Private Detective Unit Help Page

  1. What Rules Govern the Private Detective Industry?

    The Private Detective Act of 1939 and the Administrative Rules and Regulations define the statutory obligations of anyone applying for or operating under a private detective license in the State of New Jersey.

    As mandated by statute, the New Jersey State Police, Private Detective Unit has the responsibility to administer and regulate those individuals or agencies engaged in the private detective industry.

  2. What are the Qualifications to become a Private Detective?

    -Applicant must be 25 years of age and a U.S. citizen.
    -Applicant must possess good character, competency and integrity.
    -Applicant must have a minimum of 5 years experience with an organized police department of the State, County or a Municipality or an investigative agency of the United States of America or possess 5 years investigative experience which can be documented. Applicant must successfully complete a comprehensive background investigation, which includes a criminal history fingerprint check, and credit check.

    *Noteworthy Info:
    As part of the application process, a credit profile report will be reviewed for any derogatory, delinquent, and/or past due accounts. Applicants must provide documentation addressing all derogatory accounts prior to licensing. Personal credit is directly related to moral character. An individual may only serve as qualifier for one agency, however they may hold a corporate office position for more than one company.

  3. How do I apply for a New Jersey Private Detective License?

    Application - For New Jersey Private Detective License (SP-171 Fillable PDF - 155kb)
    Instructions (PDF - 29kb)

  4. Do I need a Private Detective License to operate a security company in New Jersey?

    A Private Detective license is ONLY needed if you are doing PI work. A PI license is for PI and a Security License is for security. *See SORA Info & SORA help for Security licensing.
    Security Officer Registration Act, (SORA) was implemented in the fall of 2006. All aspects of private security, executive protection and security officers are required to comply with SORA as of January 1, 2007.

  5. What are the fees for a New Jersey Private Detective License?

    A non-refundable license fee in the form of a money order, cashier's check, certified check, or business check written in the amount of $250.00 for an Individual license or $300.00 for any other type license, is required upon submission of the application. All checks made payable to the "STATE OF NEW JERSEY." No personal checks accepted.

  6. How long is a New Jersey PI license valid and how do I renew?

    All issued private detective licenses are valid for a (2) two year period. To insure a timely renewal process, a completed renewal form (SP-415) must be received by the Private Detective Unit within two weeks of the license expiration date. Renewals received after the license expiration date may require the licensee to cease operation and/or reapply for a new Private Detective license.

  7. Can an active law enforcement officer hold a Private Detective license?

    No, while an active member of a organized police department he/she cannot hold a private detective license or be a member of a corporate structure.

  8. Do I have to be a resident of New Jersey to be a licensed Private Detective?

    No, out of state residents may obtain a private detective license provided he/she meets the listed qualifications.

  9. Where do I go to get fingerprinted?

    Applicants seeking licensing as a New Jersey private detective must submit for electronic fingerprinting via the vendor MorphoTrust. A list of MorphoTrust sites and contact information is available at the MorphoTrust website, www.bioapplicant.com. SEE MORPHO TRUST FORMS FOR PROPER FEES.

    INITIAL LICENSE APPLICANTS (License Qualifiers and Corporate Officers only)
    All applicants seeking an initial license as a NJ Private Detective must contact the New Jersey State Police, Private Detective Unit, for the issuance of a temporary agency license number. This number will be utilized as means for Private Detective Unit personnel to track the criminal history return. The tracking number will be entered by the applicant in block #7 of the MorphoTrust Universal Fingerprint Form. Applicants will contact the Private Detective Unit at (609) 633-9376 or via email (pdu@gw.njsp.org). Email must include applicant’s name, social security number and phone number.

    OUT-OF-STATE APPLICANTS (License Qualifiers and Corporate Officers only)
    All applicants who are employed or reside within twenty miles of New Jersey will be required to visit a NJ MorphoTrust site for electronic fingerprinting.

    Applicants who reside and are employed outside the (20) twenty mile radius of New Jersey will submit two ink-and-roll fingerprint cards along with the MorphoTrust Universal Fingerprint Form and the established fee. Payment requires a certified check or money order payable to "MorphoTrust". SEE MORPHO TRUST FORMS FOR PROPER FEES.

    ALL RENEWAL APPLICANTS (License Qualifiers and Corporate Officers)
    All renewal applicants will utilize the “Private Detective License Renewal” MorphoTrust Universal Fingerprint Form. Renewal applicants will follow the instructions above with the exception of contacting the Private Detective Unit for a tracking number. DO NOT CONTACT THE PRIVATE DETECTIVE UNIT FOR A RENEWAL TRACKING NUMBER. All licensees will utilize their issued license number for block #7 of the MorphoTrust Universal Fingerprint Form.

    All applicants are encouraged to carefully read the "applicant information" and instructions contained on the MorphoTrust Universal Fingerprint Form.
    *Noteworthy Info:The ink-and-roll fee differs from what is indicated on the MorphoTrust Universal Fingerprint Form. All out-of-state applicants for initial licensing as a NJ Private Detective must contact the New Jersey State Police, Private Detective Unit, for the issuance of a temporary agency license number. The assigned number will be utilized as means for Private Detective Unit personnel to track the criminal history return. The tracking number will be entered by the applicant in block #7 of the MorphoTrust Universal Fingerprint Form.


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