Washington DC Private Investigator License

The District of Columbia requires private investigators to be licensed. The Security Officers Management Branch (SOMB) of the Metropolitan Police Department oversees the licensing program.

The information below is the most recent found. Please be sure to contact the SOMB for the latest requirements for licensing and any changes that may have been implemented.


An applicant must:

  1. Be at least 18 years old
  2. Be a US citizen or have legal status to work in the US
  3. Be of good moral character
  4. Have knowledge of the DC municipal regulations Title 6A Chapter 11 and Title 17 Chapters 20 and 21 (These can be purchased from: District of Columbia Government, Office of Documents, 441 4th Street N.W. Suite 520, Washington, D.C. 20001 Phone: 202.727.5090
  5. Be a resident of the District of Columbia
  6. Have a surety bond
  7. Provide fingerprints for criminal history check
  8. Provide current photograph

One place you can get started with training hours would be with http://www.privateinvestigatorhq.net/privateinvestigatorunion
This may fulfill all or some of the state requirements for education for a PI license, and can also help you get your foot in the door with an establshed agency while you get the training and experience needed. For the latest requirements for licensing in your state, it is a good idea to get in contact with the state agency in charge of PI licensing or the state professional association.

This training/internship program will give you access to a database of jobs that can be performed without having a state-issued PI license. These jobs can usually be counted as part of training and/or experience hours that are required for state licensing.


Private Detective, individual or agency, new and renewal fee: $206


Security Officer Management Board (SOMB), Metropolitan Police Department, 2000 14th Street, NW, 3rd Floor, Washington, DC 20009

Phone: 202.671.0500

Fax: 202.673.7418

Website: http://mpdc.dc.gov/page/security-officers-management-branch-somb


There is no information available on any professional associations for DC.

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