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California Highway Patrol

Find information on how to obtain your Private Investigator License!

Find the best tools and options for your research needs within your state!

Find the best training in the state of California!

California Association of Licensed Investigators 

Find a trusted Private Investigator in your area

County Websites

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Private Detective License Information

To be eligible to apply for license as a private investigator/qualified manager in the state of California, you must meet the following requirements:

  • Be 18 or older.

  • Undergo a criminal history background check through the California Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI).

  • Have at least three years (2,000 hours each year, totaling 6,000 hours) of compensated experience in investigative work; or

  • have a law degree or completed a four-year course in police science plus two years (4,000 hours) of experience; or

  • have an associate's degree in police science, criminal law, or justice and 2 ½ years (5,000 hours) of experience.

    Experience must be certified by your employer and have been received while you were employed as a sworn law enforcement officer, military police officer, insurance adjuster, employee of a licensed PI or licensed repossessor, arson investigator for a public fire suppression agency, or an investigator for the public defender's office. (Work as a process server, public records researcher, custodial attendant for a law enforcement agency, bailiff, agent who collects debts in writing or by telephone after the debtor has been located, or person who repossesses property after it has been located is not considered qualifying experience.)

  • Pass a two-hour multiple-choice examination covering laws and regulations, terminology, civil and criminal liability, evidence handling, undercover investigations and surveillance. A copy of the Private Investigator Act will be sent to you; and

  • Upon notification that you have passed the examination, you must submit a licensing fee to the Bureau of Security and Investigative Services, P.O. Box 989002, West Sacramento, CA 95798-9002.

California Firearms Permit Application:              

For further information on where to submit your application, please visit:

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California Research Resources

Criminal Search:

To access Criminal Records, you will need to visit County Websites (links above)

Fill out a public records request form and send it to the appropriate county clerk.  

-Public Records Request Form:   

Sex Offender Registry:                          

Civil Case Search:

California Courts:

Please note: the Council does NOT maintain records or documents related to specific cases filed in the courts of California. You will need to contact the court in which the record was originally filed to get this information. Documents or information held by the courts are as follows:

  • Divorce records

  • Court case records (e.g. opinions, briefs, complaints, filings)

  • Traffic tickets and other traffic violations

  • Jury service information or assistance

  • Probate-related records, including estates, conservatorships, and wills

  • Name change records

You will need to visit the County Website (links above) 

- or find a court by zip code:  

Request for Judicial Administrative Records (PAJAR Form):   


Case summaries can be searched at :


Property Search:

Most counties will feature a free ParcelsQuest Lite version on the county website.  This allows you to view information pertaining to a particular property within that county.  Please use your county link above and search parcel quest.  

You can also visit (fee may apply):

Business Lookup:

Search an LP/LLC or Corporation by keyword to retrieve information regarding business information and registration documents at the Secretary of State website. 


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California Training Resources

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California Licensed Private Investigators

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