Renewing an Individual Private Investigator or Security Guard License

Remember, if you decide to employ or allow any other person to assist with investigations in the coming year, you must first obtain a firm license.

Follow these steps:

  1. Make sure your business registration is up to date with the State Tax Department. You must provide a photocopy of the State Tax Department Business Registration Certificate.

  2. Complete the application form and follow the instructions for the fingerprint requirement. Use one of the following methods:

    • Download the application form,

    • Request the application packet by e-mail at licensing@wvsos.gov or

    • Call (304) 558-8000 to request an application packet with the correct fingerprint instructions.

    The online form requires the Adobe Acrobat Reader. You can fill it out on screen, then print. If you start with a printed form, please type or print in ink and make certain every entry is legible.

  3. Get one new photograph or have one taken at the Secretary of State's Office when you submit your renewal application if you want your photo to appear on your license. Old photographs from our file will not be used. Photos must be passport size color photos taken by a photographer, preferably on a colored background, such as light blue or gray. Attach one photo to your application.

  4. Choose one (1) of the following methods of proof of bond:

    • Renew your surety bond and obtain a renewal certificate or continuation to submit with your application. If your surety company will not renew your bond, you must obtain a new surety bond.
    • or
    • Provide sufficient proof of liability insurance as required by Secretary of State.

  5. Pay the fee. The license renewal is valid for one (1) year. The fee for an individual license is:

    • $50 West Virginia Resident
    • $50 Non-Resident of West Virginia

  6. Submit your application, photograph, references, surety bond or proof of liability insurance, documentation of qualifications, photocopy of your State Tax Department business registration certificate and fee to:

    West Virginia Secretary of State
    Licensing Division
    1900 Kanawha Blvd. East
    Building 1, Suite 157-K
    Charleston, WV 25305

Contact the Licensing Division for further assistance regarding Private Investigator and/or Security Guard licensing.


If we may be of any further assistance, please don't hesitate to contact us:  304.558.8000   toll free 866.767.8683  email:   Licensing@wvsos.gov