Get your license: Private investigators (armed)

Learn how to get your license to work as an armed private investigator.

Who needs a license?

Anyone who carries a firearm on duty while working for a licensed private investigation agency that:

  • Provides investigation, escort, or bodyguard services
  • Performs property loss prevention activities

1. Meet the requirements

To be licensed as an armed private investigator, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years old
  • Be licensed as an unarmed private investigator or agency principal
  • Have a current firearms certificate issued by the Washington State Criminal Justice Training Commission
  • Have a current license to carry a concealed pistol

2. Gather the necessary documents

3. Submit your application

You can apply online or by mail.

Apply for your license online

You'll receive your license faster by applying and paying online.

Log into SecureAccess Washington (SAW)

Don't have a SAW account? Learn how to create a SAW account to apply, upload your paperwork, and pay the application fee.

Apply for your license by mail

Mail your completed Private Investigator License Application and Renewal form and a check or money order for the application fee (payable to the Department of Licensing) to:

Private Investigator Program
Department of Licensing
PO Box 35001
Seattle, WA 98124-3401

4. Submit fingerprints

Submit your fingerprints for state and national background checks.

  • Inside Washington: Schedule an appointment through IdentoGO, our electronic fingerprinting vendor. You'll pay a fee for the fingerprinting service and background checks required for your license type.
  • Outside Washington: Please contact your local law enforcement agency and follow the out-of-state background check instructions to complete the fingerprint submission process.

For more details, read about fingerprinting and background checks.

For veterans, military personnel, and partners

Your military experience or training might help you meet licensing requirements. You may also be able to get a temporary license if you're moving here with a current license from another state. Learn more about using your military training to meet professional license requirements.

If you're a U.S. veteran, you may be eligible for partial reimbursement of your fees. Learn more about getting reimbursed for fees.

Need additional help? Here's how to contact us:

call Phone: 360-664-6611
(TTY: Call 711)
mail Email:
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