How to Become a Private Investigator in NY

Published: Feb 26, 2019

how to become a private investigator in ny

If you want to run your own private investigation company in New York, you have to undergo a licensing process in the state.

How to become a private investigator in NY? You have to prove your suitability for the job by providing a range of documents, showcasing your professional experience and passing an exam. You would also need to obtain a private investigator bond.

In the guide below, you can find out the most important details about getting a license as an independent NY private eye.

Get to know with the licensing requirements

Launching an independent private investigation business in the state of New York entails meeting a number of criteria set by the Department of State’s Division of Licensing Services. If you would like to work under another investigation company, then you won’t need to undergo this process.

You have to provide the completed Private Investigator Application Form together with documents proving the following:

  • You are at least 25 years old
  • You are the principal of the business entity that you’re applying with
  • A receipt that provides proof of electronic fingerprinting by an approved vendor
  • DMV Consent Form to use your driver license photo or non-driver ID
  • A $10,000 private investigator surety bond

The initial licensing fee is $400. The licensing period runs for two years.

It’s a good idea to consult the Private Investigators, Bail Enforcement Agents, Watch, Guard or Patrol Agencies and Security Guards Licensing Law prior to launching your licensing procedure.

Prove experience and pass the licensing exam

how to become a private investigator in ny

As a part of the licensing procedure, you have to prove that you have relevant experience, so that you are allowed to launch an independent PI company. The minimum requirements are:

  • Three years of experience as a private investigator, or equivalent experience
  • 20 years of service as a police officer or a fire marshall

In order for your application to be considered, you have to have passed successfully a professional exam in the last two years. You can consult further information about the exam in order to plan your dates.

The fee for the licensing exam is $15.

Obtain your private investigator bond

One of the criteria you have to satisfy in order to become an independent private investigator in New York is to provide a $10,000 surety bond. You have to use the official bond form together with your application form.

The private investigator bond serves as additional protection for the state and the general public. It guarantees that you will follow applicable New York laws, thus ensuring your customers’ interests are safeguarded. If you fail to abide by applicable rules and regulations, a harmed party can file a claim against the bond. In this way, they can seek a reimbursement of up to the bond amount, which is $10,000.

How to get bonded? You need to apply with a surety and present your personal and business financials. On the basis of their strength, you will get your bond premium, which is a percentage of the required amount. For applicants with stable finances, it is between 1% and 5%.


Need more information on how to become a private investigator in NY and get bonded for the license? Don’t hesitate to get in touch with our bonding experts at 877.514.5146.

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