How to Get a Private Investigator License in Georgia

P.I. training is the first step to becoming a private investigator.
P.I. training is the first step to becoming a private investigator. (Image: Secure access with key and fingerprint image by JoLin from

A private investigator is typically a person hired by an individual or company to find or uncover information concerning personal or legal matters. While almost 21 percent of private investigators are eventually self-employed, they must first work for a licensed agency for a minimum of two years. In the state of Georgia, the secretary of state regulates private investigators.

Take a state-approved private investigator course. To become a private investigator, individuals must take and pass an 80-hour training course. These courses are typically offered as part of the continuing education classes at selected technical schools throughout Georgia.

Work at a licensed private investigation agency for a minimum of two years. Although you will be considered a registered private investigator, the actual license you operate under belongs to the company that employs you.

Take the state exam. Once you have completed two years of employment, you may take the state exam to obtain your own license. This license allows you to operate your own private investigation agency.

Tips & Warnings

  • If you have at least two years in law enforcement or a four-year degree in criminal justice, you do not have to take the 80-hour private investigator course.
  • As part of the 80-hour private investigation course, you will receive training and instruction on the use of firearms. While you do not have to meet the minimum requirements necessary to receive your gun permit during this instruction, you will not be able to obtain a gun permit until you do. Your instructor will inform you of the current requirements before the lesson, so that you may practice to try to meet them.

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