Tennessee Private Investigator License

Tennessee Private Investigator License

Generally, all states in the US, like Alaska and Colorado, require detectives to hold a special permit. Tennessee is not an exception. If you want to be a certified operative in TN you should know all the steps.

While Tennessee does not require investigative experience or education, you still need to meet the basic requirements and pass a government licensing test. So, if you are curious about various mind-blowing cases, secret investigations, and their disclosures, you are on the right page.

License Requirements

As a future Tennessee private investigator license holder, you must meet the following minimum requirements:

  • Be at least 21-years old
  • Be a legal alien or a US citizen
  • Have a clear criminal record (to be able to pass a background check)
  • Not having a mental decease
  • License your own company or be affiliated with a certified PI company
  • Not suffer from drug or alcohol addiction
  • Submit the fingerprinting document with your application

Application and fees

If you think you meet the above-mentioned requirements, it’s time to move forward. The next step will be filling in the application and paying the fees. The fees are as follows:

  • Application: $150
  • Fingerprint processing: $60
  • License: $100

You need to submit the following information online:

  • Either fingerprint cards or a photocopy of your electronic submission receipt
  • 2 passport style photographs
  • Recommendation letter from a PI Company
  • Facts on criminal arrests, charges, and convictions

You can apply as an apprentice too. In this case, you should submit a formal letter from the owner or qualified agent. It should express the willingness to sponsor you.  In fact, this period is limited to six months. Moreover, you are allowed to apply only once.


After you have submitted your application, the next step will be taking the state’s examination. Take into consideration that you’ll be given 2 hours to answer 50 questions. The questions are taken particularly from the book “The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Private Investigating”.

You need to receive a passing score of at least 70%. The Commission will inform you about your permit and the licensing fee as soon as you pass the exam.


You must renew the permit every two years. To be qualified you should complete 12 hours of continuing education. The cost of renewal is $100.

The duties and limitations for PIs in Tennessee

When you need to find any data that is difficult to obtain, PIs come to help. They are not members of official law enforcement, but rather authorized citizens.

PI may perform the following duties:

  • Consult with clients
  • Research (personal, financial, and legal information)
  • Conduct background checks
  • Take pictures
  • Interview people
  • Obtain witness statements
  • Investigate any sort of fraud
  • Prepare reports
  • Verify information
  • Find missing people
  • Examine public and legal records

Detectives, on the other hand, are bound by local and federal laws, which means there are certain things they are not allowed to do. For example, they can’t arrest, even if they see someone committing a crime. In TN operatives can’t wear a uniform or carry a badge. Though detectives go anywhere that is public, they shouldn’t trespass.

How much a private investigator makes

As of May 2021, the average salary for a PI is $28.55 per hour or $59,380 annually according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. This is about $5,000 more than the state median average.  The experts predict that employment will grow by 13% by 2030, because of rising security concerns and the demand to secure personal information.

The payment also depends on the type of investigation they specialize in, how many years of experience they have and how many cases they have successfully resolved. Of course, education is another important factor.

Nune G

Nune G

Hello World! I'm comparatively new in content writing but have a great desire to learn and practice. This is a whole new world for me and I already like what I do. I like doing research, as on the way to that you read and learn things that you've never paid attention to.