Pursuant to Pennsylvania’s Private Detective Act, all businesses or individuals engaged in the business of a private detective or private investigator, or in the business of providing watch, guard, or patrol services, must be licensed.
How to apply
Step One – Fingerprint Cards
Applicants must make an appointment with the Monroe County Central Booking Center to submit their fingerprints. Call (570) 992-6643 to make that appointment.
A money order, in the amount of $25.00, payable to “Monroe County Treasurer” must be brought to the fingerprint appointment along with two (2) forms of identification.
The Monroe County Central Booking Center will take the fingerprints on the applicant print card and supply the applicant with two (2) copies of the print card – one (1) of which is to be attached to the Petition and the other to be attached to the Background Information Sheet (see step 3 below).
Step Two – File a petition with the Clerk of Courts
The petition must include:
- Name and address of the applicant.
- Date of birth and current age of the applicant.
- Present and previous employment of the applicant.
- A statement identifying the applicant as a citizen of the United States.
- The address of the principle place of business.
- Five (5) character references each of whom can certify that the applicant is honest, of good character, and competent. The character references shall have known the applicant for at least five (5) years and are not related to the applicant by blood or marriage. Each character reference shall complete, sign, and have notarized the certificate of approval, linked below.
- A minimum of two (2) acknowledgement certificates that the applicant has been:
- Regularly employed as a detective, or
- A member of a United States government investigative service, or
- A sheriff, or
- A member of the Pennsylvania State Police, or
- A member of a police department holding a rank or grade higher than a patrol officer for a period of at least three (3) years.
- Two (2) passport-size photographs.
- Fingerprint card.
- Affidavit of Publication (see step four below).
- Affidavit of Service of Petition to the District Attorney.
- A money order in the amount of $15.00 payable to the Monroe County Clerk of Courts.
Step Three – Background Application
Applicants must fill out the Background Information Sheet (available below) and then call the Monroe County Office of the District Attorney, Detective Unit at (570) 517-3052, to schedule an appointment for an interview.
The applicant must bring the Background Information Sheet, two (2) forms of identification, and a money order in the amount of $17.50 payable to the Pennsylvania State Police, to this appointment.
The Office of the District Attorney will review the Petition, conduct a background investigation on the applicant, and submit of report documenting such background investigation with the Clerk of Courts.
Step Four – Publication
A hearing will be scheduled for approximately four (4) to six (6) weeks after the filing of the Petition with the Clerk of Courts. Prior to this hearing, the applicant is required to publish a copy of the Petition and file an affidavit attesting to the publication.
The Petition must be published in the Pocono Record newspaper and the Monroe Legal Reporter one per week for two (2) consecutive weeks, with the last advertisement no less than three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing.
The applicant must file an Affidavit of Publication and attach proof of publication.
Step Five – Post-Hearing
If the applicant’s Petition is granted, the applicant must complete the following:
- File an original bond in the amount of $10,000.00.
- If the applicant is an individual, submit a money order in the amount of $200.00 payable to the Monroe County Clerk of Courts. If the applicant is a partnership, association, or corporation, submit a money order in the amount of $300.00 payable to the Monroe County Clerk of Courts.
- Submit a money order in the amount of $47.50 payable to the Monroe County Clerk of Courts for the cost of an issued private detective badge.
A license, photo identification card, and private detective badge will then be issued by the Clerk of Courts. Such license will be valid for two (2) years.