Requirements for a private investigator license

These are the basic license requirements that govern the issuance of private investigator licenses.

License requirements

You must file an application for a private detective or watch, guard, or patrol license with the Colonel of the State Police. You are under oath, and as such, all applications, statements, and forms must be accurate and true.

The application must include:

  • A certification from 3 reputable citizens of Massachusetts. They must reside in the community where you reside, have a place of business, or propose to conduct business.
    • These citizens must know you for 3 years or more. They must read the application and state belief that each of the statements made are true.
    • They must state that they are not related to you by blood or marriage.
    • These citizens must state you are honest and of good moral character.
  • The application (you), cooperation, resident manager, superintendent or official representative, must be of good moral character.
  • You must have been one of the following:

    • Formerly, regularly employed as a detective doing investigative work for the Commonwealth of Massachusetts, any political subdivision thereof or an official police department of another state for at least 3 years.
    • A former member of an investigative service of the United States.
    • A former police officer, of rank or grade higher than that of a patrolman.
    • A police officer in good standing formally employed for at least 10 years.
  • If you have been convicted of a felony in any state in the United States, you may not receive a license. If you have been convicted of a violation of Section 99 or Section 99A of Chapter 272, you may not receive a license. Any previous license may be revoked.

*The applicant shall not be currently certified by the Peace Officer Standards and Training (POST) Commission.  Those retired pending expiration of their POST certification shall produce proof they have retired in good standing.

Contact   for Requirements for a private investigator license


(978) 538-6021


485 Maple Street, Danvers, MA 01923

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