Illinois Private Investigator License

Illinois Private Investigator License

Obtaining an Illinois private investigator license is very responsible and full of duty. For that reason, many challenges may stand in your way. So, until you master this field, you will not be able to overcome it all.

How do you get a private investigator license in Illinois?

To start your career in this industry, you should be familiar with a set of requirements.

Primary requirements

  • Be either 21 years or older
  • Have never been convicted of a crime within the last 10 years
  • Having a clear criminal background
  • Not to be discharged from law enforcement or the military because of a bad reputation
  • Be mentally and physically healthy
  • Have a strong character
  • Hold the US citizenship
  • Do not have a history of alcohol or drug abuse or addiction
  • The lack of previous work experience

Education and experience

There are two ways of getting official authorization:

  • According to experience

Basically, you must possess three years of job history with PI or any agency. To clarify, according to IDFPR employment history should be 1,500 hours in a year before submitting your request.

Unlike the previous condition, this one allows you to integrate your present knowledge and skills. It is possible if one of these three criteria suits you:

  1. If you hold a college or bachelor’s degree, you can submit two years of job history instead of three.
  2. In the case of an associate’s degree, one year of career activity is enough.
  3. By taking an examination twice a year. It covers the following topics such as:
  • State and federal law
  • Reporting, presentation, and analysis
  • Gathering and assessing evidence
  • Security practices
  • Management of cases


The course consists of 20 hours. So, you have to pass it under a qualified supervisor within 30 days or before being hired.


This section contains all documentation preparations for admission, which are:

  • $291 examination fee
  • Criminal background check
  • Authorization and fingerprints
  • Licensing fee
  • $1 million liability insurance coverage

The Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation (IDFPR) conducts the permit in this area.

Do private investigators need a license in Illinois?

At first, the PERC (Permanent Employee Registration Card) lets you work for an agency and under supervision. It is a special type of official document which proves that you have passed a background check.

No exams nor experience are demanded here. However, you may obtain it by enrolling in the PI agency’s support staff and finding a sponsor or employer.

While, with a business permit in this area, you can create your organization. It allows you to act independently and without anyone’s supervision.

How much do I need to pay a private investigator in Illinois?

The price depends on the circumstances, including the agent’s ability and the complexity of the case. Each service has its fixed price. Moreover, each agency determines the price of its services. Some companies may require paying on an hourly basis. So, the average cost ranges from:

  • Hourly: $85 to $200
  • Flat fees: $200 to $1500
  • Retainer: $1500 to $2500 or higher

To provide this type of service in this state, specialists must be authorized which means that it is legal. Eventually, according to the rules of Illinois private investigator license reciprocity, PI should comply with out-of-state licensure standards.

Narine H

Narine H

Narine is a new specialist in content writing. She graduated with a bachelor's degree in pedagogics from the BSU. She is fluent in four languages. She likes studying not only Indo-European languages but also languages belonging to other language families. Although she is skilled as an academic writer, now she tests her strength in SEO as a content writer.