You are here

Becoming a Private Investigator or Security Guard

March 17, 2016
Forms and information on many Georgia licenses are available on the Georgia Secretary of State's website.

Do you have a background in criminal justice and you’re ready to take the next steps?  To become a private investigator or security guard in Georgia, you need to first get a license.

In Georgia, if you are an owner, partner, or officer of your private investigative or security company, you can be the holder of the company license. To qualify, you need to have either 2 years of experience or a related 4-year degree. If you’re getting a license for a private investigative company, the experience needs to be in law enforcement or as a registered private detective of another company. If you’re licensing a private security company, the experience can be in law enforcement or as a supervisor or administrator of a security company or in-house security operations.

If you want to work as a private investigator for an existing company rather than starting your own, you need to meet the requirements specified in Article 43-38-7 of the Official Code of Georgia Annotated (OCGA). Some of the requirements are that you must be at least 18-years-old, a U.S. citizen or registered resident alien, and you can’t have committed crimes with illegal weapon use. To be employed as an armed security guard, you need to be at least 21-years-old and meet the requirements in Articles 43-38-7 and 43-38-10 of the OCGA.

You may attend training before being hired, but your employer is officially responsible for your board-approved training. Your employer is also responsible for submitting an Application for Employee Registration on your behalf. If you are approved to take the Private Detective or Security Guard Exam, the exam administrator will send you a notice of your approval along with instructions and an exam schedule.

Check with the Secretary of State’s Fee Schedule for a list of associated fees.

Whether you’re searching for a private investigator or security guard to hire or a company to hire you, you might want to find out if a person or business is licensed. The Georgia Secretary of State website has a searchable database where you can find the status and details of an individual’s or business’s license.

Check the Secretary of State’s frequently asked questions for more on how to become a private investigator or security guard.

Good luck and thank you for your service.


Last updated July 25, 2018.

Rachel Hart

About the Author

Rachel Hart is the User Experience and Inferface Designer for Digital Services Georgia. On, she makes government material approachable with writing, infographics, videos, and other imagery.

You might like...

June 28, 2018

Georgians have enjoyed fireworks legally for three years now, but do you know the latest tweaks to the law? Find out what’s legal and how to be safe!

June 25, 2018

The legislative session is over and done, and all that’s left to do is obey the new laws, most of which take effect July 1.

While many of this year’s new laws will have little or minor impact on Georgians’ day-to-day lives, there is one big act that could have a drastic effect on highway safety.

February 15, 2018

Human trafficking is considered a form of modern-day slavery. Women, children, and men are coerced and manipulated every day to perform acts and services that are against their will. The United States government and Georgia government are working hard to combat this epidemic. Here’s how you can also get involved to help.