Private investigators in Texas are regulated by the Private Security Bureau of the Texas Department of Public Safety (DPS). DPS conducts fingerprint-based background checks on applicants, investigates and resolves complaints against private investigators, and takes disciplinary action against licensees when necessary.
Licensing Requirements for a Private Investigation Agency in Texas
A private investigation (PI) agency in Texas must have a qualified manager who has a minimum of 3 years experienced, or combination of qualifying higher education and experience, who has passed the manager's written exam with the Private Security Bureau and can show proof of liability insurance. Tex. Occ. Code § 1702.119.
A person who does not qualify to be the manager/owner of a PI agency can work for an agency who will hire and train them as a private investigator.
Working as a Private Investigator Under an PI Agency
Managers of a licensed PI agency can hire other individuals who meet certain criteria to operate as private investigators under their agency. A PI hired by an agency must meet all the requirements set forth in the Texas Private Security Act, including:
- Be at least 18 years of age.
- Not at the time of application be charged with the commission of a felony, or Class A or B misdemeanor, determined to be disqualifying by board rule.
- Not have been found by a court to be incompetent by reason of a mental defect or disease and not have been restored to competency.
- Not have been dishonorably discharged from the United States armed services.
Tex. Occ. Code § 1702.113. Once an individual who meets the above qualifications also attains the qualifications to be a manager, he or she can pursue licensure to be a manager/owner of a private investigation agency in Texas.
Texas Private Security Profession
The private security profession in Texas includes private investigators, as well as armed and unarmed security guards, personal protection officers, private investigators, private security consultants, alarm systems installers and monitors, guard dog trainers, armored car couriers, electronic access control device installers, and locksmiths.
DPS may seek criminal prosecution of those who perform private security services without a license.
Texas Private Security License Defense Attorney
If you are a licensed private investigator or other licensed private security professional in Texas, we urge you to be proactive in staying up-to-date about the rules and regulations of your profession. Private security professionals are governed by the Texas Private Security Act, and other state and federal regulations. Legislation is often changed and amended, and court cases set an additional precedent that can affect the duties and responsibilities of PIs and private security professionals.
If a complaint is filed against your Texas DPS professional security license, it is critical that you consult with a professional license defense attorney immediately. Our firm believes that immediately consulting an experienced professional license defense attorney to review allegations of misconduct helps ensure the most favorable outcome in your case. Our results speak for themselves.
BERTOLINO LLP represents licensed professionals across the entire State of Texas. If you are facing disciplinary action from the Texas Department of Public Safety or any professional licensing board or agency, contact us today or call (512) 717-5432 and schedule a case evaluation.