Becoming a Private Investigator
How to get started.
The State of Vermont requires that all private investigators work under an already licensed and experienced investigator for a minimum of 2 years before anyone can take the written test to obtain their own license. The only exception to this is if you are, or have been a Police Officer or an investigator in another capacity for state or federal government for a minimum of 2 years. In certain cases, this means that you can immediately take the State of Vermont Private Investigators Licensing exam. You can obtain more information by calling the VT Secretary of State’s office at 802-828-2363
Do I need to have a background in law enforcement?
No, you do not need to have been in law enforcement. There is no need to have any particular type of background. Being a PI involves many different types of work. PIs can specialize in surveillance, criminal defense, process service (serving court papers), computer-based background investigations, witness locates, criminal and motor vehicle records checks, fraud, due diligence, skip tracing (finding someone who is avoiding a debt), missing persons, and many other types of cases. Having a particular background in one certain area is not necessary.
I don’t have a business — do I need one?
Once you have received your own PI license, you can start your own business. Until then you will be working under someone else’s license. To start your own business, you would have to contact the Office of the Vermont Secretary of State at 802-828-2386, and they can answer questions about all the necessary licensing and different aspects of starting a PI business in Vermont.
Where Can I Obtain More Information?
A great way to start would be to contact one of our members and talk to a PI. Ask them what you may need to do to become a PI and if they are hiring. You can also attend a meeting of VAISS. If no meeting date is displayed on the home page, you can also contact one of our officers from the “officers” tab and ask them questions.
Any duly licensed private detective or private investigator in Vermont, as defined by 26 VSA 3173, or any registrant of such licensed private detective or private investigator, as defined by 26 VSA 3176, or any duly licensed qualifying agent of a security agency in Vermont, as defined by 26 VSA 3174, or any registrant of such licensed security agent, as defined by 26 VSA 3176, is entitled to Active Membership in this Association after submitting an application for membership and being recognized by the Association.
Any duly licensed private detective or private investigator, or registrant thereof, or duly licensed qualifying agent of a security agency, or registrant thereof, licensed in a foreign jurisdiction, or otherwise involved in the professional practice of investigative or security services, may apply for an Associate Membership in this Association.
Want to Join VAISS? Download Your Application Here (PDF).