How to Become a Private Investigator in Wyoming

become a private investigator in wyoming

Each day in the exciting life of a private investigator is never the same. One day you may be performing a background check on a person of interest, and the next you could be on the trail of a missing person. Private investigators perform a multitude services for businesses, lawyers and individual citizens.

When looking into how to become a private investigator in Wyoming, it’s beneficial to know that Wyoming is one of the few states in the U.S. that does not require any registration or licensure for becoming a private investigator. Local jurisdictions have different laws regarding employees and businesses in their regions. Cheyenne, for example, is the state’s most populated city and requires that anyone conducting investigations in their city obtain a business license.

Wyoming Private Investigator License Requirements

Minimum Requirements

  • Age: You need to be at least 18 years old.
  • Provisional Requirements: You must be a citizen of the United States or a legal resident.
  • Criminal Background Check: If you are going to apply for a business license, you need to include your criminal background on the application and submit your fingerprints.
  • Military Discharge: Your military history has no impact on whether you can become a PI in Wyoming.
  • Financial History: Your financial history may be relevant if you are applying for a business license, particularly if you are applying for an agency license.
  • Mental Health Evaluation: A mental health evaluation is not necessary to become a PI or obtain a business license in Wyoming.
  • Insurance Needed: Generally, you do need to have some form of liability insurance in order to operate a business. If you’re applying for a license for a PI agency, you must submit proof of a $10,000 security bond.
  • Automatic Disqualifications: There are no qualifications to becoming a PI in Wyoming, so there are no automatic qualifications either.

Education and Experience

  • Degree: You do not need a degree to become a private investigator in Wyoming. However, since there aren’t any qualifications to become a PI other  than obtaining a business license, you may want to consider getting a degree to improve your success. A degree in criminal justice can provide you with information about the legal system, or a business degree could help you run a PI agency.
  • Experience: You do not need to have any prior experience in order to obtain a business license or become a private investigator in Wyoming.
  • Written Exams: There is no written exam necessary to become a PI in Wyoming.
  • Training Courses: While Wyoming does not require that private investigators take training courses, it would be a great benefit to you to do some research about the world of private investigation. Educate yourself by reading books on the topic and taking online courses. Attend a school that offers degrees relating to private investigation like criminology, political science or forensics. You’ll also want to familiarize yourself as much as possible with local and state laws, as you are still subject to these when you are performing investigations. You can also talk to local PI agencies and associations to learn more about the field and even be hired on with them as a PI.

Forms Needed for Business License

  • Fees Required: The fee for a private detective business license application in Cheyenne is $15.00. The fee for a business license application for your own PI agency is $135.00. Additionally, both licenses require fingerprints, which costs $15.00 for the city fee and another $15.00 for the state fee.
  • Maintaining Your Business License: You need to renew your business license once every year. While business licenses may not be a requirement in every city in Wyoming, they are required in Cheyenne. Make sure that you are familiar with your city’s ordinances so that you may continue to legally work as a private investigator.

Wyoming Private Investigator Salary and Job Outlook

There is no data available from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics on the salaries of PIs in Wyoming. As of May 2015, the average annual salary for PIs across the country is $45,610. Between 2014 and 2024, the Employment Projections Program predicts that 1,800 new PI positions will open in the U.S.

Helpful Wyoming Links and Resources

Secretary of State Website on Starting Your Business

Cheyenne, WY Business Application for Private Detectives

Cheyenne, WY Business Application for PI Agencies