January 06, 2010

Private investigators must be licensed under new Missouri law

Jefferson City, Mo. - State officials are reminding private investigators, consumers, attorneys, law enforcement and others that Missouri law now requires private investigators be licensed by the state. The law changed in 2007, requiring private investigators to:

  • Submit to a background check
  • Pass a licensing exam
  • Meeting continuing education requirements
  • Carry professional liability insurance

Besides individual investigators, the law also requires licensing for private investigator agencies, some employees and trainers.

The Missouri Division of Professional Registration will begin accepting applications for licensing on Feb. 1. State officials expect to license between 500 and 700 professionals under the new requirements.

"Until now, becoming a private investigator in Missouri required little more than a business license fee and a place to hang a shingle," says Dwight McNiel, chairman of the State Board of Private Investigator Examiners and an investigator from Springfield. "Thanks to the new law, our professionals will finally have testing, oversight and, most importantly, accountability."

The new licensing requirements are defined in Chapter 324.1100 through 324.1148 of the Missouri Revised Statutes. The board has also written regulations for enforcement, found in 20 CSR 2234.

Application forms are available from the board's Web site, pr.mo.gov or by calling the board office at 573-522-7744.

About the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions & Professional Registration

The Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration (DIFP) is responsible for consumer protection through the regulation of financial industries and professionals.  The department's seven divisions work to maintain consumer confidence by examining and monitoring industries and professions and by establishing coherent and evolving policies.  DIFP works to enforce state regulations both efficiently and effectively while encouraging a competitive environment for industries and professions to ensure consumers have access to quality products.