Becoming a Private Investigator in Michigan

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Private investigators are hired to dig up information and facts needed to help in legal situations such as divorce or liability issues. In some instances they also locate people. Lawyers sometimes hire private investigators to help with cases. There is no state exam required for private investigators in Michigan, but there are other requirements.

Obtain a license application by contacting Michigan's Licensing Division of the Bureau of Commercial Services or from their website. You will also need to request a fingerprint form or card.

Bureau of Commercial Services Licensing Division Professional Investigator P.O. Box 30018 Lansing, MI 48909 517-241-8720

Call IBT, which is the vendor the state uses for fingerprints, using the contact information provided in your paperwork, and set up an appointment to have your fingerprints electronically scanned, if you live in the state. If you live out-of-state, you must manually apply fingerprints to the card and send them in with your application. Instructions are included with the card. The fee for fingerprinting, scan or card, is $49.95

Obtain liability insurance or post a $10,0000 bond for the period of licensure. Use a state certified insurance company.

Apply for a license. You will need to attach your proof of fingerprinting, two passport type photos, employment verification proving three years investigative experience, transcript of high school diploma, proof of bond or liability insurance and five personal references that are notarized. If you have a company, attach a copy of the company's articles of incorporation. If working as a sole proprietor, attach a copy of an Assumed Name Certificate or Doing Business As form that you can obtain at your county clerk's office.

Submit the application and all paperwork to the Licensing Division (address in step 1), along with a fee of $700 for the application processing.


You need to be at least 25 years old and a citizen of the United States, with a high school diploma and three years investigative experience. There are also certain felonies that you must not have been convicted of. Among them are fraud, procession of an illegal substance, impersonating an officer, assault and more than two alcohol offenses.