How to Become a Private Investigator in Maine

how to become a private investigator in maine

Whether they work for independently, for an agency or for a large business, private investigators in Maine are responsible helping their clients gather important information. Like many states, Maine requires that its private investigators become licensed. The Main State Police has outlined very specific requirements for becoming a licensed private investigator (PI) that you will need to follow before entering this exciting career.

Maine Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: Private investigators in Maine need to be over the age of 21:
  • Provisional Requirements: A Maine private investigator must be citizens of the United States or a resident alien. You will also need to be certified to use a firearm.
  • Criminal Background Check: You will have to submit to criminal background check before you will be licensed as a private investigator.
  • Discharge from Military: You cannot have a dishonorable military discharge on your record to be a private investigator in Maine.
  • Financial History: Maine does not check the financial history of its private investigators.
  • Mental Health Check: You must sign a release to allow your application to be reviewed by the Dorothea Dix Psychiatric Center and the Riverview Psychiatric Center.
  • Insurance Needed: Maine private investigators are required to purchase a commercial general liability policy from a licensed insurer. The policy must have coverage amounts totaling $10,000 for property damage, $100,000 for each occurrence and a $200,000 general aggregate limit. A surety bond must also be filed with the Maine Chief of Police. These bonds are $10,000 for Maine residents and $50,000 for non-residents.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: Disqualifiers for PIs in Maine include three civil crime convictions in the past five years, three class D or E convictions in the last five years and failure to meet child support obligations.

Education and Experience

  • Degree and/or Accepted Experience: 60 college credits focused on private investigation and 1,200 in an investigative assistant program, three years of experience as an Armed Forces or federal agency investigator, three years’ employment as a law enforcement officer, or six years of experience comprised of at least two years in a criminal justice position and an associate’s degree or 60 credit hours in a PI related field.
  • Written Exams: Applicants must take and pass the Maine Professional Investigators Exam offered by the Maine State Police. The exam is 50 questions and covers laws related to private investigation and Maine criminal statutes. A passing grade is considered 76%.

PI Training Courses in Maine

Maine does not certify any training courses for becoming a private investigator. The majority of your training will take place on the job. However, education is helpful for every career, including private investigators. Many prospective PIs choose to pursue degrees in criminal justice, security management, investigation and other related disciplines.

Forms needed for Detective License in Maine

  • Fees: When you submit your application, you will need to pay a $50 application fee and a $21 record check fee. Also, once you’ve passed your exam, there is a final licensing fee of $450. Included in your application should be all documents necessary for licensure, such as educational records and work history. You also must provide three certification from people who have known you for three years.
  • Registration: If you are currently licensed private investigator in a state other than Maine, you can provide evidence of this to the Maine State Police to be licensed by reciprocity. However, the requirements for licensure in the other state must be similar to Maine.
  • Maintenance: There is no requirement to maintain your private investigator license in Maine.

Maine Private Detective Salaries – According to “U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics”

Maine is one of the few states where the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide state level information. The median salary for private investigators across the country as of 2015 was $45,610. Between 2014 and 2024, the profession is expected to experience a growth rate of 5%.

Links for Maine Private Detectives

Maine State Police PI Licensing Forms

Maine Licensed Private Investigator’s Association

Bureau of Labor Statistics Career Summary