The department mandates that in order to apply for a private investigator (Class “C”) license, you must satisfy an “experience” requirement. This experience can come from work in related fields, such as law enforcement, or military experience, or as an intern (Class “CC”). It can also come from study in criminology, law enforcement administration, or by completion of any state, federal, county, or municipal training related to the position. Your experience can come from one of these options or by combination of a few. Either way, you need to be able to verify two years-worth of full-time involvement, with no more than one year originating from training classes or college courses.For example, if you’ve been a police officer for three years, working at least 40 hours per week, you’ve met your requirement. However, not everyone who is interested in this exciting career has been employed in law enforcement or received military training. In those cases, you can become licensed as an intern and complete your two-year obligation by working at a private detective agency.
You are also required to pass an exam before you can submit an application for license, as proof of passing this exam is part of the application process. The assessment covers Chapter 493 of Florida Statutes, which explains appropriate business practices of agencies and the individual legal responsibilities that pertain to those who work in the industry. The state of Florida enacts a fee of $100 for the test, which is done by appointment only. This fee is not refundable if you fail, and if you need to retake the test, you’ll be required to pay again. There are several locations across the state that offer this assessment. You may be exempt from this exam if you have a Class “CC” license and have been working at a licensed agency for two-years.
After passing the exam, you’ll be required to submit your application. This application includes verification of your social security number, your citizenship status, your residence, (P.O. boxes are not valid), your military history, criminal history, personal history, (including mental disorders and controlled substance abuse), aliases, proof of examination completion, training history, and letter of sponsorship if you are upgrading from a Class “CC” (Intern) license. With your application, you will also have to submit a photograph of yourself, as well as a fingerprint card. Naturally, there is an application fee of $50. In addition, you must remit a $75 license fee and a $42 fingerprint processing fee. The total cost for the application is $167, because by that point you have already paid the $100 exam fee. Once approved, your license will be valid for 2 years.