How to Become a Private Investigator in New Mexico

become a private investigator in new mexico

Private investigators are hired to perform many different types of investigation in New Mexico. A private investigator, for example, may research suspected fraud for a business, find out who is sending criminal threats to a client and can locate and recover stolen property. It is even possible for private investigators to gather evidence that will be used in courts or by law enforcement officers.

If you’re someone interested in a career as a private investigator and live in New Mexico, you will first need to become licensed by the New Mexico Private Investigations Board. Licensure is important as it insures investigators in the state are of the highest quality.

New Mexico Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: Over the age of 18.
  • Provisional Requirements: You must be a US citizen with at least a high school diploma.
  • Criminal Background Check: Applicants will have to submit to, and be able to pass, a background check. For this purpose, you will supply a full fingerprint set to the New Mexico board of commissions.
  • Discharge from Military: A dishonorable discharge from any of the armed services will not preclude you from being a private investigator.
  • Financial History: New Mexico does not require a check of your financial standing before receiving a private investigator license.
  • Mental Health Check/Mental Disease or Defect: A mental health examination is not part of the licensing process in New Mexico.
  • Insurance Needed: Private investigators in this state must be able to secure a surety bond of at least $10,000.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: Felony convictions or convictions involving violence or the illegal use/possession of a firearm will prevent you from earning a PI license.

Education and Experience

  • Degree and/or Accepted Experience: New Mexico does not require private investigators to be educated about the high school level. It does, however, mandate work experience. You should have 6,000 hours of work experience in the last five years. This work experience should include investigating crimes and threats, people, stolen property and evidence that will be used in court.
  • Written Exams: You will need to pass an exam offered by the New Mexico Regulations and Licensing Department. The exam covers jurisprudence and is twenty-five questions.

New Mexico P.I. Training Courses

Although New Mexico requires security managers to undergo certified training, it has no such requirements for private investigators. Instead of a state certified course, you should consider a degree in a related field from an accredited university. Associate and bachelor’s degree programs that serve as a good base for a private investigation careers include criminal justice, forensics, political science, law and investigation techniques.

Forms Needed for Detective License

  • Fees Required: You will need to pay the New Mexico Private Investigations Board a $400 non-refundable fee. In addition, you will need to pay $44 for the fingerprint set to be used in your background check.
  • Registration Needed: After earning a passing grade with the jurisprudence exam, you will fill out an application and submit it to the Investigations Board. With your application, the Board needs to receive proof of work experience, two passport-style photos, proof of your age and a copy of your surety bond. Fingerprints will be sent to the Department of Safety.
  • Maintenance Required for PI License: Private investigator licenses expire on the last day of your birth month. You will need to pay a $300 renewal fee to prevent your license from expiring.

Salaries — According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics

The data provide by the Bureau of Labor Statistics shows that 330 private investigators were working in New Mexico in 2015, which was the last time data was made available. Across the state of New Mexico, the average pay for a private investigator in 2015 was $33,680.

Links to New Mexico State Government Pages or Other State Resources

New Mexico Private Investigations Board

Jurisprudence Exam Sample

BLS Salaries and Employment Information