View Full Version : American Private Investigators

08-30-2016, 07:25 PM
I'm writing a story about a character who is an American private investigator in the late 1950s. In the story he moves between various states such as New York, California, Oklahoma. Would he be able to set up as a PI in different states without having to be registered in some way? I could have him 'illegally' seeking such work if it's a complicated process. Thanks.

Gilroy Cullen
08-30-2016, 07:52 PM
Each state will have different requirements to be a PI within their borders. NY, for instance, requires three years experience and a written exam according to their website: http://www.dos.ny.gov/licensing/privateinvest/privatei_faq.html#1. Oklahoma requires more than 80 hours of training, plus at least 16 hours a year of continuing education. https://www.ok.gov/cleet/Licensing/Training/

08-30-2016, 08:39 PM
If you mean licensed private investigators (in the '50s) you'll have to do more specific research state by state.

However, there is/was a work-around . . . An investigator need not be/have been licensed if solely working at the direction of a licensed attorney in that state (member of the bar, in good standing). This is/was typically on an ad hoc (one case) basis. It is not unusual for law firms in different states to have reciprocal agreements/arrangements in place to deal with cases having multi-jurisdictional aspects/venues .

Does your story need such a short cut?

08-30-2016, 09:30 PM
This guy might have some insight. https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B001JP9QSC

08-30-2016, 10:09 PM
Thanks for all these answers, the links are very useful. Greatly appreciated.
Yes, I think a short cut is needed for my character, I suppose I saw him as a kind of 'Jim Rockford' guy but I guess he was licensed too. I can probably get him 'legal' in a couple of states and then have him 'doing favours' for friends and associates elsewhere. His work doesn't have to be legal, I'm not describing it in great detail, it's more a convenient occupation for the storyline.