become a licensed private detective in kentucky

Kentucky Board of Licensure for Private Investigators KPIA

How to become a licensed private investigator in Kentucky

The Kentucky Board of Licensure for Private Investigators promotes, preserves and protects the public safety and welfare through effective regulation of the practice of private investigations. The Kentucky Board of Licensure for Private Investigators accomplishes this mission through the examination, testing, and licensing of prospective private investigators; regulation and discipline of all licensed private investigators; and through appropriate communication of information and laws pertaining to the practice of private investigations in Kentucky.

Pass a Background Check

  • Must be at least 21 years old
  • Be of good moral character
  • Be a U.S. citizen or lawful resident alien
  • If you have any felony convictions, 10 years must have passed since the completion of your sentence
  • No convictions for crimes involving dishonesty or moral turpitude within the past five years
  • If you are a military veteran you must not have been dishonorably discharged
  • Be of sound mental capacity
  • No misdemeanor or higher convictions within the past three years for crimes involving controlled substances
  • May not have been enrolled in a facility or program for substance abuse in the past three years
  • May not chronically or habitually use alcohol or drugs

Submitting an Application with the Board

When submitting an application for licensure you can begin by applying for an individual license. All private detectives operating in the state must at minimum be licensed individually.

Your Individual Application for Licensure should include:

  • $100 application fee
  • $300 license fee
  • $20 licensing request fee
  • Proof of a $250,000 for combined single-limit liability insurance – if you are solely employed by an attorney this is not necessary
  • Criminal history background check with three fingerprint cards for a $36.50 fee
  • Signed release for medical and psychological records

In addition to being licensed individually you may also need to complete a Company Application for Licensure if you are planning to form any of the following:

  • Sole-proprietorship, $100 application fee
  • Company, partnership, or corporation; $500 application fee

Keep in mind that the average time to evaluate an application for licensure is between two and three months.

License Renewal

Once you receive your Kentucky Private Investigators license it will remain valid for two years. The Board will notify you of the renewal fee of $250, and you will also need to complete a renewal application by June 30th before your license expires.

Continuing Education Requirement

Currently the requirements for private detective licensing is 12 hours of continued education every 2 years.  Industry training courses, certification classes, or continuing education options are accepted by the Board from approved sources including:

Our KPIA Annual Conference Training Weekend

State of Tennessee approved list for private investigator training courses

and other industry leaders for private investigator continued education such as:

State approved continued education training courses are offered at the annual meeting by the Kentucky Professional Investigators Association and are published here as information is available.  Please see our annual conference page for more information on continued education training.

Private Investigator State Exam

As part of the individual licensing process you will need to take the Private Investigator Exam. Once your application for licensure has been approved the Board will send you a study guide and scheduling information. You can begin preparing for the exam by studying the appropriate Kentucky Revised Statutes and Administrative Regulations, and the exam itself will include an evaluation of your knowledge regarding:

  • State and federal constitutional principles
  • Laws regarding eavesdropping, assault, search, seizure, and computer access
  • Relevant court decisions that have a bearing on liability

Download study guide

209 Pages pdf file

KY PI Examination Study Guide (pdf)