Texas Private Investigator License

Texas Private Investigator License

If you want to work legally as a PI, you need to get a Texas private investigator license. It is a violation of the State’s Occupations Code to perform any type of inspection-related job without being authorized. Violations may result in civil and administrative penalties as well as criminal filings.

The Department of Public Safety of Texas (DPS) and the Private Security Bureau (PSB) are responsible for regulating independent inspection companies. They also oversee agency owners and the professionals working for them.

In order to legally perform investigative services, an individual detective is expected to join an authorized agent. Or, they can establish a firm of their own. Hence, if you wish to get the permit but do not have an active job possibility with firms, you may consider doing a business by yourself. As a matter of fact, the licensing steps are similar to that in the state of Pennsylvania.

Please keep reading this article to find out detailed information about all the prerequisites to obtain an allowance.

Steps to get a PI permit in Texas

To legally own or manage an agency, you must be at least 18 and have a good legal history. You also have to follow at least one of the following requirements:

  • 3 consecutive years of investigation-related experience
  • A bachelor’s degree in criminal justice or similar field of study (with an additional 6-12 months of experience)
  • An associate degree in criminal justice or another similar field (with additional 24 months of practice)
  • Specialized training with a minimum of 200 hours

After you meet one of these requisites you must pass an exam organized by the PSB. Then you must also show evidence of liability insurance.

If you want to work for a PI company…

Your employer is going to gather your personal information. They will also have you fill in the Original Registration Application Supplement, as well as send an online application. Moreover, you have to submit a fingerprint. It is required as a part of the registry. The FBI will use it for a background check.

After you complete it and pay the fee, your employer will be sent a receipt with further instructions.

As soon as your FBI background check clears and the PSB and DPS approve it, the board will mail your certificate to your employer’s business place.

If you want to open your own agency…

Firstly, you need to hand in a PSB-01 Corporation Permit Application Form. It will include the name of your organization. The form is also to make sure that there is no other corporation with the same name in the state. In fact, it may have your own name. Besides, you can decide if you want to hire employees or if you want to operate alone.

Moreover, the package should include the IDs of all the owners/partners. It should also have information about the structure of the business.
Along with the form, you need to submit the following:

  • A $33 fee
  • $25 for FBI and 2 fingerprint cards. Or instead of it, you can send a receipt from electronic fingerprinting

If sent by mail, your request package shall include a PSB-50 form. In case you apply online, you can pay all the fees by credit card.


Within 90 days of the request, you shall also pass the Qualified Manager Written Exam. It is conducted in Austin a few times each month. You will have two hours to complete it. There are 140 multiple-choice and true-false questions. Note, that you have to have at least 105 of them correct to pass it. You’ll receive the results about a month after you take it.


You have to renew your permit every year. However, besides that, you have to also take continuing education (CE). Whether you are a detective working in a firm, or an owner/manager, and registered for less than 15 years, you should complete 18 hours of continuing education.

However, in case you have registered for more than the above-mentioned period, you should complete 12 hours of CE. You should receive your CE from a PSB-approved provider.

For additional information, please contact the PSB by phone: 512-424-7710. Or visit their website.

Arpine Gh

Arpine Gh

Arpine Gh., Author at License Lookup