A certified private detective may only be employed by a licensed private detective agency and may not offer private detective services outside the scope of his sponsoring agency.
Private detective services include, but are not limited to: conducting investigations, securing evidence for use before any investigating committee or board of arbitration, non-uniformed personal protection, and locating or apprehending fugitives from justice. For more information, refer to Business Occupations and Professions Title 13.
Maryland State Police
1111 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208
Attn.: Licensing Services Section - Private Detective Unit
Individuals desiring employment by a private detective agency to provide services as outlined above must meet the following criteria. Any individual employee of a private detective agency wishing to act as a private detective should submit an application.
The following conditions will disqualify you from becoming a private detective:
The Private Detective Unit will only accept applications completed electronically on the PDF form(s) provided below in the Documents section for initial and renewal applications. Please answer all questions accurately, completely and honestly. Once completed, the PDF form should be printed, signed, and mailed.
Mail the application packet to the Licensing Division at the address provided above. Allow 90 business days for the completion of the application process. If the Licensing Division does not receive the renewal application, satisfactorily completed, by the expiration date, the applicant must begin as a new applicant and complete all requirements necessary for an initial application.
All original applications require FBI and CJIS fingerprint submissions. Additionally, applicants must submit two photographs of applicant (2"x2" square, light background, head and shoulder full face, no hat, no dark glasses). Renewal applications only require FBI fingerprint submissions.
The fee for an initial application is $15. The fee for a renewal application is $10. Fees are not refundable. Fees must be paid by check or money order made payable to the Maryland State Police.
Renewed private detective certifications are for a 3-year term. The private detective identification card is valid for employment only with a private detective agency listed on the application. The card remains the property of the State and shall be returned to the state within five days after it is:
Note: it is the responsibility of the employing agency to notify the Maryland State Police when the holder of the card is terminated.
At least 90 days before the certification expires, the applicant shall mail the application for renewal. As a condition for certification renewal, an applicant shall submit to the Licensing Division:
90 days, not to include weekends and holidays.
Make all checks and money orders payable to the Maryland State Police.
No, we do not expedite applications.
Below you will find links to PDFs of relevant Maryland statutes, provided for your convenience. Please note that laws change over time. The below documents were created on August 20, 2013, and are for reference purposes only. To obtain the most recent text of any legislation, please go online to LexisNexis to access the up-to-date Maryland code.
Note: In order to view documents that are PDFs please utilize Internet Explorer or disable the PDF Viewer in Google Chrome. Instructions for disabling the PDF Viewer can be found HERE.
1201 Reisterstown Road, Pikesville, MD 21208
(410) 653.4200 | (800) 525.5555 | (410) 486.0677 (TDD)