You need to apply to police before starting your P.I. career. The police chief issues the Maine private investigator license. You cannot act as a professional detective without a certificate. Moreover, acting without a document is a Class D crime.
Once you visit the police website, you can see 3 types of permits. The investigation unit provides licensing for:
An assistant is a person who is not acting independently. Hence, he is a detective working for a certified professional. When employed, he also gets a legal document. However, he may lack some qualifications necessary for a P.I. No experience is mandatory in this case. He may engage in activities only when sponsored by a professional.
Now let’s look into the requirements for a private investigator license in Maine. Most of them do not differ from other states.
A person is qualified if he/she:
Of course, there are some points that require explanation. First, a good moral character means you have no convictions. It is important not to have a dishonorable military discharge. To sum up, you always have to pass a background check. It’s a common thing for such a certificate. You also have to agree to a fingerprint check.
Note that if you start a business, you have to obtain Maine Business License as well.
Unlike Arkansas, the local police require insurance. The amount varies based on your residency. Surety bond for residents is $10,000 and $50,000 for the out-of-state detectives. You will also need to purchase a liability policy. It has to cover at least $10 thousand in property damages. For injury or death of a person, it should have a coverage of $100 thousand.
Maine expects a P.I. to have sufficient skills. Here you have several options. You must meet at least one of the criteria. One is to have 60 academic credits in private investigation. It is also possible to have 1,200 credits in the assistant program. This is a substitute for at least 36 months as a federal agency investigator. Three years of law enforcement officer will be enough as well.
The third option is a combination of 6 years of experience:
Overall, you will have to prove your knowledge during an exam. It has 50 questions that mainly cover laws related to PI and local criminal statutes. Your goal is to give at least 76% correct answers.
Now you are ready to submit the application. For this purpose, read the handbook attentively before filing it out. There is also a long list of supporting documentation.
Copies of diplomas and birth certificates are a must. And, of course, do not forget the copy of work history papers. Be ready to answer the questions about your mental health as well. You need a certificate in support of an applicant. It should be from 3 people who know you for 3 years.
As for fees, you just pay $50 when submitting an application. In addition, there is a $21 record check fee. Once you pass an exam, you pay $450 for the issuance of the document. Overall, it is $521 and $600 if you apply as an assistant.
The average salary rate of a P.I. is around $47,000. However, it depends on different factors. The range is typically between $38 and $56 thousand.
To sum up, the initial permit is valid for 24 months. If everything is ok, you may renew it every 4 years.