North Carolina Private Investigator License

North Carolina Private Investigator License

Getting a permit in this state does not require much paperwork. Working as a PI means dealing with legal cases, computer crimes, and missing people. If it appeals to you, start the process of getting a North Carolina private investigator license.

According to NC careers, there were 605 investigators in the state. There is annual job growth, and the number of professionals is set to increase by 2028. Thus, it is a good chance to start your career now. Overall, the wages of detectives vary between $16 and $48 an hour. The annual median wage stands at $55,530.

Detectives working in other states can come to NC for a specific period of time. Specifically, there are reciprocal agreements with 7 states.

Minimum requirements

Now let’s examine the minimum conditions for getting certified. The local Department of Private Safety is an agency you have to apply to. The agency’s private protective service (PPS) issues the certificates.

The following requirements are mandatory:

  • At least 18 years of age
  • A US citizen/ resident alien
  • Having a high school diploma/GED
  • Clear criminal record, be of good moral character

In NC you will not have to undergo a financial history check. There is also no mandated surety bond. Of course, it would be better to have one to protect you. As in other states, the future PI has to undergo a background check. As for a military discharge, you have to provide relevant information.


Having no strict education requirements does not mean anyone can work as a detective. In fact, the authorities expect applicants to have 3 years of experience in investigation. Three years as a member of a law enforcement agency will also work.

However, those failing to meet the mentioned requirements may apply for PI Associate. Such candidates have to find a licensed sponsor. This is a kind of training and employment at the same time. Moreover, the protective service’s website provides a tool to look for a company. Active permit search helps in finding your future employer.

The papers you need

Once you have the required experience, it is time to collect the supporting documents. The Department’s website offers a useful checklist to make it easier.

First, make sure you have all the papers:

  • Digital photo
  • Proof of high school graduation
  • PPS Release of Records form
  • Fingerprint card
  • DD 214 (if a veteran or discharged)
  • Online criminal history check

In addition, the applicant also has to provide five references. There is a personal reference questionnaire that the referencee has to complete as well.

There is an additional document for a person applying for an associate certificate. The applicant needs a written plan of supervision.

As for fees, the non-refundable application charge is $150. Another $38 is a fee for a fingerprint check.

Unless it is a sole proprietorship, a Board-issued business permit is a must. You can look through our article on how to get a North Carolina business license.

Online procedure

Having all papers at hand, you are free to start the application process. Bear in mind that the documents have to be in digital format for uploading.

You just enter the online application form and fill in all the fields. Once complete, send the fingerprint card to the PPS office. Make sure you have answered all the questions not to cause delay.

However, the armed PI faces a different procedure. In this case, you have to provide a financial liability certificate. The candidate will also have to prove he has passed firearms training.

Anna Gh

Anna Gh

Anna has more than 10 years of experience in translation and multilingual content writing. She is also a communication expert with extensive experience working in online news media, writing and copy-editing articles, conducting interviews, managing partner relations, as well as media monitoring, analysis, and reporting. Having extensive experience in online media, Anna has expertise in research and proofreading. During her career, she has been creating different types of content ranging from IT, educational, medical, and legal articles up to music press releases and CD booklets, including SEO-friendly content.