How to Become a Private Investigator in Arizona

Arizona’s private investigator licensing program is run by the Licensing Unit in the Department of Public Safety.  In order to for you to be granted a Private Investigator Agency License you must have …:”equivalent of three years of full-time investigative experience that consists of actual work performed as an investigator for a private concern, for the federal government or for a state, county or municipal government.”  Basically you need to have investigation experience that they deem to be experience. The agency license is also only given to an individual regardless of what type business structure the company is (sole proprietor, LLC, etc…).

But like any state in the United States there will always be the same general requirements that need to be met which are:

  • Qualifications
  • Applications
  • Fees (because it has to pay for itself)
  • Become Licensed
  • Join an Association (not mandatory but recommended by me)


As previously stated you need to have 3 years of verifiable experience. They state on their website that vague experience will not be accepted.  They give the example of military service and providing a DD214.  That alone will not be enough and you will have to show what investigations you performed while in the military.

Furthermore to have an agency or be an employee of an agency you must:

  • Be a minimum of 18 years old
  • Be a legal citizen or legal residence who can legally work in the United States
  • Not be convicted of a felony or in the process of being convicted
  • May not have been convicted of a misdemeanor (which they detail)
  • Not be on parole
  • Be mentally stable
  • Not have a disability defined in section 41-1461
  • Not having been convicted as someone working as a private investigator without a license (working illegally as a private investigator
  • And of course, not be a registered sex offender.

Fill Out the Application

To get all the forms you need to apply for a new private investigation agency or to renew click here.  Please note that you will need to get fingerprinted as well.  

Don’t name your company without getting the approval for your agency name.  This is something I have never heard of before but I am sure they have their reasons.  You can read more about this by clicking here.  


For a new agency you must pay $250 for the application fee in addition you will have to pay $22 for fingerprinting.  If you get approved they request another $400  for the licensing fee and a Surety Bond in the amount of $2,500.  

Become A Licensed Investigator

After you have been approved and paid all your money to the regulating agency you can begin work as a private investigator.  

Association in Arizona


Arizona has one association which is named the Arizona Association of Licensed Private Investigators or AALPI.  The AALPI appears to be celebrating their 40th anniversary soon.  The association appears also to have a healthy number of members as of February 2016.  That is good news for someone that would like to ask questions specific to investigations in Arizona and it is a good networking opportunity.  Their website is very informative and helpful should you still have questions about laws.
Arizona doesn’t mess around when it comes to working as a private investigator and not being licensed. Please make sure to always be licensed when working in the state of Arizona.  Experience needed to qualify for an investigative license will come through working for a company or working within a verifiable investigative environment.