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West Virginia Private Detective and Investigator Bonds

What is a West Virginia Private Detective or Investigator Bond?

A Private Detective or Investigator Surety Bond is required for those who have filed an application with the West Virginia Secretary of State for a license to conduct business as a Private Detective, Investigator or Watch, Guard or Patrol Agency. The coverage amount of the surety bond required by the state is $2,500 and it is mandated pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 30, Article 18 of the Official Code of West Virginia. The surety bond guarantees compliance with applicable provisions of the Code of West Virginia and the rules set forth by the Secretary of State.

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Private Detective Bonds And Getting Your West Virginia Business License/Registration

An individual private investigator license is required in West Virginia for those individuals performing investigations under their own name or those working in association with another West Virginia licensed private investigator. A firm license is required for those employing or allowing any other person to assist with investigations. The state requires the following licensing steps.

  • Establish business structure and name with the State Tax Department
  • Complete application and fingerprinting requirements
  • Attach two passport size photos to your application pursuant to specifications
  • Purchase a surety bond from surety company authorized to do business in West Virginia such as Surety Bonds Direct. The surety bond will be issued in a coverage amount of $2,500 naming you, the applicant, as principal. Surety Bonds Direct will complete the surety bond form on your behalf including notarized signatures and power of attorney. Your signature as principal must also be notarized.
  • Include with your application character reference letter forms from five reputable citizens who have known you for five years and who are not related to you by blood or marriage.
  • Provide copies of the documentation proving that you have met the training and/or experience requirements
  • Pay the required state application fee
  • Submit your application, photographs, references, surety bond, documentation of qualifications and fee to the West Virginia Secretary of State Investigations Unit