Becoming a Private Investigator in Missouri


Private investigators are typically employed by individuals, businesses and lawyers to locate facts in cases or to gather evidence that can be used to make a case in court. To become an investigator in the state of Missouri, prior experience helps but is not necessary. If you do not have experience in investigating, a test will be required. Keep in mind, though, that a new requirement of the state that could hinder your application is if you are behind on your state or federal income taxes.

Things You'll Need

  • Fingerprints
  • Fee payments
  • Proof of insurance
  • Workers' comp insurance
  • Two head-and-shoulder photos
  • Notarized application
  • Proof of past experience
  • Get fingerprinted through the Missouri Highway Patrol. They have a vendor that does this task for them. You will need to contact L-1 Identity Solutions to set up a time to have your fingerprints done. You can either call or set up an appointment online. You will need to give them ORI number MO920680Z and OCA - PI. Fees are paid to the vendor in the amount of $52.20 (as of 2010).

    You may also get fingerprint cards from a police station and send them in manually. You will need to send in two sets along with an amount of $39.95 for manual processing. The fingerprints and money can be sent in at the same time as your application, but it will extend the processing time of your application. You will send in the same ORI number and OCA code.

    L-1 Identity Solutions


  • Fill out a Social Security Disclosure form. It should come with the application. You can also download it from the Board of Private Investigator Examiners Web site. A link is provided in References.

  • Obtain and complete the application for license. The fee is $500 for individuals and $400 for companies. The application must be typed or written in black ink. Get the application notarized before turning it back in. Attach to the application two photos of your head and shoulders, the receipt from your fingerprint submission, a certificate of liability insurance, documents showing workers' comp insurance, the Social Security Disclosure form and information showing prior experience. Proof of experience can be in the form of letters from clients, copies of advertisements, references from former employers or pretty much anything that shows that you have done investigative work in the past two years. You can obtain the application on the Board of Private Investigator Examiners Web site or by mailing in a request.

    Board of Private Investigator Examiners

    PO Box 1335

    Jefferson City, MO 65102

  • Take the private investigator exam if the Board of Private Investigator Examiners deems it necessary. If you can provide two years of prior experience, you can avoid the exam. It the Board decides that you must take the exam after reviewing your application, a study book will mailed to you, as well as an application, dates of the exam and locations. Mail in the application and set up an exam time based on the information you are provided.

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