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Frequently Asked Questions

Do I need to hire a licensed investigator?

Any person conducting an investigation consisting of more than a simple information search is required by the state of California to be licensed. There are exceptions for particular industries and uses.

Why license investigators?

The state of California has a standard for investigatory experience and training that must be met, followed by a state administered test, before a person can become a licensed investigator. The state then maintains an enforcement arm that investigates complaints and disciplines investigators that are non-compliant. The same is true for licensed security operators. A PPO license means that your security is provided by a person who has been tested to meet or exceed California standards.

How can I check to see if an investigator is licensed?

License status can be checked by calling or going on-line to the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Bureau of Security and Investigative Services web site at ( 916) 322-4000. You can also link to this site from the California Association of Licensed Investigators web site at

What benefits are there in using a licensed investigator?

A licensed investigator has an ethical standard to conduct their investigation within the law. This gives you the assurance that you will be properly represented by your investigator instead of rogue activity taking place in your behalf which could result in your own civil or criminal liability. A licensed investigator will carefully review your case and determine a course of action most likely to yield a positive result while remaining within the law. A licensed investigator provides you with a credible and defensible result which will stand up to legal scrutiny. A licensed investigator will help you to avoid legal pitfalls. A licensed investigator has lawful access to records and information sources not available to the general public. Working with an attorney, a licensed investigator can produce useful results which may be shielded by the attorney-client privilege as work product. A licensed investigator can produce evidence and testify on your behalf in court. A licensed investigator has access to other professionals that can meet specialized needs for your case.

What benefits are there in using a licensed security professional?

A licensed security professional can provide you with a professional level of personal protection without violating the law or making you seem "thuggish" by hiring unlicensed persons. A license is required of those providing personal protection and security services. An unlicensed security person would likely be unprofessional, as well as would expose you to needless legal liability.


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