Main image of a Private Investigator License New Hampshire

Private Investigator License New Hampshire

How to Become a Private Investigator in New Hampshire: Licensing Requirements and Career Path

For those drawn to investigative work, pursuing a career as a private investigator in New Hampshire presents an appealing path. This role involves gathering critical information for various clients, including businesses, individuals, and government entities. With tasks ranging from fraud examination to locating missing persons, private investigators play a pivotal role in many sectors.

Licensing Process in New Hampshire

New Hampshire mandates licensure for private investigators through the state's Department of Safety, ensuring that all practicing investigators meet certain professional standards.

Basic Requirements
  • Age: Applicants must be at least eighteen years old.
  • Residency: Open to U.S. residents.
  • Criminal Background Check: Mandatory for all applicants.
  • Military Service: Dishonorable discharges are not considered disqualifying.
  • Financial History: Not reviewed during the licensing process.
  • Mental Health: Not assessed.
  • Insurance: Applicants must secure a $50,000 surety bond valid for two years.
  • Criminal Convictions: Felony convictions or misdemeanors involving fraud, domestic violence, theft, or controlled substances will disqualify a candidate.

Educational and Professional Experience

  • Experience Requirements:
    • Four years in claims adjustment, security, or law enforcement.
    • Two years as an investigator with an associate or bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, or certification from the American Society for Industrial Security or the National Association of Legal Investigators.
    • Four years as a full-time investigator or firefighter, with firefighting experience backed by certification from the International Association of Arson Investigators.
Training and Education

While New Hampshire does not certify specific training programs for private investigators, potential candidates are encouraged to pursue formal education in related fields to enhance their expertise and marketability. Relevant degree programs include:

  • Criminal Justice
  • Political Science
  • Computer Forensics
  • Law

These programs provide foundational knowledge and skills beneficial to a career in private investigation.

Application Process and Fees

  • Application Fee: $150
  • Background Investigation Fee: $10
  • Criminal Record Check Fee: $25
  • Applicants must submit their materials directly to the New Hampshire Department of Safety, including proof of experience and the required surety bond.

Maintaining Licensure

  • Renewal Process: Private investigator licenses in New Hampshire must be periodically renewed, with renewal fees totaling $150, plus additional fees for background checks.

Employment Outlook and Salary

  • Salary: As of 2015, private investigators in New Hampshire had an average annual salary of $44,690.
  • Employment Numbers: There were 190 private investigators reported in New Hampshire in 2015.

Additional Resources

  • New Hampshire State Police
  • Department of Safety
  • New Hampshire League of Investigators

Educational Opportunities

Prospective private investigators are advised to explore various educational programs that can prepare them for the demands of the profession. Engaging with accredited institutions that offer degrees in criminal justice and related fields can significantly benefit those entering this field.


Q1: What are the initial steps to becoming a licensed private investigator in New Hampshire? A1: Begin by ensuring you meet the age and residency requirements, then prepare to submit to a criminal background check and secure a surety bond.

Q2: What are the educational paths beneficial for a private investigator? A2: Degrees in criminal justice, law, political science, or computer forensics provide a strong foundation for a private investigation career.

Q3: How often must I renew my private investigator license in New Hampshire? A3: Licenses must be renewed periodically, with specific intervals and fees outlined by the New Hampshire Department of Safety.

This guide outlines the necessary steps to become a licensed private investigator in New Hampshire, detailing the required qualifications, application process, and educational paths that prospective private investigators can follow to ensure success in this dynamic field.

Related Articles