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Discover The Ways To Become A NY Private Investigator Successfully

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To become a licensed private investigator in New York, you must adhere to strict guidelines established by the state’s Division of Licensing Services. 


Working as a private investigator in New York City may be gratifying. Private investigators in this state will have many career opportunities, whether working individually or with an established detective business. A private investigator’s typical tasks include investigating violent crimes and threats of violence, recovering stolen assets, and researching individuals and companies. 


As licensing for private investigators in New York is a simple procedure, here are the basic steps to become a licensed private investigator in New York. 

  • Please do not apply if you are under the age of 25.

New York has a substantially higher minimum age than California.

  • Federal criminal offenses are not permitted.


However, it is not just crimes that are committed. Convictions involving firearms, the construction of burglar devices, the purchase or receipt of stolen goods, unlawful entry into a structure, assisting in the escape from prison, or the illegal possession or distribution of habit-forming narcotic substances are not allowed for applicants.

  • You must have the necessary expertise to get a private investigator license in New York.


Applicants must have at least three years of experience as investigators for a government investigation agency or a police force. Another applying method is to use one of the following:


  • For three years, get extensive expertise in a position where the primary tasks are to conduct investigations.
  • 3-year experience supervising and evaluating at least three investigators’ investigations on a full-time basis
  • Twenty years of service as a police officer, regardless of the exact classification.
  • 20 years as a fire marshal

  • Private Investigators in the state of New York must pass a state-mandated examination.


Walk-ins are one of the essential parts of the New York private investigator exam. There are only a limited number of seats available, so get there early. A driver’s license or passport and any other necessary pieces of identification will serve as identification. This test may be passed or failed. When you complete the test, you will get a letter in the mail with your results.


It’s a multiple-choice test. You’ll have two and a half hours to finish it. Criminal law, criminal process and procedure, investigative techniques and strategies, written information interpretation, and report preparation are addressed. Despite walk-in availability, testing is only available on a restricted number of days. You may always call the toll-free number to inquire if any days or hours are available.


New York Private Investigator Licensing Requirements


The Minimal Essentials


  • Private investigators in New York City must be at least 18 years old.
  • Requirements: If you want an agency license rather than an individual license, you must be the principal owner of a private detective business.
  • You must submit a criminal background check before acquiring a New York state license. To be considered for this employment, you must disclose any criminal history on your application and provide documentation of the crime.
  • If you were dishonorably discharged from the military, it would not hinder you from becoming a certified private investigator.
  • You will be required to produce three years of financial documents.
  • A mental health assessment is not required for applicants for a New York private investigator’s license.
  • Private investigators in New York must get a $10,000 surety bond to practice.
  • There are no obstacles that would prevent you from obtaining a private investigator license.
  • Private Investigators in New York Must Meet Certain Requirements


Education and Experimentation


  • Before becoming an investigator  in New York, they must have a bachelor’s degree and at least one year of relevant job experience. 
  • You will fulfill this requirement if you have three years of experience as a licensed private investigator, three years of comparable experience where the investigation was your primary responsibility, or three years supervising at least three investigators. 
  • A licensed police officer or fire marshal with at least 20 years of experience is also required.
  • All New York private investigator licensure applicants must pass a written exam offered by the state. If you obtain at least 70%, you’ll have to pay around $12-$15.




The best way to ensure a successful career in an investigation is to get training and education. A degree in private investigation will guarantee that you have the necessary skills. Forensics and criminal justice are two areas that lie under this umbrella.


Forms are required for obtaining a private detective license in New York City.


  • Fees must be paid: A private investigator’s license in New York City can set you back $400. There will also be an $87.25 fingerprinting fee.
  • You must register to attend: You must pass the private investigators examination before applying. Fill out your application and include your surety bond form, proof of job experience, a DMV permission form and receipt from an electronic fingerprinting provider, and five character statements from people who know you in the community where your company will be located.
  • PI upkeep of license: Private investigator licenses in New York are good for two years before they expire. When they’re set to expire, you’ll have to pay a $400 renewal fee.


A Private Investigator’s Salary in New York City


According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 1600 private investigators are working in New York in 2021, with an annual salary of approximately $59,410.


Key takeaway

To learn more about becoming a private investigator in New York by following these simple procedures, please contact us if you just need a confidential investigation done quickly.


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