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Find the best Private Investigators in your local area!

Our list of private detectives includes all major cities in United States – just choose your state below and you will be able to find the best professionals to run your case.

What should you know first, if you want to hire a Private Investigator?


If you need to track a person down, keep an eye on someone’s activities, or otherwise learn information, you may be thinking about hiring a private investigator (PI). With so many choices out there, hiring the right private investigator can seem like a daunting task. Make sure you do your research before talking to someone, and be prepared with the right questions. You want someone you are comfortable talking to who can get the information you want.

Decide what you want the PI to do. Private investigators can track down all kinds of people and information, but their skills will vary. Some are good at following people or digging up information, while others can track down someone or something. Before you start looking, you need to be clear about what kind of work you want the PI to do so you can find someone with the right skills and equipment.

  • PIs can provide a variety of services, including background checks, tracking down child support or custody, providing electronic and video surveillance, or tracking down individuals. You can hire a private investigator to help with legal proceedings, including gathering more information for use at a trial, or to provide you with information that may lead to legal actions.

Look for someone. Once you know what you are looking for, start looking for names. Start with referrals, people who have used a PI in the past. If you don’t know anyone who has hired a PI before, start by flipping through a phone book, or searching for investigators in your area using an internet search engine or service like PI Now.

  • Once you have some names, take a look and see if they have websites, which will allow you to learn more than just seeing a line in the phone book. Most sites will list the business’ skills and services, which should help narrow down your list of people to consider.
  • PIs who are good at looking for information will do much of their work in an office, using the internet and telephone to track people down. This can be a useful service, though less so if you want a PI to follow someone for surveillance.
  • Make sure you also consider your location. If you want to track down someone you think is in California, hiring a PI near you in New York will be less helpful than contacting one already in California.

heck references. Once you have found a PI, make sure to ask him for references. These are people that you can trust who will vouch for the investigator’s skills and ability. Once you have some references, follow up and check. Hiring an investigator isn’t something you should do lightly, so make sure you know the person you are talking to.

  • Good references to talk to include the duty agent of your local FBI office, a clerk at your county’s police department, the watch commander of the sheriffs department, investigators working in the District Attorney’s office, and criminal defense lawyers

Ask for a license. Most states require that PIs be licensed by the state. Each state has different rules and requirements for a license, so the standards will vary. Still, if your state requires a license, the PIs you look at should have them.

  • License information is available through your state’s licensing board, so it should not be difficult to track down. Additionally, when you call the PI, they should be able to give you the licensing number. This licensing body should also be able to provide you with information about any complaints against the investigator.
  • Alabama, Alaska, Idaho, Mississippi, and South Dakota do not require licensing for private investigators. Colorado has a state license, but it is voluntary, so your PI may not have one.

Check for insurance. You should check to make sure your private investigator carries insurance to protect you and him should anything happen during the course of the investigation. Some states require it as part of the licensing, or for other aspects of the business such as carrying a firearm. Insurance is there for your protection, to make sure you are not liable should something happen during the PI’s work on your case.

Watch for warning signs. When you start to talk to PIs, you’ll need to make sure the investigators you talk to are people you will be comfortable working with. You will need to provide this person with sensitive information, and trust that he will treat it confidentially. If you do not feel comfortable sharing this type of information with this person, you aren’t going to work well with the PI.

  • In addition, you should take notice of where and how the investigator interacts with you. People you interview should have a professional office that you can visit, and will clearly spell out the fees for their services. If a potential investigator isn’t giving you this information, don’t hire him.



In our National Directory you can find only licensed professionals, with solid background of successfull cases. We also advise you to read our articles on what to look for when hiring a private detective, how to prepare for your first meeting with PI, how to work with you investigator & many more!