Office of Private Investigator Licensure: Mandatory Licensure FAQs

What to Expect: Frequently Asked Questions on Mandatory Licensure

Please read the following frequently asked questions on mandatory licensure for private investigators in Colorado.

Information about Regulation of Private Investigators in Colorado

Q: Who regulates Private Investigators in Colorado?

A: The Office of Private Investigator Licensure licenses private investigators in Colorado. Licensure for private investigators is mandatory in Colorado effective June 1, 2015.

The Office's activities include licensing, investigation of complaints, determination of discipline, and enforcement of discipline for those who violate the Colorado Statutes and the Office of Private Investigator Licensure Rules. The Office of Private Investigator Licensure is a Director-model program without an advisory committee, meaning that Colorado law authorizes the Director of the Division of Professions and Occupations to adopt rules, set fees, and approve applications for licensure as a private investigator among other powers and duties.

Information about License Requirements

Q: Who is required to obtain a license as a Private Investigator?

A: After June 1, 2015, only a licensed private investigator may present himself or herself as or use the title of a "licensed private investigator," "private investigator," "licensed private detective," or "private detective." The Private Investigator Licensure Act provides certain exemptions for licensure for collection agencies, attorneys, law enforcement, accountants and others who lawfully conduct investigations within their respective authority and scope.

Q: Will Private Investigators licensed in other states still have to obtain a Colorado license to operate as a private investigator in the state?

A: Yes, individuals are required to obtain a license in Colorado to practice as a private investigator in the state.

Q: What will happen to the voluntary licenses previously issued to private investigators?

A: The Private Investigators Voluntary Licensing Program was discontinued effective June 6, 2014. All voluntary Private Investigator licenses are now expired.

The Private Investigators Licensure Act replaced the voluntary program, which established a new mandatory licensure program, requiring all Colorado private investigators to obtain a license from the Division by June 1, 2015.

Information about License Fees

Q: How does the Division determine license fees?

A: In Colorado, the cost of regulation is borne by the regulated community. Therefore, licensed private investigators pay for the cost of regulation through licensing fees and renewal fees. The Division actively works to keep licensing fees as low as possible. The Division does not receive General Fund monies to pay for the regulation of private investigators, therefore all costs associated with the regulatory program must be raised through licensure and renewal fees. The Director of the Division of Professions and Occupations is authorized to set fees for licensure, renewal, and reinstatement.

Information about Reciprocity Relationships with Other States

Q: Does the Division anticipate entering into reciprocity relationships with states that license investigators, enabling those investigators to conduct investigations in Colorado without obtaining a Colorado license?

A: Starting June 1, 2015, Colorado law explicitly disallows anyone to practice as a private investigator in Colorado without a license. Any authority to establish "reciprocity" with other states must be authorized by Colorado law through the General Assembly. Because reciprocity is not authorized, the Division may not enter into any reciprocity relationships with other states.