How to Become a Private Investigator in South Carolina


In the State of South Carolina, to be a Private Investigator you have to be licensed through the South Carolina Law Enforcement Division (SLED). SLED regulates all private investigation businesses administratively from Chapter 73, Article 4 from South Carolina Statues. South Carolina State Law Chapter 18 regulates private security and investigation agencies.

The licensee must submit an application and pay a non-refundable, annual fee of $350 dollars. Refer to SLED’s new or renewal private investigation business requirements. Below are only a few of the requirements and information related to becoming a certified and licensed, private investigator in the State of South Carolina.

General Requirements

  1. Be at least 21 years of age
  2. Have a high school diploma or equivalent
  3. Citizen of the United States
  4. Not been convicted of a felony or a crime of moral turpitude (conduct that is considered contrary to community standards of justice)
  5. Be of good moral character
  6. Does not unlawfully use drugs
  7. Does not abuse alcohol
  8. Has not been dishonorable discharged from the military
  9. Three (3) years experience (see experience section)

Disclaimer: These requirements have been summarized and are subject to change.

Learn How to Become a Private Investigator


The private investigation license holder or licensee is required to have three (3) years full-time experience as a private investigator with a licensed private investigative agency. This agency might include law firm, government agency, private or non-profit corporation or in associated with SLED. This fulltime experience is equal to 2,000 hours per year. For SLED to accept the 6,000 hours of experience (three full-time years), it must be completely documented and certified. The hours have to be of a combination of part-time and full-time experience. SLED will grant credit toward required experience based on certificate or degree earned from a SLED authorized accredited educational institution.

Experience Chart
Certificate for Study of Private Investigation 6 months
Associate Degree 6 months
Bachelor’s Degree 1 year
Graduate Degree 1.5 years

Surety Bond
A surety bond of at least $10,000 is required by the State of South Carolina.

Prior Miltary
If the licensee is prior military, submit a copy of your DD Form 214.
The application will take approximately 4 to 6 weeks to process.

South Carolina only has a private investigator reciprocity agreement with the State of North Carolina. This agreement has stipulations; refer to SLED’s Regulatory Services Unit or North Carolina’s Private Protective Services Board for a copy of the agreement

Private Investigator Continuing Education

–          12 hours of documented training (SLED approved) required every 24 months (4 hours of SLED training and 8 hours of approved industry specific training)

Disclaimer: Before taking any private investigation continuing education training make sure it is approved by SLED.


South Carolina Law Enforcement Division
PO BOX 21398
Columbia, South Carolina 29211-1398
Office: 803-737-9000
Fax: 803-896-7041