How to Become a Private Investigator in North Carolina

Licensing Process (as posted here with NCDPS)

The following information reviews the requirements necessary for a Private Investigator license issued by Private Protective Services. In addition, license applicants are responsible for complying with relevant North Carolina law, Private Protective Services N.C.G.S. 74-C, and the Board's Administrative Rules and Regulations under Private Protective Services 14B NCAC 16.

Requirements To Obtain a License

All applicants must:
  •  Be at least 18 years of age with a high school degree or equivalent.
  •  Be a US citizen or a resident alien.
  •  Be of good moral character with temperate habits (no criminal record, etc.).

Private Investigator License

In order to qualify for a PI license, you must have three years of experience in private investigative work (equivalent of 3,000 hours), or three years in an investigative capacity as a member of a law enforcement agency or other governmental agency. [See G.S. 74C-3(a) (8), 74C-8, 74C-9, 74C-10, 14B NCAC 16 .0401]. Otherwise, you may apply for an associate PI license and work under the supervision of a sponsor (another full licensee). 

  • Reciprocity
    The Board currently has reciprocal licensing agreements with several states. These agreements allow currently licensed private investigators from states to come into North Carolina for a specific period of time (30 days maximum, except for Tennessee, which is 15 days) to work a case which originated in their home state. Likewise, licensed North Carolina investigators may enter that state to work a case originating there. Investigations exceeding the time limits must be handled by a private investigator licensed in the particular state. See Reciprocal Agreements.

Applying for a License

Please review the above requirements for each license you wish to attain.  There are licenses that have experience requirements. Please note you will be asked for supporting documentation to verify the experience required for those licenses.

If after reviewing the above requirements, you determine that you qualify for a license, review the application checklist for a list of items required in order to apply. Once all documents are acquired (and in digital format for uploading) please go to: to begin the application process.

Browser requirements in order of preference: Google Chrome, Firefox, Opera, Safari. (Internet Explorer may not load properly for all users) For technical support assistance, please call 855-642-2453 or email [email protected]


All current PPS licensees must contact the online vendor Permitium to request a LOGIN / PASSWORD in order to access your individual dashboard in order to renew / change company. Each individual licensee must email [email protected]  and provide your company’s name, Business Permit Number(s) (BPNs), the Qualifying Agent’s name,  and a telephone number where you can be reached.  You will receive a welcome email from Permitium. This email will contain the application URL, along with your username and password to access your dashboard. 

NOTE (as of 7.23.2018): At the present time this process can take 2 to 4 weeks due to the volume of requests. Please do not delay; we no longer mail paper applications.

Once you have access to the dashboard, if you need help with any Permitium feature/function, please see the following link with 'cheat sheets' for reference. 


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