Becoming a Private Investigator in South Dakota | Exploring the Field

South Dakota Private Investigator

Suppose you’ve always been intrigued by the world of investigations and have a knack for unraveling mysteries. In that case, a career as a private investigator might be the perfect fit for you in South Dakota. Private investigators play a crucial role in assisting individuals, businesses, and even law enforcement agencies in gathering information, uncovering facts, and solving cases. In addition to learning the ins and outs of investigation techniques, it is important to understand the legal aspects of running your own private investigation business.

Establishing an LLC in South Dakota is popular for many private investigators as it provides legal protection and facilitates smooth business operations. This article will outline the steps you need to take to Become a Licensed Private Investigator in South Dakota.

Webinarcare Editorial Team will help you gain knowledge through thorough research and market study. Before becoming a private investigator in South Dakota, all the steps in this article must guide you.

What is a Private investigator?

A private investigator in South Dakota is a professional who conducts investigations, gathers information, and performs surveillance for individuals, businesses, and legal professionals. In South Dakota, private investigators must be licensed by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation to operate within South Dakota legally. They often work on various cases, including civil matters, insurance fraud, background checks, infidelity, missing persons, etc. These professionals use their skills and expertise to collect evidence, analyze information, and provide their clients with valuable insights to help them make informed decisions or resolve disputes.

Embarking on a journey to become a private investigator in South Dakota is like entering a maze of possibilities where every corner holds a potential clue. As you uncover the secrets tucked away in the shadows, remember to secure your own path by learning how to start an LLC in South Dakota. Establishing a legal entity shields you from liabilities and empowers you to navigate the investigative landscape with professionalism.

WEBINARCARE EDITORIAL TEAM

How to Become a Private Investigator in South Dakota

Suppose you’re considering becoming a private investigator in South Dakota. In that case, it’s essential to understand the steps and requirements involved in obtaining your license and starting your professional journey. This step-by-step guide will walk you through becoming a private investigator in South Dakota.

Step 1: Research The Requirements

Each state has its own set of requirements and regulations for becoming a licensed private investigator. The agency responsible for regulating private investigators in South Dakota is the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Familiarizing yourself with the specific requirements for obtaining a private investigator license in South Dakota is important.

Some common requirements for obtaining a PI license in South Dakota include:

  • Age: South Dakota requires individuals to be 18 or 21 to apply for a Private Investigator license.
  • Citizenship: Applicants must be U.S. citizens or legal residents.
  • Education: South Dakota requires a high school diploma or GED, while others may require a degree in criminal justice or a related field.
  • Experience: South Dakota requires years of experience in law enforcement, security, or other related fields.
  • Background Check: Applicants will likely need to pass a background check, which may include fingerprinting and a criminal history check.
  • Licensing Exam: South Dakota requires applicants to pass a licensing exam that tests their knowledge of state laws, regulations, and general investigative techniques.

Becoming a private investigator is ideal if you want to start an LLC for your security company in South Dakota. We recommend these LLC Formation Services in South Dakota if you plan to form one.

LLC Service

Rating & Pricing

Top Features

Learn More

#1 Recommendation

$0 + State fee

  • Free LLC Formation

  • Legal Support

  • Highly Reputed Company

$299 + State fee

  • Single LLC formation package

  • Flat price for all services

  • Legal consultation

Step 2: Obtain Education and Experience

As mentioned earlier, South Dakota requires a certain level of education and experience to become a licensed private investigator. There are several educational paths you can pursue to prepare for a career as a private investigator, including:

  1. Degree Programs: Some South Dakota colleges and universities offer associate’s or bachelor’s degree programs in criminal justice, forensic science, or a related field. These programs typically cover criminal law, investigation techniques, and crime scene analysis.
  2. Certificate Programs: South Dakota community colleges and vocational schools offer certificate programs in private investigation or a related field. These programs generally take less time to complete than a degree program and focus on specific skills and knowledge needed for a career in private investigation.
  3. Online Courses: Numerous online courses and training programs cover various aspects of private investigation. These courses can be a convenient and affordable way to gain knowledge and skills in the field.

In addition to formal education, gaining practical experience in a related field can be invaluable for aspiring private investigators. Some possible avenues for gaining relevant experience include:

  1. Law Enforcement: Working in law enforcement, such as a police officer or detective, can provide valuable experience in investigation and surveillance techniques.
  2. Military Service: Military personnel, particularly those in intelligence or security roles, often develop skills that can be transferred to a career as a private investigator.
  3. Security Work: Working as a security guard or in corporate security can provide experience in surveillance, risk assessment, and incident response.
  4. Legal Field: Paralegals and legal assistants often conduct research and investigations for attorneys, which can provide a foundation for a career as a PI.

Here is the breakdown of the education and practical experience in becoming a licensed private investigator in South Dakota.

EducationExperience
Degree ProgramsLaw Enforcement
Certificate ProgramsMilitary Service
Online CoursesSecurity Work
Legal Field

Step 3: Apply For a Private Investigator License

Once you have met the education and experience requirements in South Dakota, you can begin applying for a private investigator license in South Dakota. This typically involves applying to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation and any required documentation, fees, and proof of insurance.

In South Dakota, the application process may include the following steps:

1. Complete the Private Investigator License Application

Obtain and complete the PI license application from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. Be sure to provide accurate and complete information, as any discrepancies could result in delays or denial of your application.

2. Submit the Required Documentation

Along with your completed application, you must submit various documents, such as proof of education and experience, a copy of your driver’s license, and any required affidavits or forms.

3. Pay Application and Licensing Fees

There may be fees associated with the application and licensing process in South Dakota. Be sure to include these fees when submitting your application. The usual fee for the application and licensing process for the South Dakota private investigator costs $100.

4. Obtain Liability Insurance

South Dakota doesn’t require obtaining liability insurance when you become a South Dakota private investigator, but it is safe for you to have it.

5. Pass the Licensing Exam

If required in South Dakota, you must pass a licensing exam that tests your knowledge of state laws, regulations, and general investigative techniques.

6. Background Check and Fingerprinting

As part of the application process, you will likely need to undergo a background check and submit fingerprints to the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation.

Step 4: Maintain Your Private Investigator License

Once you have obtained your private investigator license in South Dakota, it is important to maintain your license in good standing. This may involve completing continuing education requirements, renewing your license periodically, and adhering to any regulations and ethical standards set forth by the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. When you become a fully-fledged South Dakota private investigator, it is best to consider other certifications for your career development.

Below are two professional credential options that private investigators can pursue.

Certified Legal Investigator

The Certified Legal Investigator (CLI)® is a professional certification program offered by the National Association of Legal Investigators (NALI). It is designed for private investigators who specialize in legal investigations and wish to demonstrate proficiency and expertise in the field.

NALI

To become a Certified Legal Investigator (CLI)®, candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having a minimum of five years of investigative experience and a certain number of those years working on legal investigations. Candidates must also pass a written examination that covers topics such as legal ethics, civil and criminal law, evidence collection and preservation, and witness interviews.

By earning the CLI certification, investigators show they have high competency and professionalism in legal investigations and adhere to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. The legal community recognizes the certification and can help investigators gain credibility and recognition in the field.

You can visit NALI’s CLI requirement page for the most up-to-date certification requirements.

Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)®

The Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)® is a professional certification program offered by ASIS International, a global association for security management professionals. The certification is designed for private investigators and security professionals conducting corporate, government, or non-profit investigations.

ASIS

To become a Professional Certified Investigator (PCI)®, candidates must meet certain eligibility requirements, including having a minimum of five years of investigative experience and a certain number of those years working in a supervisory or management role. Candidates must also pass a written examination that covers topics such as investigation planning, case management, evidence collection and preservation, and legal and ethical considerations.

By earning the PCI certification, investigators show they have high competency and professionalism when conducting investigations and adhere to the highest standards of ethics and integrity. The certification is recognized by employers, clients, and industry peers and can help investigators advance their careers and gain credibility in the field.

You can visit ASIS’ eligibility requirements page for the most up-to-date information regarding PCI certification requirements.

Recommended: Begin your journey to become a private investigator with the first bold step by using Legalzoom’s LLC formation services. When you start an LLC with Legalzoom, you’re not just making a business transaction, you’re carving out a future in the security industry. Even making your own security company, it is best to hire an LLC services. That’s why we recommend –

LegalZoom ($0 + State Filling Fees)

How Much Does a Private Investigator Make?

The salary of a private investigator varies based on experience, location, and type of work. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average annual salary of a private investigator in the United States is $50,510.

FAQs

What do I need to qualify as a private investigator in South Dakota?
You need to be at least 18 years old, pass a state license examination and have relevant work experience.
How many hours of work experience do I need to become a private investigator in South Dakota?
South Dakota law requires two years of work experience, meaning 4,000 hours of documented experience.
Is it necessary to have a degree or college education to become a private investigator in South Dakota?
No, a college degree is not specifically required. However, it may be beneficial in some cases.
How long does it take to get a private investigator license in South Dakota?
The licensing process can take several weeks to several months, depending on the applicant and their qualifications.
What is the cost of applying for a private investigator license in South Dakota?
The cost is $500 for the initial application for a license plus $60 for mandatory fingerprinting.
How often do I need to renew my private investigator license in South Dakota?
South Dakota private investigator licenses need to be renewed annually.
What ongoing education do I need to receive to renew my South Dakota private investigator license?
South Dakota requires eight hours of continuing education each year for a private investigator to renew their license.
Is there a background check for getting a private investigator license in South Dakota?
Yes, applicants need both criminal and financial background checks.
Can convicted felons become private investigators in South Dakota?
The state of South Dakota does not have specific regulations about convicted felons being licensed as private investigators; however, a criminal record may still control in your eligibility.
Can South Dakota private investigators carry guns?
Private investigators in South Dakota must comply with all state and federal gun laws and regulations. However, carrying a weapon is not required for investigating.
Do I need a separate business license if I start a private investigator agency in South Dakota?
Yes, all businesses operating in South Dakota must obtain a South Dakota business license from the Secretary of State.
Can a private investigator in South Dakota make arrests?
No, private investigators cannot make arrests except for immediate self-defense.
Do South Dakota private investigators need to carry a license or permit while they work?
In South Dakota, a licensed private investigator name should always be relatable to their valid PI license, identifying them credentials while on investigations.
Are there any restrictions on the use of GPS tracking devices by private investigators in South Dakota?
Private investigators in South Dakota may use GPS tracking but must follow state and federal laws when conducting such investigations.
Are there any specific laws governing surveillance and wiretapping in South Dakota?
Yes, South Dakota has strict laws regulating electronic surveillance, with wiretapping and electronic eavesdropping made a criminal offense with severe penalties.
Do South Dakota private investigators work alone or collaborate in teams?
South Dakota private investigators may work alone or collaborate in teams depending on the nature of the investigation.
Can South Dakota law enforcement benefit from the private investigators’ findings?
South Dakota police forces can utilize or consider the information given by the private investigators, but PIs have distinct limitations.
Do South Dakota PI agencies offer cybersecurity investigations?
Many attorney-tied private investigating agencies offer cybersecurity investigations, and the South Dakota licenses entirely cover this aspect of investigation.
Can non-South Dakota residents become licensed as private investigators in the state?
Yes, as long as they meet all requirements from the licensing process.
Are there any age restrictions for becoming a private investigator in South Dakota?
A person has to be at least 18 years or older to become a licensed private investigator in South Dakota.
Can I carry a concealed pistol as security under my PI license?
Depending on the case’s situation, it may or may not be legal to carry a concealed weapon in South Dakota for private investigations.
Should private investigators in South Dakota follow their clients’ requirements strictly even when it may be unethical?
Private investigators in South Dakota should maintain honesty and refrain from inconsistent conduct, as that reflects poorly on themselves and the assignment.
Are there ways to promote my South Dakota private investigation agency to get better clients?
Digital ads may be used to significantly explode your clientele but pursuing sound business skills will ultimately reflect strong results.
Is working as a South Dakota private investigator a well-paying job?
PIs do well in bigger cities around South Dakota with larger client as opposed to smaller towns, making the compensation scale quite varied
Is it possible for South Dakota police to become private investigators?
Yes, but they must follow up on a few essential qualifications, as South Dakota adjudicates conflicts with former application statements to recognition in its unique licensing appellate.
What can you get to carry as defense weapons when things go rough on a case?
Different layers of the South Dakota law have administered detailed restrictions on the specific types of weaponry or tools. Carry only what is explicitly safe and legal based on the case situation.
Do people ever get turned down trying to become licensed Private Investigator in South Dakota?
Yes, important FAQ concerning the records of convicted felon but other factors such as incomplete application or credentials omission can affect applications aswell.
Can Private Investigators assist in Immigration Control Investigations in South Dakota?
Though lawful and allowed, the courthouse in South Dakota reflects upon not regularly accommodating requests based on the USCIS’s policies. Still can only further after a payment cancelation.
What are the minimum requirements to become a private investigator in South Dakota?
In South Dakota, private investigators do not have any specific educational requirements, however, it is recommended to have at least a high school diploma or GED.
Do I need a license to become a private investigator in South Dakota?
Yes, individuals who wish to practice as private investigators in South Dakota must obtain a license through the South Dakota Secretary of State.
What is the application process for obtaining a private investigator’s license in South Dakota?
The application process for a private investigator license in South Dakota includes the following steps
What kind of questions are on the South Dakota private investigator’s licensing exam?
The South Dakota private investigator’s licensing exam covers topics such as state statues related to private investigation, ethics, surveillance techniques, and evidence.
How much does it cost to obtain a private investigator license in South Dakota?
It costs $100 for the application fee and $25 dollars for the exam fee to obtain a private investigation license in South Dakota.
Are continuing education courses required for a private investigator license renewal in South Dakota?
No, South Dakota does not require continuing education courses for private investigator license renewal.
Can felons become private investigators in South Dakota?
Individuals with felony convictions are typically not eligible for private investigator licensure in South Dakota.
Are private investigators in South Dakota required to have liability insurance?
No, South Dakota does not require private investigators to carry liability insurance, but it is strongly recommended.
What kind of work can private investigators do in South Dakota?
Private investigators in South Dakota can provide services such as surveillance, background checks, missing person investigations, and asset searches.
How much do private investigators in South Dakota usually charge for their services?
Private investigator fees in South Dakota vary depending on the individual investigator’s experience, the required work needed, and geographic location.
How do private investigators gather information during investigations in South Dakota?
Private investigators in South Dakota can use a variety of methods to gather information, including surveillance, conducting interviews, examining public records, and social media investigations.
Does South Dakota have any laws regulating private investigators?
Yes, private investigators in South Dakota are subject to the regulations of the “South Dakota Private Detective and Security Guard Regulatory Act.”
Can a South Dakota private investigator carry a concealed weapon?
Yes, private investigators in South Dakota can carry a concealed weapon once they receive authorization from the Sheriff’s office in the county they are working in.
Are South Dakota private investigators required to display a badge during work?
No, South Dakota private investigators are not required to wear a badge during an investigation.
How long does a South Dakota private investigator license last?
Private investigator licenses in South Dakota need to be renewed by January 1st every even-numbered year.
Can a private investigator in South Dakota make an arrest?
No, private investigators in South Dakota do not have the legal authority to make an arrest.
How can someone find a private investigator in South Dakota?
A list of licensed private investigators in South Dakota can be found on the South Dakota Secretary of State’s website.
Can private investigators in South Dakota operate nationwide?
Yes, private investigators can operate nationwide, but they must obtain the necessary permits and licenses for each state.
What is the average salary for a private investigator in South Dakota?
The average annual salary for private investigators in South Dakota is around $46,000.
Are South Dakota private investigators permitted to use wiretaps and bugs?
No, it is illegal for South Dakota private investigators to use wiretaps or bugs as a method of surveillance.
Can private investigators in South Dakota engage in forceful pursuit of suspects?
No, private investigators in South Dakota cannot engage in forceful pursuit of suspects.
How does international travel impact the work of a South Dakota private investigator?
International travel can impact the work of a South Dakota private investigator, and they may need to comply with applicable laws and regulations.
What surveillance techniques are prohibited in South Dakota?
Surveillance techniques such as wiretapping and trespassing on private property without consent are illegal in South Dakota.
What steps must a South Dakota private investigator follow during an investigation to protect privacy and avoid legal trouble?
South Dakota private investigators must respect privacy of the individual(s) and follow all relevant laws during an investigation to avoid legal trouble.
Is it legal in South Dakota for private investigators to access and collect information, such as Social Security numbers, on people?
Yes, South Dakota private investigators can access such personal details, provided that they adhere to all state and federal laws governing the protection of personal data.
Are private investigators in South Dakota able to offer legal counsel to their clients?
No, private investigators in South Dakota may not offer legal counsel.
Can private investigators in South Dakota testify in court on any case they have investigated?
Yes, private investigators in South Dakota can also act as legal witnesses and testify on any case they have investigated.
Are South Dakota private investigators allowed to place a tracking device on someone\s vehicle during surveillance?
Yes, South Dakota private investigators are allowed to install a location device on a targeted car during surveillance, provided they get relevant consent or have a warrant.

Also Read

How to Save Money While Starting a Becoming Private Investigator in South Dakota

One of the first steps to saving money as a private investigator in South Dakota is to research and understand the licensing requirements in the state. Licensing fees can vary widely depending on the state, so it’s important to know what the specific requirements are in South Dakota and how much they will cost. By taking the time to thoroughly research the licensing process, you can potentially save yourself hundreds of dollars in unnecessary fees.

Once you have your license in hand, the next step is to invest in the right equipment. While it may be tempting to splurge on top-of-the-line surveillance gear, there are more affordable options available that can still get the job done effectively. Look for sales, discounts, or consider purchasing used equipment to save money without sacrificing quality. Additionally, consider renting equipment for particularly high-cost items that you may not need on a regular basis.

Networking is another key way to save money as a private investigator in South Dakota. Building relationships with other investigators, law enforcement professionals, and legal professionals can open up opportunities for collaboration and information sharing. By connecting with others in the industry, not only can you learn invaluable tips and tricks of the trade, but you may also be able to save money by sharing resources or receiving referral business.

It’s also important to be strategic about your marketing efforts when starting a private investigation business. Instead of splurging on expensive advertising campaigns, focus on low-cost, high-impact marketing strategies. This can include setting up a professional website, using social media to connect with potential clients, and leveraging word-of-mouth recommendations from satisfied customers. By taking a grassroots approach to marketing, you can effectively promote your business without breaking the bank.

Finally, consider the cost-saving benefits of continuing education in the field of private investigation. Many states, including South Dakota, require private investigators to complete ongoing training to maintain their license. By investing in continuing education courses and staying up-to-date on the latest industry trends, you can not only improve your skills as an investigator, but you can also save money by avoiding fines or penalties for failing to meet licensing requirements.

Starting a career as a private investigator in South Dakota may require a significant initial investment, but there are certainly ways to save money along the way. By researching licensing requirements, investing in affordable equipment, networking with industry professionals, being strategic about marketing efforts, and continuing your education, you can set yourself up for success as a private investigator without breaking the bank. Remember, with a little creativity and perseverance, you can achieve your dream of becoming a successful private investigator in South Dakota without draining your bank account.

Conclusion

Becoming a licensed private investigator in South Dakota requires meeting specific education and experience requirements, passing a licensing exam, and obtaining a PI license from the South Dakota Division of Criminal Investigation. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can be well on your way to a rewarding career as a private investigator in South Dakota.

Leave a Comment