The Special Licensing and Firearms Unit of the Connecticut State Police handles the licensing of private detectives in Connecticut. They regulate the qualifications and eligibility of interested individuals who wish to become private investigators in the state. These include relevant training and experience, as well as financial resources. The process of becoming a licensed private detective in Connecticut includes:
|Meet Fundamental Requirements in Connecticut|
|Fulfill Connecticut Education and Experience Prerequisites|
|Submit Connecticut Application and Documentation|
|Now that you’re a Licensed Private Detective in Connecticut|
Step 1. Meet Fundamental Requirements for Private Detectives in Connecticut
Before applying to become a private detective in the state of Connecticut, make sure that you meet these fundamental requirements:
- You are at least 25 years old
- You are of good moral character
- You have a minimum of five years of experience as a full-time investigator, or ten years of experience as a state or municipal police officer (employment as a security officer does not count towards investigative experience required to become a private detective)
- You have no felony convictions on record
- You have no misdemeanor convictions in the past seven years of the following types:
- Illegal possession of narcotics
- Criminally negligent homicide (Class A misdemeanor)
- Assault in the third degree (Class A misdemeanor)
- Threatening in the second degree (Class A misdemeanor)
- Reckless endangerment in the first degree (Class A misdemeanor)
- Unlawful restraint in the second degree (Class A misdemeanor
- Riot in the first degree (Class A misdemeanor)
- Riot in the second degree (Class B misdemeanor)
- Inciting to riot (Class A misdemeanor)
- Stalking in the second degree
- You have no convictions for offenses involving moral turpitude
- You have never been discharged from the military because of questionable moral character
- You are able to post a $10,000 performance surety bond with the state
- You are able to obtain a $300,000 General Liability Insurance policy
Step 2. Fulfill Education and Experience Prerequisites for Private Detectives in Connecticut
Training in private detective work or a related discipline may count towards up to one year of the state’s experience requirements for licensure as a private detective.
Obtaining a degree such as these may be quite helpful to you as an applicant for a private detective license in Connecticut:
- Associate of Science in Criminal Justice Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice Technology
- Bachelor of Science in Justice Studies- Criminal Justice
- Bachelor of Business Administration in Legal Studies
- Bachelor of Science in Criminal Justice- Homeland Security Technology
Any of the following full-time work experiences may count towards the experience requirement for licensure of private detectives in Connecticut:
- Five years as a licensed private detective in another jurisdiction
- Five years as a registered private investigator in another jurisdiction
- Five years operating a proprietary detective agency
- Five years as an investigator with local, state or federal government
- Five years as a detective with local, state or federal police department
- Five years investigative experience in another recognized industry
- 10 years as a police officer with a municipal, state or federal police department
You are not permitted to currently be a police officer when you apply to become a private detective in Connecticut.
Step 3. Submit Connecticut Private Detective License Application and Required Documentation
If you have fulfilled the above requirements, you are ready to apply for licensure as a private detective in Connecticut.
- Download and complete the Application for Private Detective or Security Service License, and have your signature notarized
- Attach two recent passport-type photos of yourself on a blue background
- Complete and enclose two fingerprint cards, one for the state background check and one for the FBI background check
- Enclose one check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut for $50 (state background check fee)
- Enclose one check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut for $16.50 (FBI background check fee)
- Enclose one check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut for $1450.00 (initial two year license fee)
- If you are seeking a license for a private detective agency, enclose a check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut for $1750.00 (initial two year license fee)
- Enclose a copy of your driving record from the motor vehicle department of the state in which you have lived for the past three years
- Enclose a copy of your current driver’s license
- Enclose a copy of your military discharge papers, if applicable
- Enclose a copy of your recent credit report from one of the three major credit bureaus (Equifax, Experian or Trans Union)
- Enclose a copy of your high school diploma or GED
- Enclose a copy of your college degree and college transcript, if applicable
- Include proof of citizenship or legal residency in the U.S.
- Include verification of your investigative, detective or police officer experience. This verification must be from the agency for which you worked and include your name, any licenses you held or still hold, your title, duties, and reasons for leaving employment
- If you are under psychiatric care, you must have your attending psychologist or psychiatrist send a letter to the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit to verify your ability to work as a private detective
- If you are a former police officer, have your former employer send a letter confirming your discharge from police service to the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit. This letter must include your length of service there, the titles you held, your duties, and the date you left their employ.
- Within 60 days of submitting your application, ask four people who know you well and can attest to your character, but are not immediate family members, to write you letters of character reference. These must be sent from the letter writers directly to the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit, and must include the reference’s address and telephone number. Enclose four letters of character reference.
- If you plan to open your own private detective agency and seek a corporate license, send a copy of the Certificate of Incorporation from the Connecticut Secretary of State. If your company is out-of-state, send a copy of the Authority to do Business as a Foreign Corporation from the Connecticut Secretary of State.
- Make sure everything is sent within 60 days of submitting your application to Connecticut State Police, Special Licensing and Firearms Unit, 1111 Country Club Road, Middletown, CT 06457.
You will be contacted for an oral interview once your complete application packet and documentation are received and reviewed. Prior to licensure, you must obtain a $300,000 General Liability insurance policy. You will also be asked to submit the executed Bond for Private Detective License for $10,000. Once you are issued a private detective/private detective agency license, your name will be published on the Connecticut list of Licensed Private Detectives and Security Companies.
Step 4. Now that You’re a Licensed Private Detective in Connecticut
Kudos to you on earning your private detective license in Connecticut! Make sure to maintain that license properly, by renewing it every two years. You will receive a renewal application in the mail from the Special Licensing and Firearms Unit 90 days prior to the expiration of your license. At each renewal, you must submit:
- Completed Renewal Application for License as a Private Detective/Security Company
- Renewal fee of $625 via check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut (for private detective license)
- If you own a corporation, association or partnership, renewal fee for private detective agency of $1000 via check or money order payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut.
- Completed Form DPS-363-C, Verification of Performance Bond
- A list of all registered employees if you own a private detective agency
Consider joining one of the following private detective professional organizations in Connecticut and nationwide to increase your networking opportunities:
- Connecticut Association of Licensed Private Investigators, LLC
- SPI-The Society of Professional Investigators
- Professional Investigators and Security Association
Private Investigator Salary Information for Connecticut
Connecticut had the fourth highest concentration of jobs for private investigators in the county in 2012, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. These 620 investigators earned a median salary of $36,530. Some made nearly double that amount with those in the top tenth wage percentile earning $70,420 in 2012.
The Bureau of Labor Statistics provides salary data for selected cities in Connecticut. The information on the median salary and the salaries of those in the top tenth percentile are listed below for selected cities in the state:
New Haven is an excellent place to find work in Connecticut, since it has the third highest concentration of jobs for private investigators of any metropolitan area in the county. Twenty-four percent of the PIs in Connecticut were located in New Haven in 2012.
There are stringent requirements to become a private investigator in Connecticut. Applicants are required to be at least 25 years old and have five years of full time experience in one of the following:
- Being a registered private investigator
- Operating a detective agency
- Being an investigator with a law enforcement agency
- Being a detective with a law enforcement agency
- Any other related investigative experience
Applicants can also apply if they have had ten years of experience as a police officer. Education can substitute for up to a year of these requirements. Another requirement is to have insurance in the form of both:
- A performance surety bond for $10,000
- A general liability insurance policy for $300,000
Licenses are obtained from the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection for the state of Connecticut.
Detailed information on hourly and annual salaries for private investigators in various cities in Connecticut is provided by the Bureau of Labor Statistics and listed below.
Private Investigator Salaries in Connecticut