Private Detective Certification Details

Private Detective Certification

General Info - Statewide Certification


Maryland certification issued by the Maryland Department of State Police. A certified private detective is employed by a licensed private detective agency and may not offer private detective services outside the scope of his sponsoring agency.

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.


  • Valid from approval date

    for

  • s

    Approval time

  • $10.0 - $15.0

    Application cost

Obtaining the Certification

Ready to get your certification? - Steps, Requirements, and Documents

  1. FBI and CJIS fingerprint submissions.

  2. Submit two photographs of applicant (2"x2" square, light background, head and shoulder full face, no hat, no dark glasses).

  3. The following conditions will disqualify you from becoming a private detective:

    1.) Has been convicted of a violent crime (abduction, arson, burglary, escape, housebreaking, kidnapping, manslaughter, mayhem, murder, rape, robbery, sodomy, or an attempt to commit any of the above offenses, or assault with intent to commit any other offense for which the court sentenced imprisonment for more than 1 year);

    2.) Has been convicted of a felony;

    3.) Is a habitual drunkard;

    4.) Is a fugitive from justice, which is defined as a person who has fled from a sheriff or other peace officer within this State, or who has fled from any state, territory, or the District of Columbia, or possession of the United States, to avoid prosecution for a crime of violence or to avoid giving testimony in any criminal proceeding;

    5.) Is addicted to or a habitual user of narcotics, barbiturates, or amphetamines;

    6.) Has been confined to a mental institution for treatment of a mental disorder or disorders, unless there is attached to the application a physician's certificate, issued within 30 days before the application, certifying that the applicant is of no danger to the applicant or others;

    7.) Has falsified any information on the applicant's application; or

    8.) Has been convicted of any criminal act directly related to the applicant's employment with a detective agency licensed or required to be licensed by the State Police.


Apply for the Certification

Ready to apply?

Maintaining Your Certification

Renewal and maintenance - Valid from approval date for

Maintaining your Certification (aka Related forms/requirements to maintain Certification/stay in good standing)

  1. The card remains the property of the State and shall be returned to the state within five days after it is:

    Voluntarily surrendered
    Revoked by the State Police
    Convicted of a prohibiting crime
    Death of the cardholder
    Terminated from the private detective agency through which the certification was obtained

  2. The private detective identification card is valid for employment only with the private detective agency listed on the application.

Agency/Contact

Certification Issuer - Information

Who issues the certification?

Maryland Department of State Police mdsp.maryland.gov

Contact Information

Licensing Division Private Detective Section

Tel: (410) 653-4622 / Fax: (410) 653-5441

Work hours:



Legal Authority

What laws and regulations give Maryland Department of State Police the legal authority to issue this approval?

Advisory LD-SSU 15-002 - Scope of Security Certification3 

Md. BUSINESS OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS Code Ann. §13_404 

Md. BUSINESS OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS Code Ann. §13-101