How to Become a Private Investigator in Texas
In the great State of Texas, the Texas Department of Public Safety/Private Security Bureau regulates private investigator licensing requirements. Those regulations can be found in Chapter 1702, Texas Occupations Code.
Like most states, to become a private investigator in Texas requires that you be at least 18 years old and have little to no criminal history (see specific requirements in Texas Occupations Code 1702.113). You must have legally obtained three (3) years of experience. A four-year degree in Criminal Justice from an accredited college or university could be a substituted for the experience requirement.
The Texas private investigator license is focused on the private investigator agency more so the individual agent. The private investigator agency is what earns its license whereas the employee gets a registration. As an individual, if you do not meet the requirements of an agency and want to become a private investigator then you will have to work as an employee of the agency until you meet those specific requirements. Note, you have to be employed by a licensed Private Investigative Company to be get your registration.
The type of licenses that Texas issues for private investigation services are a Class A – Private Investigation Company and Class C – Combination of Private Investigation & Security Contractor. As of April 2011, the Class A license fee costs $361 (original and renewal) and the Class C license costs $556(original and renewal). The application itself may cost more due to fingerprint check processing.
A Texas investigation company manager experience requirements. He or she much meet at least one of the following requirements:
1. Three (3) consecutive years of investigation-related experience
2. Bachelor’s degree in criminal justice
3. Bachelor’s degree with 6 months of investigation related experience
4. Associate degree in criminal justice or related course study, such as political science, and 12 months of investigation related experience
5. Complete a specialized course directly related to the private investigation profession. The course must be a minimum of 200 hours and be endorsed by the criminal justice program and taught through a four-year college or university accredited and recognized by the State of Texas.
The applicant that meets the above requirements must pass a 140 question multiple choice and true/false exam with a score of 105 or better. That is 75% correct. The cost of the exam is included in the original license fee. If you are required to retake the exam, it will cost $100.
Visit Texas Private Security Bureau to learn more information about Texas’ private investigation licensing requirements.