Licensing Process

The following information reviews the requirements necessary for each license, permit or certificate issued by Private Protective Services. In addition, license applicants are responsible for complying with relevant North Carolina law, Private Protective Services N.C.G.S. 74-C, and the Board's Administrative Rules and Regulations under Private Protective Services 14B N.C.A.C. 16.

Requirements To Obtain a License

All applicants must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age with a high school degree or equivalent.
  • Be a US citizen or a resident alien.
  • Be of good moral character with temperate habits (no criminal record, etc.).

PPS Inquiry Letter

Electronic Countermeasures

Three years of experience within the past 10 years in counterintelligence, or successful completion of a counterintelligence course at a Board approved school. [See G.S. 74C-3(a)(3), 74C-8, 74C-9, 74C-10, 14B NCAC 16.0402].

Electronic Countermeasures Schools

Private Investigator License

Three years of experience in private investigative work, or three years in an investigative capacity as a member of a law enforcement agency or other governmental agency. [See G.S. 74C-3(a)(8), 74C-8, 74C-9, 74C-10, 14B NCAC.0401].

  • Reciprocity
    The Board currently has reciprocal licensing agreements with several states. These agreements allow currently licensed private investigators from states to come into North Carolina for a specific period of time (30 days maximum, except for Tennessee, which is 15 days) to work a case which originated in their home state. Likewise, licensed North Carolina investigators may enter that state to work a case originating there. Investigations exceeding the time limits must be handled by a private investigator licensed in the particular state. See Reciprocal Agreements.

Security Guard and Patrol License

Three years of experience as a manager, supervisor, or administrator with a contract security company, a proprietary security organization or law enforcement agency performing a guard and patrol function. (See G.S. 74C-3(a)(6), 74C-8, 74C-9, 74C-10, 14B NCAC.0301)

Polygraph License

Successful completion of a Polygraph course at a Board approved school, successful completion of an examination and performance test administered by a panel of polygraph examiners designated by the Board, and one year of experience within the past three years. Note: If you do not have one year of experience, you will be required to complete six months as a trainee. (See G.S. 74C-3(a)(5), 74C-8, 74C-9, 74C-10, 14B NCAC.0500)

List of Polygraph Schools

  • Reciprocity
    The Board currently has reciprocal licensing agreements with several states. These agreements allow for currently licensed polygraph operators in these states to obtain a license in North Carolina without having to take the examination and performance test administered by the Board. Likewise, currently licensed North Carolina polygraph operators may obtain a license in these states without having to take their examination and performance test.
    IMPORTANT NOTE: These agreements do not exempt persons from obtaining a license, but rather, only from the testing requirements. See Reciprocal Agreements.

Guard Dog Service License

Two years of experience as a manager, supervisor, administrator, or dog handler with a contract security company, proprietary security organization or a governmental agency performing guard dog functions. (See G.S. 74C-3(a)(7), 74C-8, 74C-9, 74C-10, 14B NCAC.0302)

Psychological Stress Examiners License

Successful completion of an approved P.S.E. school. (See G.S. 74C-3(a)(5), 74C-8, 74C-9, 74C-10, 14B NCAC.0601).

Psychological Stress Examiner Schools

Armored Car Profession License

No experience required.

Courier Service Profession License

No experience required.

Applying for a License

If after reviewing the above requirements, you determine that you qualify for a license, review the application checklist for a list of items to submit to the PPS office.

Applying for a Private Protective Services License

Please review the above requirements for each license you wish to attain.  There are licenses that have experience requirements. Please note you will be asked for supporting documentation to verify the experience required for those licenses.

Applicants who do not meet the experience requirements that are listed above for Private Investigator, Electronic Countermeasure or Polygraph Examiner may apply for PI Associate or Trainee license and will need to first obtain a sponsor currently licensed in the State of North Carolina, who is willing to hire and train you. [Go here for list of active licensees.] 

You will need to read and maintain a copy of the below Private Protective Services Board General Statute and Administrative Laws and Rules.

Private Protective Services N.C.G.S. 74-C
Private Protective Services
14B N.C.A.C.16

All the forms listed below are mandatory (unless otherwise noted) to apply for a PPS license.  Mail your completed application packet to our office along with the completed fingerprint card (see below) and required forms.  Failure to answer all of the questions and submission of all required items will result in a discrepancy letter and it will delay your licensing process.  Please mail your completed application packet to:  NC Private Protective Services Board, 3101 Industrial Drive, Suite 104, Raleigh, North Carolina 27609

A fingerprint card is required to be submitted with the application packet.  To request a fingerprint card from our office, please e-mail either Board Secretary Garcia Graham at or Licensing Assistant Deborah Martin-Johnson at with your name and mailing address.

Private Protective Services Application checklist.

Application for License(s) or Associate License   [NEW applicant only]

Authorization for Release of Records

Authority for Release of Information

Personal Reference Questionnaire

Application for Company Business License (not required if sole proprietorship)

Temporary Permit [For Private Investigator Associate only]

Written Plan of Supervision [For Private Investigator Associate, Electronic Countermeasure Trainee, Polygraph Trainee)

Notice to Current License Holders

If you currently hold a PPS license, a renewal application will be mailed to your address of record 60 days prior to the expiration of the license(s). If you wish to apply for an additional license, a change of status, change of company, or any other changes, you should contact the PPS licensing staff directly for instructions and application forms.

Firearms Trainer

Must meet the minimum standards established by 14B NCAC.0703 (Security guard registration); have a minimum of one year supervisory experience in security with a contract security company or proprietary security organization or one year experience with any federal, U.S. Military, state, county or municipal law enforcement agency; successfully complete a training course approved by the Board and the Attorney General that includes a minimum of 40 hours of classroom and practical range training in handgun and shotgun safety and maintenance, range operation, night firearm training, control and safety procedures, and methods of handgun and shotgun firing (See 74C-5, 74C-9, 74C-10, 74C-13, 14B NCAC.0900); attain a 90 percent score on the approved firearms qualification courses; and must complete the Firearms Trainer course prior to applying.

Persons interested in attending the Firearms Trainer Course should submit a written request to the PPS office. Applicants meeting the requirements will be notified once selected to attend the class. The North Carolina Justice Academy is currently the only agency approved to conduct this course.