Friday, May 13, 2011

How to become a Private Investigator in West Virginia?

A Private Investigator in West Virginia needs to be licensed. Hence it is important for a person who wishes to work as a private investigator in West Virginia to possess a license issued by West Virginia Secretary of State Licensing Division. West Virginia does have some requirements to fulfill before you get a license as a private investigator. The basic requirement is that you must be at least 18 years of age. You must be a citizen of United States of America or an Alien legally entitled by law to carry on your business or work in United States.

You must be of good moral character and your previous private investigator license must not be revoked or denied by any state if you have applied for so. You will have to undergo through a thorough background check which scrutinizes your criminal as well as moral conduct history. Even you must not have been illegally using, carrying or possessing a pistol or other dangerous weapon, making or possessing burglar's instruments, buying or receiving stolen property, entering a building unlawfully, aiding an inmate's escape from prison, possessing or distributing illicit drugs, any misdemeanor involving moral turpitude or for which dishonesty of character is a necessary element. For more eligibility requirements please refer here.

There are two types of licenses in the state of West Virginia, an Individual Private Investigator license as well as a Private Investigator Firm license. If you want to set up your own business individually, do prefer an individual license, else, you will have to go for a firm’s license. The next step is to get the application form and fingerprint cards. The fingerprint card must be official West Virginia fingerprint card. Approach your local police department or sheriff’s office and get your fingerprints. Do request them to have two sets of your fingerprint cards. Call (304) 558-8000 to request an application packet with the correct fingerprint cards. You can also get an application form for here. The form must be completely filled, duly signed and notarized.

Obtain a surety bond worth $2500 in your favor by a state certified insurance company. A power of attorney must be attached to the surety bond and your signature as principal and the agent’s signature must be notarized.

You will also have to submit five reference letter forms. Do get them from people who know you from last five years or more and who are not related to you by blood or marriage. Your application will be delayed and withheld for processing without these five reference letters.

Along with the application form do provide your training and experience documentary proofs. For some more information on documentary proof, please log on to Do follow West Virginia rules and regulations if you want to become a successful private investigator in West Virginia.

Contact Information:
West Virginia Secretary of State, Private Investigator & Security Guard Licensing, Building 1, Suite 157-K 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston, West Virginia, United States, 25305
Phone: (304) 558-6000

Private Investigators and Security Professionals of West Virginia

Fees: A $50 non-refundable processing fee is included in the fee. If your license is denied, the remainder will be refunded.
One-year license and processing fee for individual:
$150 West Virginia Resident
$550 Non-Resident of WV

Laws and Regulations: West Virginia Statutes


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  3. Background of the private investigator must be good to get the license. Private investigator must have the latest equipment to detect the fingerprints.

  4. It is a good approach to issue a fingerprint card to the private investigators by the Govt.

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