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Private Investigator Agency License

Private Investigator Agency


Qualifications of Licensee

A Private Investigation agency license is issued to an individual who is the Qualifying Party (QP) regardless of the agency structure (sole proprietorship, partnership, limited liability company, or corporation). The Qualifying Party is sometimes called the Licensee.


The Qualifying Party must comply with the requirements as listed in the ARS §32-2422.A.10, which states:

Have had a minimum of three years of full-time investigative experience or the equivalent of three years of full-time investigative experience that consists of actual work performed as an investigator for a private concern, for the federal government or for a state, county or municipal government.


Documentation of Qualifications

The necessary documentation to fulfill the above Statute must be described in a letter from an individual or individuals, such as a former supervisor, who can specifically state their work relationship with you and personally verify your investigative experience. The author of the letter must be clearly identified by name and include an address and contact telephone number. The author must sign the letter.


You may also submit documentation from an agency from which you retired or were previously employed. This documentation may be in the form of retirement papers, performance evaluations, or military records such as DD 214, NCOERs, OERs, etc. (a DD 214 alone is insufficient evidence - we also need the copy that shows the type of discharge received). The documents must explicitly state that you have the required investigative experience from verifiable sources.


Allow at least 15 business days after the submission of your application before calling the unit to check your status. Repeated phone calls will only delay your application.



Application information, instructions and forms are available here.


Adobe Acrobat Reader is required to download, open, and print the forms. This is free software. A link is provided on this website to download the application.


Application Packets may also be requested from the Licensing Unit office.


Agency Name

You need to  get approval of your agency name through the DPS Licensing Unit before contacting the Arizona Corporation Commission or  Arizona Secretary of State.  The Licensing Unit’s standards for name approval are more stringent than other state agencies and the Licensing Unit must consider other factors before approving your agency name. 

Instructions for choosing your agency name are listed here.

Conducting investigations in Arizona

Anyone conducting private investigations in Arizona must be licensed in Arizona. Failure to do so can be a class 1 misdemeanor. You may hire other employees, such as office staff, but they cannot conduct private investigations in Arizona.

You do not need an Arizona address or a Resident Manager to be licensed as a private investigation agency in Arizona.


Workman’s Compensation for Employees

Do not purchase or submit evidence of a workman's compensation policy until your company has received notification from the Licensing Unit that your agency is approved.


To apply for a license for P.I. Employees, the agency must have valid workman’s compensation insurance, issued by a company authorized to conduct business in Arizona. The Arizona Department of Public Safety must be listed as the certificate holder.


If the private investigation agency has an out-of-state address listed on the insurance certificate, the “description of operations” must include words similar to For Private Investigation agency operations in Arizona.


This certificate must be sent to DPS upon renewal of the policy. The agency file is updated with the new expiration date.


Agency Associates

If these individuals reside and/or work in Arizona, they are considered Agency Associates:

  • Corporation: Each corporate officer.

  • Partnership: Partners other than the Qualifying Party


Use the (one-page) Registration Application for each Associate’s application. The fee for an Associate is a $50.00 application fee and $22.00 for the fingerprint processing fee. Each Associate must submit a classifiable fingerprint card, a passport photograph or a facial photograph, and proof of identification, such as a photocopy of your driver's license, passport, etc. Each Associate must pass the background check.


The associate application is available here.


New agency application fee

The new agency application fee is $250 plus $22 for the fingerprint processing of the Qualifying Party. The Associate application fee with fingerprints is $72 each. This covers the $50 license fee and the $22 fingerprint processing fee. These are to be submitted with the new agency application paperwork.


New agency license fee

After the qualifying party experience and background checks have been reviewed and approved,  then a Ready To License Letter will be sent to the new agency requesting the $400 license fee and Surety Bond in the amount of $2,500.00.


Renewal license fee

The renewal license fee for renewing an agency is $250. Include $22 for the fingerprint processing of the Qualifying Party ($272 total for the QP).


Associate renewal applications and fingerprints must be submitted with the agency renewal paperwork - include the $50 license fee and the $22 fingerprint processing fee for a total of $72 per Associate.


Allow at least 15 business days after the submission of your application before calling the unit to check your status. Repeated phone calls will only delay your application.


P.I. Employee renewals

P.I. Employee applications and fingerprints ($72 each) may be submitted separately from the Agency renewal application, but will not be accepted before receiving the agency's renewal. P.I. Employee registration certicate expiration dates will always be the same as the Agency’s.



Arizona Revised Statutes-Private Investigators-Chapter 24

Arizona Administrative Code-Private Investigators



Arizona Department of Public Safety

Licensing Unit

PO Box 6328,   MD 3140

Phoenix, AZ 85005


Phone: (602) 223-2361

Fax: (602) 223-2938  


Revised 06/13/2017


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