is continuing education required for private investigators in Idaho?

    • For those who choose national certification, yes, 30 hours of continuing education every two years is required.

By adhering to these guidelines, individuals can effectively prepare for a successful career as a private investigator in Idaho.

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