Becoming Licensed

Additional Information

Become a Private Investigator or Security Guard in WV

As the only professional organization in  West Virginia that represents both the Private Investigator and Security  Guard industries, the Private Investigator and Security Professionals  of WV (PISPWV) often receives inquiries about how to become a PI or SG.   If you run a simple Google search, you will find dozens of articles  about the process.  The official answer about  how to obtain a license is to query the licensing authority for that  license; in West Virginia, the licensing authority for Security Guards  and Private Investigators is the Secretary of State of West Virginia  (WVSOS). 

Here's the nitty gritty (but remember: see WVSOS for the official requirements):

  • Call WVSOS (304.558.8000) and request a free packet because you must…
  • Get an official fingerprint from Identigo
  • Get 5 character references in writing on the WVSoS form
  • Get 2 passport photographs
  • Get a $2,500 surety bond
  • Get copies of your education and experience (they can be combined - see the links)
  • Fill out the app
  • Send in all of the above plus the fee

Get it from the source:

JULY 2016 - APPLICATION CHANGES: New procedures for PI and Security  Guard applicants are coming soon, now that the law has passed requiring a  federal criminal history check.  While most everything will remain the  same for applicants and the process, there are a couple of procedural  changes that will affect applicants directly.  These changes affect only  the fingerprinting process.

  • Applicants will no longer send a fingerprint card with the application.
  • Once the Secretary of State's has received the application, the  applicant will receive a letter directing them to an IdentoGo location.   The letter will have an account number the applicant will use to pay  for the fingerprinting that will bill our office rather than the  applicant.
  • The applicant will receive a confirmation number and will be  required to provide that number back to the SOS Office by letter, email,  fax, or phone.
  • From there, everything will proceed as normal.