How to Become a Private Investigator in Delaware

how to become a private investigator in delaware

Delaware is a small state, but it still has its share of mysteries to solve, and nobody is better at solving mysteries than a licensed private detective. Whether it’s helping local, state or federal law enforcement hunt down fugitives from justice, investigating suspicions of a cheating spouse, running background checks for corporations or investigating legal statutes for law firms, PIs have an exciting and fulfilling career path.

Here are the requirements and guidelines for obtaining licensure as a Delaware private detective.

Delaware Private Investigator License Requirements

When studying how to become a private investigator in Delaware, the state does require licensure for those seeking to work in the field of private investigations. These licenses are administered and overseen by the Delaware State Police, and obtaining one requires you to meet certain minimum requirements as listed below.

Minimum requirements

  • Age: To qualify for licensure, you must be at least 21.
  • Provisional Requirements: Delaware doesn’t have provisional licensing.
  • Criminal Background Check: You’ll need to be fingerprinted to prove you have no felonies, theft convictions, moral-related crimes, or drug offenses, or recent assault convictions.
  • Military Discharge: Delaware doesn’t have regulations regarding military discharge.
  • Financial History: There are no financial history requirements.
  • Mental Health Evaluation: No mental health evaluations are needed.
  • Insurance Needed: No bonding is required for licensure.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: Convictions of crimes, as above, disqualifies one for licensure.

Education and Experience

  • Degree: There are no degree requirements.
  • Experience: You must be hired by a licensed agency as an employee before you can be processed for a license.
  • Written Exams: A state written exam issued by the board of examiners is required.
  • Training Courses: Completion of an approved 16-hour state training class is required. In addition, if you wish to carry a firearm, you must complete training through an approved firearms instructor.

Forms needed for Detective License

  • Fees required: Fingerprinting costs $69. Application processing is $85. Your ID will cost $20. Fines for a lost ID costs $200 per day.
  • Registration needed: You must submit your application with proof of meeting all basic requirements and the processing fee.
  • Maintaining Your PI License: When the time comes to renew your license you will be sent a notification letter with full instructions.

Delaware Private Investigator Salary and Job Outlook

According to information reported by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there are currently (as of 2015) 90 PIs licensed to practice in Delaware, and the average annual mean wages are $53,400. Nationwide, the field is expected to grow by 5% through 2024.

Helpful Delaware Links and Resources

Professional Licensing – Private Investigator

New Licensure and Renewal Information

Private Investigator Employee Application