These are some of the most Frequently Asked Questions:

  1. How do you become a private investigator?
  2. What are the requirements to get a license?
  3. Where do I apply for the application?
  4. What qualifications do you need to become a Private Investigator?
  5. How do I get hired by an investigative firm?
  6. How do I start an investigative company?
  7. Do I get to carry a gun?
  8. How do I obtain my 6 hours of Continuing Professional Education credits?
  9. Is there a group or association of investigators where you can get information about the industry and be kept abreast of the changes in the law?
  10. How do I join TAI?

 

1. How do you become a private investigator?

In Tennessee you are required to have a license issued by the Private Investigation Commission, unless you are hired by and work exclusively for an attorney or law firm. Such individuals cannot advertise for work or do work for anyone other than the attorney who employs them.
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2. What are the requirements to get a license?

There is an application from to fill out, a fee to pay and fingerprint cards to have prepared. A criminal background investigation is conducted by the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation and the FBI. While that is being completed you will be notified to report for a test. There are costs involved in the test and licensing.
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3. Where do I apply for the application?

Contact:
Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance
Private Investigations Commission
Davey Crockett Tower, 2nd Floor
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-1167
615-741-4827
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4. What qualifications do you need to become a Private Investigator?

Be at least twenty-one years of age.
Be a citizen of the United States or a resident alien.
Not have been declared by any court of competent jurisdiction incompetent by reason of mental defect or disease unless a court of competent jurisdiction has since declared the applicant competent.
Not be suffering from habitual drunkenness or narcotic addiction or dependence.
Be of good moral character.
Pass an examination to be administered at least twice annually by the commission, designed to measure knowledge and competence in the investigations field.
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5. How do I get hired by an investigative firm?

Read the want ads, call on the established firms in your area or obtain your own company license and work for your own firm.
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6. How do I start an investigative company?

In Tennessee there is no requirement for experience to start your own company. You must pass a test dealing with running your own business. Again there are fees involved in this process. You should also contact your County Clerks office to discuss the business license requirements in your area. You can obtain all the information you need about a PI company license by contacting the following agency:

Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance
Private Investigations Commission
Davey Crockett Tower, 2nd Floor
500 James Robertson Parkway
Nashville, TN 37243-1167
615-741-4827
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7. Do I get to carry a gun?

Very rarely will you have the need for a weapon. A private investigators license does not give you the right to carry a weapon. In order to carry a weapon in Tennessee you need to contact the Tennessee Highway Patrol for this information.
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8. How do I obtain my 6 hours of Continuing Professional Education credits?

There are numerous classes presented every year. It is your responsibility to make sure the class you take has been approved by the Private Investigations Commission. The Private Investigations Commission can provide you with a complete list of approved classes. TAI presents two seminars a year. These seminars are pre-approved by the Commission and offer discounts to TAI members.
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9. Is there a group or association of investigators where you can get information about the industry and be kept abreast of the changes in the law?

Tennessee Association of Investigators, Inc is the oldest private investigative association in the state. It was formed in 1990 because of the introduction of laws that would have eliminated this industry. Today TAI is still the leader. We highly recommend that you join this organization the day you receive your license.
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10. How do I join TAI?

Click on the Applications forms on this Website. Print out the form, fill it out and send it to the address on the form along with your application fee.
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