How to Become a Private Investigator in Ontario

To Become a Private Investigator in Ontario is similar to most other places: you need to meet basic Private Investigator requirements such as age, language proficiency, and other usual requirements of this nature. Furthermore, to become a Private Investigator in Ontario, you need to take a government approved Ontario Private Investigator's license course. In Ontario, the government body that controls licensed Ontario Private Investigators is Service Ontario which is a government body acting under the Ministry of the Solicitor General. So, it is Service Ontario that will have a list of approved Ont PI licensing courses. This list is available on their website. After completing the course, you will need to pass a Service Ontario PI license test. This is called the Basic Ministry Test. Once you submit the proof of your ability to meet the requirements and completion of the licensing course/ test to Service Ontario, you will get your Ontario PI license. Most jurisdiction will have a PI beginner’s license, Ontario does not. You will get to start out with a full Ontario Private Investigator license. This is where your struggle will begin.

Private Detective Aptitude Test

The process of how to become a PI in many places starts with a beginner's license. Your Private Investigator beginner’s license in Ontario is just a regular Private Investigator license. It will allow you to work for a PI agency, but you will not be able to work for yourself (your own PI company). This PI license means you must work under the supervision of a fully licensed Ontario PI agency. However, the term “under supervision” will be in namesake only. You will not be supervised or guided by an experienced Private Investigator. In fact, Ontario PI agencies are not economically structured to have mentor/ student surveillance teams. Furthermore, the Ontario licensing course will give you some transferable knowledge but it will not set you up to become a successful Private Investigator. New Private Investigators still need to know how to be successful working operations. This is why practical Private Investigator education and training specifically for Private Investigators is necessary.

Learn more about Private Investigator Online Training

Private Detective Aptitude Test

Private Investigator Jobs: How to Get Hired?

Canadian Private Investigator Salary Info

Apply For an Ontario PI License Online

Download Ontario PI Application Guide

Download Ontario PI Application

Ontario PI License Application
Download PDF • 2.16MB

Mail application to:

Service Ontario

Occupational Licensing Services Office

P.O. Box 4500

Kingston ON

K7L 0E1

how to become a detective in Ontario

This lack of guidance is why so many new Ontario Private Investigators burn out and quit and why many experienced Private Investigators are jaded. On top of this, PI clients with small budgets typically get the new unqualified Private Investigators, nobody wins in this situation. It is also not fair to small PI clients to use their files to haphazardly train new Private Investigators.

ontario private detective

So, the time comes for you to be a Private Investigator and work investigations with no Private Investigator experience or education. The Ontario licensing course you took focused on legal matters with no real practical Private Investigator training or topics. You will always be told by employers that “soon you will get some PI training,” which never happens. It took me over five years to figure out the industry and get good at a few specialized fields. During that time, I struggled and probably lost several hundred thousand dollars due to losing work opportunities from a lack of skill and education. What is sad is that this is a common story in the industry. If you make it through this meat grinder and get an Ontario Private Investigator business license, you will be qualified to work for yourself with your own PI agency. Hopefully, when you are hiring new Private Investigators, you will appreciate the importance of proper PI education.

Ontario Private Investigator License Requirements

  1. You must be 19 or older.

  2. Have a clean criminal record.

  3. Be a Canadian citizen.

  4. Be English language proficient.

  5. Take government PI license course.

  6. Pass government test.

  7. Get a passport photo.

  8. Submit documents online/ mail.

  9. Get a guarantor.

  10. Pay fee.


You must be 19 or older.

Criminal Record

You cannot have a criminal record. You must obtain your own criminal record check. The RCMP offers this service. The fee is usually around $50. You can submit the criminal record document to Service Ontario.

Canadian Citizen

You need to be a Canadian citizen and submit a copy of government ID to Service Ontario.


You must be able to speak and write in English

Government Approved PI License Course

You will need to complete a license course approved by Service Ontario. After completing the course, you will be given a completion number. Use this number to register for the Service Ontario test.


You will need to pass the Basic Ministry Test

Passport Photo

You have to provide a certified passport photo.


The documents you submit can be sent to Service Ontario via mail or online uploading.


You will need to get someone you know personally to verify your identity.


You will have to pay a small licensing fee.

Working For Yourself

To work on your own you need to obtain an Ontario PI business license. You need an Ontario PI license to do this.

Thinking of Becoming an Ontario Private Investigator?

ICPI Level 100 online Private Investigator Training” is the ultimate blueprint to start your exciting and rewarding career as a real Ontario Private Investigator.

ICPI 100 will help you start successfully in this amazing new career, even if you know nothing about investigations.

Our team has vetted out the best training and investigative methods so that you can jump-start your journey towards having the meaningful career you’ve always wanted, immediately.

This PI training system will provide you, a successful detective, with all the templates that you need to succeed. A clear path on becoming a PI, understanding the PI business, becoming a successful PI, and thinking like a detective- all the tools you need to make six figures being an investigative Operative.

To date, this online training system consists of over 100 informational slides, videos, exercises and quizzes that provide a step-by-step path on how to achieve your dream job as a Private Investigator.

ICPI Level 100 takes about two weeks to complete with over 30 hours of high-quality training content that will make you a Private Investigator well on your way to becoming an expert in this fascinating career.


Get a certificate that "actually" matters. When you get certified by Novel Data in the 100 Level course, Private Investigator agencies will be aware that you understand the PI industry. This will give you a great competitive edge in the PI job market. Most PI applicants know very little about the PI job they are applying to. Not you. A PI hiring manager will not want to risk turnaround by hiring someone unfamiliar with the industry, they will choose an applicant who is familiar with what will be expected of them. With Novel Data's certification, that applicant will be you!

Ontario detective

Become a Great Ontario PI

Yes, you can become a great Ontario Private Investigator. How? Through Private Investigator education. Not through the short Ontario government licensing course, but through at least 100hrs of practical Private Investigator education. This can be online Private Investigator training classes or in an in-class training environment. In order to become a successful Ontario Private Investigator and meet Private Investigator requirements, you need to become educated on the complexities of the private investigation industry (this will also help you decide if you want to pursue the PI career) and how to set yourself up to become a successful Private Investigator. Secondly, you will need to become educated on how to perform investigations.

To learn the complexities of the Ontario Private Eye industry you will need to understand a few Private Investigator industry topics. Regional licensing requirements for Private Investigators will teach you what you need to obtain your Ontario Private Investigator license. To help you decide if you want to enter the career of private investigation you, will have to learn the common misconceptions about the Private Investigation industry. Understanding the learning curve of a Private Investigator will set you up to become a successful PI.

Before entering the Ontario PI industry, it is useful to know the challenges encountered as a Professional Private Investigator. This will also help you make career decisions. Then you need to learn what you will be doing as a Private Investigator. Learning the areas of specialization as a Professional Private Investigator and types of clients and corresponding file requirements will help with this. You will need to learn how Ontario Investigators obtain assignments and hours of work to determin