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Become a Private Investigator in Florida

How to become a private investigator.In the State of Florida, it is a requirement to have a license to be employed as a private detective, private investigator, or private investigator intern. The state of Florida’s private investigation licensing is controlled by the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services. Its Division of Licensing also provides licenses for private investigators, private investigative interns, and private investigation agencies.

Any individual who performs private investigative work as an intern under the direction and control of a designated, sponsoring Class “C” licensee or a designated, sponsoring Class “MA” or Class “M” licensee must have a Class “CC” license. Because applicants for a Class C Private Investigator’s License in Florida must have two years of experience, most applicants opt to apply for licensure as a Class CC Private Investigator Intern first. Prior to applying for the intern license, you must complete at least 40 hours of professional private investigator training and Chapter 493 of the Florida Statutes, offered by an accredited school. 


When applying for a Class “CC” Private Investigator Intern license, all applicants must submit proof of successful completion of a minimum of 40 hours of professional training pertaining to general investigative techniques and Chapter 493, Florida Statutes, offered by a state university or by a school, community college, college, or university under the purview of the Department of Education.

The Department of Education (DOE) has provided a list of the schools and instructional facilities approved by the Department of Education to provide the qualifying training for the Class “CC” Private Investigator Intern license. Please be advised that the Division of Licensing does not have regulatory authority over these institutions.

On or after January 1, 2012, the applicant will be required to submit with the initial application proof of successful completion of 40 hours of training.

An applicant for the Class “CC” license must be sponsored by a Class “C”, “M”, or “MA” licensee. The Letter of Intent to Sponsor Private Investigator Intern (Form DACS-16026) must be submitted with the application. Other requirements include but are not limited to:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Be a U.S. citizen or legal resident
  • Have no disqualifying criminal history
  • Be of good moral character
  • Have no history of mental illness
  • Have no history of use of illegal drugs
  • Have no history of alcoholism source: DOACS

An applicant for the Class “C” Private Investigator License must have TWO YEARS OF LAWFULLY GAINED, VERIFIABLE, FULL-TIME EXPERIENCE in order to qualify for the license. This experience can be acquired through a combination of actual investigative experience, college course work in a related field, or internship in accordance with the following three categories set forth in the statute:

(a) Private investigative work or related fields of work that provided equivalent experience or training.

(b) College course work related to criminal justice, criminology, or law enforcement administration, or successful completion of any law enforcement-related training received from any federal, state, county, or municipal agency, except that no more than 1 year may be used from this category.

(c) Work as a Class “CC” licensed intern. This internship is done at a licensed private investigative agency.

The applicant for the Class “C” license must also pass an examination. This examination will cover those parts of Florida law that deal directly with the business practices of the private investigative industry and the legal responsibilities of the individuals and agencies that work in that industry (sections 493.6100 through 493.6203, and section 493.6301(5), Florida Statutes). A copy of Chapter 493 and the Private Investigator Handbook is included with this application package to assist applicants in preparing for the exam.

(NOTE: This examination requirement, which took effect on January 1, 2008, also applies to individuals applying for the Class “M” Investigative & Security Agency Manager License, or a Class “MA” Private Investigative Agency Manager License).

After passing the exam, you are ready to apply for Class C licensure as a private investigator in Florida. Steps to complete the Florida Private Investigator “C” application include but are not limited to:

  1. Complete the Application for Class C Private Investigator License.
  2. Attach a color passport-sized recent photo of yourself.
  3. Include a completed, signed and notarized Affidavit of Experience (Form FDACS-16023)
  4. Include the certificate of completion confirming your passing score on the exam
  5. Include proof of completion of the training and/or educational requirements, such as a diploma, degree and/or transcript
  6. Include a set of fingerprints on the fingerprint card included with the application package or by electronic fingerprint scan. Instructions for this process are provided within the application package.
  7. Include a check or money order payable to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for $167 (includes $50 application fee, $75 license fee, and $42 fingerprint processing fee)

Mail the above information to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services Division of Licensing, P.O. Box 9100, Tallahassee, FL 32315-9100.

If you plan to carry a concealed weapon either as a Private Investigative Intern or Private Investigator and are at least 21 years old, you must file the Class G Statewide Firearms License application. You must include the certificate showing you have completed the mandatory firearms instruction, a health certificate signed by your physician or advanced registered nurse practitioner, a passport-sized photograph, and fingerprint information. Also, enclose a check or money order payable to the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services for $154 (license fee of $112 and fingerprint processing fee of $42). Submit all of this to the Division of Licensing address listed above. (If you are submitting the application for Class C or CC licensure at the same time, you only need to submit one set of fingerprints and one fingerprint fee).

Source: DOACS

Nathans Investigations offers Student internships throughout the year. Whether you’re graduating with an undergraduate degree, Master’s degree, MBA, or Ph.D., internships are open to currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. Selected students will have an opportunity to do real investigative work with the best equipment and technology the field has to offer in a major metropolitan environment. The internships provide a diverse and unique experience that helps lay the foundation for numerous criminal justice careers.

Select here to read more about our Student Internship program


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