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How to Become a Private Investigator in Maryland

Updated: Jun 19

To become a Private Investigator in Maryland does not require PI education or investigative experience. All you need is a PI sponsor/ employer and you can get a Private Investigator license. You won't be able to work for yourself with a PI license. To work for yourself you need a Private Investigator business license for that, which requires verified experience. When you get your Maryland PI license, you'll need to know how to perform investigations. After learning how to perform investigations, you can simply work as a Private Investigator in Maryland. It is recommended that you first learn how to perform investigations relevant to the PI industry, such as surveillance. The fact that Maryland does not have education/ experience requirements does not mean that the quality of investigations is less in Maryland than in other states. In fact, due to poor state industry standards, having a PI license in general does not make you a qualified Investigator regardless of experience/ education requirements. The poor industry standard come from the non-relevant experience most, if not all, states require of you to become a licensed Private Investigator. This non-relevant experience can be education degrees and non-PI investigative experience.


Maryland State Police: Private Detective Unit


Private Detective (PI Beginner) License Requirements

-You must be 18yo or older.


-You need a clean criminal and personal record.


-You must be an American citizen.


-You will need a PI sponsor/ employer before applying.


-The application will only be accepted if typed directly in the PDF before printing.



More information


MD PI Applicationpdf

Mail Application:

Maryland State Police

Licensing Division

1111 Reisterstown Road

Pikesville, MD 21208

Attn.: Licensing Services Section - Private Detective Unit



Maryland State Police: Private Detective Unit


Private Detective BUSINESS License Experience Requirements


-Five years of PI experience.

or

-Five years of law enforcement experience + a police training course.

or

-Three years of investigative experience as a Police Detective.



More information on required experience.


Learn more about Private Investigator Online Training


An industry standard flaw most states have is regulations regarding law enforcement experience. Most states allow you to obtain a PI license if you have law enforcement experience. Some states also accept non-PI investigative experience to obtain a PI license. The problem with states requiring previous investigative experience is that there is no such thing as equivalent Private Investigator experience. Sure, a career in law enforcement will gain you some transferable skills to bring to the PI world. However, an investigative career outside of PI work will not provide you the skill-set to perform what we do the most: single person surveillance for insurance fraud investigations. Furthermore, PIs typically obtain all evidence via quality and litigious video. This is uncommon for most other investigative careers. Being a police officer will not make you a good PI the same way being a PI will not make you a good police officer.


Some states also require you to take an approved PI licensing course. However, these courses typically focus on what laws you need to be aware of. This is of course useful, but new Private Investigators still need to learn how to perform surveillance investigations. The required courses do not focus on what we do most: single person mobile surveillance. Often, these courses do not not even mention single person mobile surveillance. If you are becoming a PI, you need at least 100 hours of surveillance experience to be able to perform safely and meet client's high standards.


Another requirement issue is the acceptance of post-secondary degrees. These degrees that are accepted for PI licensing are typically in the criminal justice field. However, some states accept any post-secondary degree. The issue is, having an educational degree will offer almost no help to you in the Private Investigation industry.


Novel Data Investigative Learning offers the only Private Investigator education courses that focuses on mobile surveillance and understanding the PI industry. For more information on PI education, click here.

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