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Thread: PI LICENSING: Ohio

  1. #1
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    PI LICENSING: Ohio

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    NO LICENSE NEEDED, IF WORKING FOR THE FOLLOWING::

    61522. Exemptions:
    1. No License Needed for: An employee in the regular course of the employee's employment, engaged in investigating matters pertinent to the business of his or her employer or protecting property in the possession of his or her employer, provided the employer is deducting all applicable state and federal employment taxes on behalf of the employee and neither the employer nor the employee is employed by, associated with, or acting for or on behalf of any private investigator or security guard provider;

    2. No License Needed for: Attorneys at law or any expert hired by an attorney at law for consultation or litigation purposes;

    3. No License Needed for: Any person residing in this state who, for hire or otherwise, conducts research for the purpose of locating persons to whom the state of Ohio owes money in the form of warrants, as defined in division (S) of section 131.01 of the Revised Code, that the state voided but subsequently reissues.

    4. No License Needed for: Any person residing in this state who conducts research for the purpose of locating the last known owner of unclaimed funds, provided that the person is in compliance with Chapter 169. of the Revised Code and rules adopted thereunder. The exemption set forth in division (H)(10) of this section applies only to the extent that the person is conducting research for the purpose of locating the last known owner of unclaimed funds.

    5. No License Needed for: Any better business bureau or similar organization or any of its employees while engaged in the maintenance of the quality of business activities relating to consumer sales and services;

    6. No License Needed for: Any person who, for hire or otherwise, conducts genealogical research in this state.

    7. No License Needed for: A consumer reporting agency, as defined in the "Fair Credit Reporting Act," 84 Stat. 1128, 15 U.S.C.A. 1681a, as amended, provided that the consumer reporting agency is in compliance with the requirements of that act.

    8. No License Needed for: The issuance of consumer credit reports;

    9. No License Needed for: The conducting of limited background investigations that pertain only to a client's prospective tenant and that are engaged in with the prior written consent of the prospective tenant;

    10. No License Needed for: The business of pre-employment background investigations. As used in division (H)(3)(c) of this section, "business of pre-employment background investigation" means, and is limited to, furnishing for hire, in person or through a partner or employees, the conducting of limited background investigations, in-person interviews, telephone interviews, or written inquiries that pertain only to a client's prospective employee and the employee's employment and that are engaged in with the prior written consent of the prospective employee.

    11. No License Needed for: Personnel placement services licensed under Chapter 4143. of the Revised Code and persons who act as employees of such entities engaged in investigating matters related to personnel placement activities;

    12. No License Needed for: Certified public insurance adjusters that hold a certificate of authority issued pursuant to sections 3951.01 to 3951.09 of the Revised Code, while the adjuster is investigating the cause of or responsibility for a fire, accident, or other damage to property with respect to a claim or claims for loss or damage under a policy of insurance covering real or personal property;

    13. No License Needed for: An accountant who is registered or certified under Chapter 4701. of the Revised Code or any of the accountant's employees while engaged in activities for which the accountant is certified or registered;

    14. No License Needed for: A professional engineer who is registered under Chapter 4733. of the Revised Code or any of his employees.

    15. No License Needed for: An independent insurance adjuster who, as an individual, an independent contractor, an employee of an independent contractor, adjustment bureau association, corporation, insurer, partnership, local recording agent, managing general agent, or self-insurer, engages in the business of independent insurance adjustment, or any person who supervises the handling of claims except while acting as an employee of an insurer licensed in this state while handling claims pertaining to specific policies written by that insurer.

    16. No License Needed for: An attorney who adjusts insurance losses incidential [sic] to the practice of law and who does not advertise or represent that he or she is an independent insurance adjuster;

    17. No License Needed for: A licensed agent or general agent of an insurer licensed in this state who processes undisputed or uncontested losses for insurers under policies issued by that agent or general agent.

    18. No License Needed for: Public officers and employees whose official duties require them to engage in investigatory activities;




    NEW RESOURCES:


    State PI License Home Page:
    http://www.homelandsecurity.ohio.gov/ohs_pisg.stm

    Verify a license:
    https://www.dps.state.oh.us/ALRS/alrshomepage.aspx


    TO OBTAIN A LICENSE TO SOLICIT FOR YOUR OWN CLIENTS:

    (A)(1) Any individual, including a partner in a partnership, may be

    licensed as a private investigator under a class B license, or as a

    security guard provider under a class C license, or as a private

    investigator and a security guard provider under a class A license, if

    he meets the following requirements:



    (a) He has a good reputation for integrity, has not been convicted of a

    felony within the last twenty years or any offense involving moral

    turpitude, and has not been adjudicated incompetent for the purpose of

    holding the license, as provided in section 5122.301 of the Revised

    Code, without having been restored to legal capacity for that purpose.



    (b) Depending upon the class of license for which application is made,

    for a continuous period of at least two years immediately preceding

    application for a license, he has been engaged in investigatory or

    security services work for a law enforcement or other public agency

    engaged in investigatory activities, or for a private investigator or

    security guard provider, or engaged in the practice of law, or has

    acquired equivalent experience as determined by rule of the director of

    commerce.



    (c) He demonstrates his competency as a private investigator or security

    guard provider by passing an examination devised for this purpose by the

    director, except that any individually licensed person who qualifies a

    corporation for licensure shall not be required to be reexamined if he

    qualifies the corporation in the same capacity that he was individually

    licensed.



    (d) He submits evidence of comprehensive general liability insurance

    coverage, or other equivalent guarantee approved by the director in such

    form and in principal amounts satisfactory to the director, but not less

    than one hundred thousand dollars for each person and three hundred

    thousand dollars for each occurrence for bodily injury liability, and

    one hundred thousand dollars for property damage liability.



    (e) He pays the requisite examination and license fees.



    (2) A corporation may be licensed as a private investigator under a

    class B license, or as a security guard provider under a class C

    license, or as a private investigator and a security guard provider

    under a class A license, if an application for licensure is filed by an

    officer of the corporation and he, another officer, or the qualifying

    agent of the corporation satisfies the requirements of divisions (A)(1)

    and (F)(1) of this section. Officers and the statutory agent of a

    corporation shall be determined in accordance with Chapter 1701. of the

    Revised Code.



    (3) At least one partner in a partnership shall be licensed as a private

    investigator, or as a security guard provider, or as a private

    investigator and a security guard provider. Partners in a partnership

    shall be determined as provided for in Chapter 1775. of the Revised

    Code.



    (B) Application for a class A, B, or C license shall be in writing,

    under oath, to the director. In the case of an individual, the

    application shall state the applicant's name, birth date, citizenship,

    physical description, current residence, residences for the preceding

    ten years, current employment, employment for the preceding seven years,

    experience qualifications, the location of each of his offices in this

    state, and any other information that is necessary in order for the

    director to comply with the requirements of this chapter. In the case of

    a corporation, the application shall state the name of the officer or

    qualifying agent filing the application; the state in which the

    corporation is incorporated and the date of incorporation; the states in

    which the corporation is authorized to transact business; the name of

    its qualifying agent; the name of the officer or qualifying agent of the

    corporation who satisfies the requirements of divisions (A)(1) and

    (F)(1) of this section and the birth date, citizenship, physical

    description, current residence, residences for the preceding ten years,

    current employment, employment for the preceding seven years, and

    experience qualifications of that officer or qualifying agent; and other

    information that the director requires. A corporation may specify in its

    application information relative to one or more individuals who satisfy

    the requirements of divisions (A)(1) and (F)(1) of this section.



    The application shall be accompanied by:



    (1) One recent full-face photograph of the applicant or, in the case of

    a corporation, of each officer or qualifying agent specified in the

    application as satisfying the requirements of divisions (A)(1) and

    (F)(1) of this section;



    (2) One complete set of the applicant's fingerprints or, in the case of

    a corporation, of the fingerprints of each officer or qualifying agent

    specified in the application as satisfying the requirements of divisions

    (A)(1) and (F)(1) of this section;



    (3) Character references from at least five reputable citizens for the

    applicant or, in the case of a corporation, for each officer or

    qualifying agent specified in the application as satisfying the

    requirements of divisions (A)(1) and (F)(1) of this section, each of

    whom has known the applicant, officer, or qualifying agent for at least

    five years preceding the application, and none of whom are connected

    with the applicant, officer, or qualifying agent by blood or marriage;

    *61530 (4) An examination fee of twenty-five dollars for the applicant

    or, in the case of a corporation, for each officer or qualifying agent

    specified in the application as satisfying the requirements of divisions

    (A)(1) and (F)(1) of this section, and a license fee of two hundred

    fifty dollars. The license fee shall be refunded if a license is not

    issued.



    (C) Upon receipt of the application and accompanying matter, the

    director shall forward to the bureau of criminal identification and

    investigation a request that it make an investigation of the applicant

    or, in the case of a corporation, each officer or qualifying agent

    specified in the application as satisfying the requirements of divisions

    (A)(1) and (F)(1) of this section, to determine whether the applicant,

    officer, or qualifying agent meets the requirements of division

    (A)(1)(a) of this section. If the director determines that the

    applicant, officer, or qualifying agent meets the requirements of

    divisions (A)(1)(a), (b) and (d) of this section and that an officer or

    qualifying agent meets the requirement of division (F)(1) of this

    section, he shall notify the applicant, officer, or agent of the time

    and place for the examination. If the director determines that an

    applicant does not meet the requirements of divisions (A)(1)(a), (b),

    and (d) of this section, he shall notify the applicant that his

    application is refused and refund the license fee. If the director

    determines that none of the individuals specified in the application of

    a corporation as satisfying the requirements of divisions (A)(1) and

    (F)(1) of this section meet the requirements of divisions (A)(1)(a),

    (b), and (d) and (F)(1) of this section, he shall notify the corporation

    that its application is refused and refund the license fee. If the

    director requests an investigation of any applicant, officer, or

    qualifying agent and if the bureau assesses the director a fee for the

    investigation, the director, in addition to any other fee assessed

    pursuant to this chapter, may assess the applicant, officer, or

    qualifying agent, as appropriate, a fee that is equal to the fee

    assessed by the bureau.



    (D) If upon application, investigation, and examination, the director

    finds that the applicant or, in the case of a corporation, any officer

    or qualifying agent specified in the application as satisfying the

    requirements of divisions (A)(1) and (F)(1) of this section, meets the

    applicable requirements, he shall issue the applicant or the corporation

    a class A, B, or C license. The director also shall issue to an

    applicant, but not an officer or qualifying agent of a corporation, who

    meets the applicable requirements an identification card. The license

    and identification card shall state the licensee's name, the

    classification of the license, the location of his principal place of

    business in this state, and the expiration date of the license and, in

    the case of a corporation, it also shall state the name of each officer

    or qualifying agent who satisfied the requirements of divisions (A)(1)

    and (F)(1) of this section. *61531 Licenses expire on the first day of

    March following the date of initial issue, and on the first day of March

    of each year thereafter. Renewals shall be according to the standard

    renewal procedures contained in Chapter 4745. of the Revised Code, upon

    payment of a renewal fee of two hundred fifty dollars. No license shall

    be renewed if the licensee or, in the case of a corporation, each

    officer or qualifying agent who qualified the corporation for licensure

    no longer meets the applicable requirements of this section. No license

    shall be renewed unless the licensee provides evidence of workers'

    compensation risk coverage and unemployment compensation insurance

    coverage, other than for clerical employees, as provided for in Chapters

    4123. and 4141. of the Revised Code, respectively, as well as the

    licensee's state tax identification number. No reexamination shall be

    required for renewal of a current license.



    For purposes of this chapter, a class A, B, or C license issued to a

    corporation shall be considered as also having licensed the individuals

    who qualified the corporation for licensure, for as long as they are

    associated with the corporation.



    (E) The director may issue a duplicate copy of a license issued under

    this section for the purpose of replacement of a lost, spoliated, or

    destroyed license, upon payment of a fee fixed by the director, not

    exceeding twenty-five dollars. Any change in license classification

    requires new application and application fees.



    (F)(1) In order to qualify a corporation for a class A, B, or C license,

    an officer or qualifying agent may qualify another corporation for

    similar licensure, provided that he is actively engaged in the business

    of both corporations.



    (2) Each officer or qualifying agent who qualifies a corporation for

    class A, B, or C licensure shall surrender any personal license of a

    similar nature that he possesses.



    (3) Upon written notification to the director, completion of an

    application similar to that for original licensure, surrender of the

    corporation's current license, and payment of a twenty-five dollar fee,

    a corporation's class A, B, or C license may be transferred to another

    corporation.



    (4) Upon written notification to the director, completion of an

    application similar to that for an individual seeking class A, B, or C

    licensure, payment of a twenty-five dollar fee, and, if he was the only

    individual that qualified a corporation for licensure, surrender of the

    corporation's license, any officer or qualifying agent who qualified a

    corporation for licensure under this chapter may obtain a similar

    license in his own name without reexamination. A request by an officer

    or qualifying agent for an individual license shall not affect a

    corporation's license unless he is the only individual that qualified

    the corporation for licensure or all the other individuals who qualified

    the corporation for licensure submit such requests.



    (G) If a corporation is for any reason no longer associated with an

    individual who qualified it for licensure under this chapter, an officer

    of the corporation shall notify the director of that fact by certified

    mail, return receipt requested, within ten days after the association

    terminates. If the notification is so given, the individual was the only

    individual that qualified the corporation for licensure, and the

    corporation submits the name of another officer or qualifying agent to

    qualify the corporation for the license within thirty days after the

    association terminates, the corporation may continue to operate in the

    business of private investigation, the business of security services, or

    both businesses in this state under that license for ninety days after

    the association terminates. If the officer or qualifying agent whose

    name is so submitted satisfies the requirements of divisions (A)(1) and

    (F)(1) of this section, the director shall issue a new license to the

    corporation within that ninety-day period. The names of more than one

    individual may be so submitted.

  2. #2
    William R. Larson - is offline (Retired from Forum Activity)

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    Good question, Margie.

    From looking at the information Legal Affairs posted, it is not necessary to hold a license under the exemptions listed. Otherwise you do need a license.

    So, is it better to hold a license or not? Well, you have to make the call. If you can find sufficient work under the exemptions mentioned by Legal Affairs, you don't necessarily need to get it. If you want to solicit your own work, then yes, you do need a license. My personal opinion (which is only an opinion, and not factual) is if getting a license isn't a difficult task, you might was well get it.

    One thing to check into if you do get it is what needs to be done to keep it current. I saw in another forum that you were moving next year. The Ohio PI license most likely will not follow you and be valid in your new state of residence. There are benefits to being licensed in other states, though. I'd check out what the requirements are to keep your license. Just like other licenses, this one can expire if you don't renew it.

  3. #3
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    Originally posted by Margie Bailey
    If I were to hold a license in the state of ohio for PI would I be more likely to get jobs .....
    "More" jobs than a trainee, and at a higher rate per hour.

  4. #4
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    Thank you, I have checked into the requirements for Ohios license and I may go ahead and get it. I also want to check out Missouri's license. I know they don't require it but for certain cities they do like St.Louis, which is where I'll be moving. In the forum where I read that it didn't have a link to Missouri's webpage, does anyone have that so I could check it out?
    Margie Bailey,Ohio

  5. #5
    Margie,

    Youmight find this thread helpful also:

    http://www.ipiu.org/forums//showthre...&threadid=1760

    This thread is about concealed carry, but I have posted on there info that I have obtained from the Dept. of Commerce ref: PI license in Ohio.

    Be safe,
    Stephen

  6. #6
    Margie,

    This is my (personal) opinion since I can not find any legal reference at this time.

    An important advantage to having a PI lincense in Ohio is that you would be pretty safe in representing yourself as an (independent) "Private Investigator" (outside of the 18 exemptions listed above in this topic).

    (Otherwise, unless you were working for a law firm as a private investigator or working as a private investigator in one of the listed 18 exemptions), it would not be a good idea to represent yourself as a PI in Ohio unless you are licensed.

    Another advantage is that you would be able to solicit and advertise yourself as a PI in Ohio and ultimately charge more.

    This is just my opinion of what I have come across. Maybe Legal Affairs will jump in here.

    Trying to help,

  7. #7

    Re: Ohio Peace Officer Certification

    Originally posted by Kelly A Smith
    I was wondering if having an Ohio Peace Officer Certification would give me any kind of advantage in the process of becoming a liscensed PI? I hold no commission with any department but I have my certification. Would this allow me to bypass any steps in the process? Can I use some of the hours earned gaining my certification towards anything in this area?

    Thanks,
    Kelly
    Kelly,

    I would think that your OPOTC would at least go towards Education on the PI License Application. Toward Experience I am not sure.
    I would actually like to know, also. Since, I was thinking about going to the Police Academy.

  8. #8
    Kelly,

    Sorry, I cannot find a link for it.

    But, you can call the Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing at (614) 466-4130 and ask for a "Application Packet".

    Or write to: Department of Commerce
    Division of Real Estate & Professional Licensing
    77 S. High Street, 20th Floor
    Columbus, Ohio 43266-0546

    Requesting they send you a "Application Packet."


    Hope this helps.

  9. #9
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    Originally posted by Brett Deem
    Margie,

    This is my (personal) opinion since I can not find any legal reference at this time.
    I have edited some small portions of your reply to comply with the exemptions stated in the first post in this topic.

    Another point in the example I edited out is that no license is need to investigate anyone whatsoever, including a background check on a licensed physician. There is no license needed to represent yourself as a unlicensed private investigator in that pursuit, so long as you are working as an unlicensed private investigator for a law firm or for any other company listed in the eighteen (18) exemptions under state law. But you are correct in stating that a representation of an unlicensed private investigator to take on individual cases would require either a license or a business card that establishes the exemptions, such as the term "Case Examiner" implies.

    You may wish to read our Mission Statement, as it was updated this year when there was doubt that IPIU supported regulating private investigators.

    Link: http://www.ipiu.org/forums/showthrea...&threadid=2914

  10. #10
    Malcolm Rheuban's Avatar
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    Question Question

    Dear Legal Affairs:


    From reading the list of exemptions to work without a license, am I clear, understanding that I would not be exempted, if I worked for someone in Security Services under their license?

    "An employee in the regular course of the employee's employment, engaged in investigating matters pertinent to the business of his or her employer or protecting property in the possession of his or her employer, provided the employer is deducting all applicable state and federal employment taxes on behalf of the employee and neither the employer nor the employee is employed by, associated with, or acting for or on behalf of any private investigator or security guard provider;"


    I had always thought it would be permissible to work for someone under their license; however, not only can't I find an exemption, but, it seems, I would be violating a code.

  11. #11
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    Malcolm,

    The exemption you quoted pertains to any business that hires you as an employee to investigate it's own interests.

    The portion stating that the exemption does not apply to a privae investigator pertains to you being hired by a licensed private investigator or licensed security company, not working as a private investigator or a security officer for a business that employs you to work on it's own internal affairs.

    Again, whenever the statute states "private investigator", it is referring to private investigators that are regulated by the state and not private investigators that are unregulated.

    Another item is: If you are employed by a private investigative agency, you will not have to concern yourself with licensing matters. That will be the duty of your employer. And, as an employer, they may not have to license you under their agency for a number of reasons.

    I recall reading about John Grogan (I believe it was John), who stated that (before he retired as a Calfornia PI) that he used his PI License to obtain business. But that a great deal of the business he obtained did not require the use of his license, such as acquiring basic court house documents, etc.

  12. #12
    Malcolm Rheuban's Avatar
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    Question Relieved but not totally clear

    Dear Cynthia,


    First of all, Happy Mother's Day!.

    Secondly, I understand, now, that the exemption I quoted applies to another situation, like a shady, unethical business competing covertly against another.

    Thirdly, I see where the Law says a person is exempt if he/she is working for an attorney," Attorneys at law or any expert hired by an attorney at law for consultation or litigation purposes;
    "; however, I do not see the Law stating any exemptions for a person doing investigative work under the license of an agency.

    Although I think you are absolutely right, "If you are employed by a private investigative agency, you will not have to concern yourself with licensing matters. That will be the duty of your employer.", do you know, off hand, of any documentation a person could gather to demonstrate to an agency to support the claim that he/she could legally perform duties for them?

    Additionally, thanks for taking the time to respond to my uncertainty.

    P.S. Save yourself any extra effort on my account. I found what I was looking for in writing. Under 4749.13 Prohibitions
    "Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to require any employee of a class A, B, or C licensee to obtain a class A, B, or C license, provided that an employee shall be registered by an licensee when required by section 4749.03 of the Revised Code."
    There is more to read; however, as you stated, he/she could work for an agency and it is the agency's responsibility to register all their employees.
    Last edited by Malcolm Rheuban; 05-10-2003 at 10:45 PM.

  13. #13
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    Question ? would a student need to register

    Dear Legal Affairs:

    There is a section concerning the formal registration of employees under Ohio Law for Private Investigators:

    1301:4-5-11 Registration of employees
    (A) Each licensee shall register his investigator and security guard employees with the department of commerce.
    (B) Each licensee shall file an application to register a new investigator or security guard employee with the department of commerce no later than seven business days after the employee's name is posted on the licensee's payroll records. The licensee must post any employee's name on the licensee's payroll records before that employee works any assignment for the licensee. The licensee must submit, on forms provided by the department, verification of the employee's name, date of birth, and social security number as well as one readable set of fingerprints of the employee to be registered.
    (C) Within ten business days after the termination of a registrant's employment, the licensee shall notify the department of commerce on forms provided by the department of such termination, and submit the registrant's identification card for cancellation.
    (D) For purposes of this rule, "business day" does not include Saturday or Sunday. Filings postmarked on the applicable business day shall be considered to have been timely filed.
    HISTORY: Eff 1-1-70; 8-10-89 Rule promulgated under: RC 119.03 Rule authorized by: RC 4749.02 Rule amplifies: RC 4749.06


    My question is, if a person were to obtain work experience as a student from an investigator, like the mentorship Education Direct encourages, would he/she have to formally register with the Department of Commerce in the state of Ohio to perform investigative duties, providing he /she was not on the payroll?

  14. #14
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    Re: ? would a student need to register

    Originally posted by Malcolm Rheuban
    My question is, if a person were to obtain work experience as a student from an investigator, like the mentorship Education Direct encourages, would he/she have to formally register with the Department of Commerce in the state of Ohio to perform investigative duties, providing he /she was not on the payroll?
    Not unless the employer were a "licensee", which means an agency that both receives a state PI license and is conducting assignments that require a license.

    Some agencies use their PI license to advertise to obtain assignments that do not require a PI license. And if they have an employee working a non-regulated assignment, then there is no requirement.

    Whenever you read a statute that says "licensee", that means a company or person who is required to have a license and whose assignments require a license.

  15. #15
    Malcolm Rheuban's Avatar
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    Smile Re: Re: ? would a student need to register

    Dear Mary Lynn,

    Thanks for the response. My state, Ohio, seems rigorous compared to other states in regulating P.I. work. The Department of Commerce, Division of Real Estate and Professional Licensing is the controlling body. When I called them to ask the same question, they replied that whatever I do, I have to put it in writing and mail it to their legal department.

    Another part of this law that is unclear to me are the exemptions to having to be registered to work with insurance people. I am not sure if I understand the difference between:

    Certified public insurance adjusters that hold a certificate of authority issued pursuant to sections 3951.01 to 3951.09 of the Revised Code, while the adjuster is investigating the cause of or responsibility for a fire, accident, or other damage to property with respect to a claim or claims for loss or damage under a policy of insurance covering real or personal property;


    And An independent insurance adjuster who, as an individual, an independent contractor, an employee of an independent contractor, adjustment bureau association, corporation, insurer, partnership, local recording agent, managing general agent, or self-insurer, engages in the business of independent insurance adjustment, or any person who supervises the handling of claims except while acting as an employee of an insurer licensed in this state while handling claims pertaining to specific policies written by that insurer.

    Would I be legal going to an insurance agent and seeing if I could do some investigative work for him/her?

    Thanks again for trying to explain these legal terms in layman's terms. I think I should know the legal ramifications of what I am getting into, before I get into anything.

  16. #16

    Re: Relieved but not totally clear

    Originally posted by Malcolm Rheuban
    [however, I do not see the Law stating any exemptions for a person doing investigative work under the license of an agency.
    Although I think you are absolutely right, "If you are employed by a private investigative agency, you will not have to concern yourself with licensing matters. That will be the duty of your employer.", do you know, off hand, of any documentation a person could gather to demonstrate to an agency to support the claim that he/she could legally perform duties for them?
    Malcolm,
    In the initial material I received from IPIU, there was a section that stated a P.I. trainee was not required to have an individual license if employed by an agency with a license. I hope I read this accurately, since it was one deciding factor in my becoming a trainee!
    Amber D.

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    Re: One crazy question is allowed--here.

    Originally posted by Neal Naughton
    My crazy question is this: If I'm thinking working for myself as a PI and the State of Ohio requires two years of experience, what constitutes two years? Is it 24 months which is 17,520 hours long, or is it 516 working days, or...?

    Exactly what is meant by 2 years experience? --NFN
    Go to the Licensing Forum for PI's, and post your question in the OHIO Licensing topic.

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    Re: Re: Relieved but not totally clear

    Originally posted by Amber Djukic
    ...stated a P.I. trainee was not required to have an individual license if employed by an agency with a license. I hope I read this accurately, since it was one deciding factor in my becoming a trainee!
    Amber D.
    Please read the first comment posted in this Topic. It contains a list of 18 EXEMPTIONS for private investigators that do not need a separate private investigators license from Ohio. Some of those exemptions include types of firms and agencys (such as law firms that hire private investigators) whereby the PI works under their professional license.
    Legal Affairs comments are not intended to be and should absolutely not be taken as legal advice. If you should require legal, tax, or financial advice, you must first enter into a written agreement with only a licensed professional for legal, tax, or financial services, signed by both you and the licensed professional, and paid a retainer in good funds. Legal Affairs is not, nor intends to be, nor solicits to be your licensed professional. Members accessing comments by Legal Affairs are required to be bound by their Terms of Use Agreement regarding Legal Affairs.

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    Neal,

    Florida requires two years experience and it equates to 4,000 hours. That's 40 hours per week, 50 weeks per year for two years.

    Jim
    Jim Ley

  20. #20

    Question Movable License

    Is there a general license you could get to cover all or most of the USA? Just a matter of keeping one's options open.

    Shawn Spaulding

  21. #21
    B Ann Craig's Avatar
    B Ann Craig is offline Administrative Forum Trainer

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    Quote Originally Posted by Julie Mercer
    Richard,
    On January 19, you posted this thread. Did you receive your credentials? How long after your sent your prints and picture in, did you receive them?

    Thanks for the info!

    Julie Mercer
    Julie, Richard has been at level 4 for some time now.

    Have a wonderful week. Take care.

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    Thumbs up

    B Ann,
    Thanks for the information! It is great to hear about people excelling, it is encouraging!

    Julie Mercer

  23. #23
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    Julie, you are very welcome.

    Have a wonderful week. Take care.

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    Here's my question/dilema

    It states you need 4000 hours of experience or education; I am currently employed by the Juvenile court which IS a government agency. I've been there for 2 years, and I'm in my second year of a 2 year degree in criminal justice. Would these meet the requirements for experience and/or education in order to recieve a license?

    Thanks in advance for the information

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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Milligan
    It states you need 4000 hours of experience or education; I am currently employed by the Juvenile court which IS a government agency. I've been there for 2 years, and I'm in my second year of a 2 year degree in criminal justice. Would these meet the requirements for experience and/or education in order to recieve a license?
    Keith,
    The experience and education is an excellent background. But, unfortunately the education isn't part of the criteria to get your license. Unless your work experience was working under a Licensed Private Investigator or firm, that won't qualify you either. Post #1 is very informative & I think will also help answer your question.
    Julie

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    Question Ohio Licenses, Someday

    Okay, let me see how confused I am?! Now, As long as I work as a trainee,( assignments) I would be covered under who I work for. Maybe with the on the job training, I will have a clearer picture of the rules. This is so new to me, and frankly, I feel having a licenses, will protect me from, doing something that is wrong. However, if I need 2 years or 4000 hours of expereince,to apply for a licenses, then I think I have a ways to go, before worrying too much about it, and as I said, Maybe with the on the job training provided, I will learn the laws of the licenses , to make a better informed decision. Thanks for the information shared here, and I will check in later for more information on this topic. "DJ"

  27. #27
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    How to obtain a license

    How do I go about obtaining an Ohio license and getting started in this type of work? I am not sure where to begin. Thanks for your help.
    Rebecca Boyle

  28. #28
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rebecca Boyle
    How do I go about obtaining an Ohio license and getting started in this type of work? I am not sure where to begin. Thanks for your help.
    Rebecca Boyle
    Rebecca (and Fellow Ohio Trainees) -

    Here's some info you may find helpful:

    PI's are now regulated by the Ohio Department of Homeland Security. Information is available at http://www.homelandsecurity.ohio.gov/pisg.htm.

    If you are looking to set up a business as a PI, visit the Ohio First Stop Business Connection website at http://www.odod.state.oh.us/onestop/. Follow the instructions to get all the documents you'll need to start the process of building your business. When asked for the type of business, search "Private Investigator" to get the right docs.

    (These sites can be accessed from the homepage at http://ohio.gov/.)

    A PI trainee is not defined in the statute as far as I can tell, but employees of licensed PI's or PI Corporations are well defined. Furthermore, the statute does not address unlicensed independent contractors. The focus is on licensed PI's and their employees. Having read this, I won't even begin to pretend I understand the extent of the regulations regarding PI trainees and employee status vs. independent contractor. Thus, my questions!

    The definition of the business of Private Investigation is broadly written, and the exemptions (in contrast) are narrowly defined. These regulations, by my read, strictly limit the type and scope of work an unlicensed PI can do. The other side of the coin is that you have to have 4000 hours of experience in the two years immediately preceding license application, or an applicable degree and 2000 hours in the preceding year. To get a license, you have to have full-time trainee experience, so obviously unlicensed PI work is allowed under the statute.

    How does one go about being an unlicensed trainee when it reads as if a license is just about always required, unless you meet the narrowly defined exemptions? Do you have to be an employee as a trainee or can you be independent? In other words, what exactly are the circumstances that one can gain experience as a PI, without being licensed in Ohio, in order to get licensed in Ohio?

    Regarding the required experience, at some point (if you want to be licensed in Ohio) you have to work full-time as a PI trainee. Is there any flexibility in the experience requirement if you are full-time in some other profession not related to law enforcement or investigation and still want to be licensed (for example, getting the hours over a greater number of years)?

    Hope the websites help, and thanks for any further info you, or anyone else, may have.

  29. #29
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    Joe, your points are well taken. I went to the websites you referred to and read the requirements surrounding what is required to be licensed or even to do P.I. work. I agree with you that the assignments that an Ohio resident can do without a license are extremely limited (if any). I also agree that surely we must be able to do something or how does one obtain the 2000 hours of experience??? If any of you seasoned members, particularly from Ohio, can shed some light on this it would be most helpful.

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    Barbara -

    Thanks for the response. I finally got someone to "talk" to me!

    Some further reading in the maze of forums revealed what I think is one answer. The Ohio statute defines a Licensed PI as on who does the work "for hire." Apparently, the meaning of this is that you need a license in order to solicit work from a client as a PI or PI agency. A "trainee" on the other hand, doesn't go looking for clients, but works for someone else who has the contact with the client.

    NO guarantees this is the right interpretation for Ohio, but it's a thought.

    Still can't get around the whole employee/contractor issue.

    Take care and good luck!

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    Question On Pi Training?

    Hello, I have a question and wanted to see if I can get some help in the area, I have taken a course work for a diploma in Private Investigation at thompson direct education, will this help me by pass any testing and move me forward to becoming independent PI
    Last edited by B Ann Craig; 10-09-2004 at 05:57 AM.

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    Hello everyone from Ohio. Thank you so much for posting the information regarding Ohio Licensing.

    I have called the state office myself several times, but it seems no one can give you a STRAIGHT answer when you ask them complexed questions.

    I do know this, I worked for a few law firms and did all of the skip tracing, collections, surveillance or research field work. It was explained to me by my employer at that time, that I was his private company PI. I enjoyed the work so much, I wanted to persue my career back then to obtain my license, but couldn't because of personal reasons. Now that I have the extra time, I'm a little more seasoned with the smarts & talent, I felt I needed more training, more connections, and I am hoping to become a Licensed PI within the next year.

    If you have any tips for this trainee, PLEASE share.
    Regards, Michelle

  33. #33
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    Quote Originally Posted by Michelle Marecz-Adams
    I worked for a few law firms and did all of the skip tracing, collections, surveillance or research field work. It was explained to me by my employer at that time, that I was his private company PI.
    Michelle -

    Hi and welcome! I'm still full of questions, but not so much about getting licensed as I am the legality of working without a license in Ohio.

    The situation you describe above is pretty clear in the exceptions to licensure in the Ohio Revised Code. Do you have any experience working as an independent contractor and doing the same type of work?

    Thanks and good luck!

  34. #34
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    Hi Joe - In response to your question, I was always an employee of the firm or company, not a sub-contractor. Although, I DO want to be a subcontractor, it leaves my door open for opportunities new and old within the industry. Let's hope the pay is worth it.

    My current interest is in the field of finding people, skip tracing, surveillance for fraud, marital and I will see at a later date what else interests me. But for now, this is what I know, what I am good at and the current experience I have to share, not to mention having worked within the security alarm industry in sales. As my family and friends say "I'm a people watcher!"

    PI work has always been my passion as a child. As an adult, I've always been the problem solver. The more difficult, the better. When I was in the legal field, let's just say, I was always the top performer in solving any mysteries or was the one who busted the individual doing wrong.

    So by joining IPIU, I am hoping to follow a life long passion. Being the secret squirrel I was born to be!

    Good luck to you Joe and I hope to see you around in the forums. Keep me posted on your progress there Buckeye.

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by SCOTT NAPIER
    Hello, I have a question and wanted to see if I can get some help in the area, I have taken a course work for a diploma in Private Investigation at thompson direct education, will this help me by pass any testing and move me forward to becoming independent PI

    Hi Scott & Welcome.
    In response to your question, I'm not sure, but maybe someone out here can give you the answer or point you in the right direction.

    May I ask what class or course did you take? What are they teaching you or what have your learned.

    Me personally, I have looked into a few of the schools, but they just didn't make enough sence on what they were actually going to teach me. In my personal opinion, I believe the best experience is on-the-job training, observing and learning from others. Then taking courses at a credited college to know the laws or any other field you are interested in. But in the field my friend and in these forums is where you will hear, read and learn the techniques from other qualified PIs. There were too many questions unanswered by the schools I spoke to. That's why I chose IPIU and I am also attending classes for my future.

    Best regards and I hope I helped. Good luck Scott!

  36. #36
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    My Opinion of the Ohio PI Licensing Regulations: Part 1 – The Setup

    Hello all my fellow Ohioans. I’ve been doing some research . . .

    I know this is a very long post, and I’m hoping to get some good feedback out of it. If you have the interest, bear with me and read on!


    Beginning of the DISCLAIMER

    I am not a lawyer. I don’t even play one on TV. What I have done for longer than I care to remember is interpret and implement various hazardous materials (hazmat) regulations in the commercial and government sectors. My evaluation of the Ohio code and regulations regarding PI licensing is based on my experience in regulatory research and interpretation in the aforementioned area of expertise. Therefore, the following is provided as furthering the discussion, and not as authoritative guidance.

    If you want to know more about me: http://www.ipiu.org/forums/showthread.php?t=19151

    End of the DISCLAIMER
    If you’re still with me, let’s go. If you’re not, then you’re not reading this, but I have to say I can’t blame you . . .

    The regulatory analysis that I have performed in hazmat management begins with a simple question: If I pursue a certain course of action, will I get in trouble? Let’s apply this to the Ohio PI Licensing discussion rephrase the question: If I do some type of investigative work in Ohio and I am not a licensed PI, will I get into trouble? I think we should use examples as a framework for the discussion. However, before I give you examples pertinent to our discussion here, let me define trouble – getting hurt, hurting someone else, getting fired, getting fined, going to jail. Got the point? Good, let’s move on . . .

  37. #37
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    My Opinion of the Ohio PI Licensing Regulations: Part 2 – Examples for Discussion

    Example 1: Your best friend knows you are trying to become a PI in Ohio. She just me a new guy, really likes him, but wants to be careful and “check him out.” Knowing that you know something about this, she asks you for help. You are not a licensed PI. The question: If you help her, will you get in trouble?

    Example 2: You are working as an employee for a Licensed PI firm. The client is someone you don’t know, and has come to the firm for the same reasons as in example #1. The PI in charge of the case assigns it to you with instructions on what they want as the scope of the investigation.

    Example 3: Same as #2, however, you are an independent contractor.

    Example 4: You are not licensed. You take out an ad that says “I’m a PI!” Your phone rings. Your client is the guy dating the woman in the above examples and wants her checked out. You give him a price, he says O.K., and off you go.

  38. #38
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    My Opinion of the Ohio PI Licensing Regulations: Part 3 – The Regulatory Discussion

    What are the answers? Let’s read the regulations:

    Ohio Revised Code 4749.01
    Definitions
    As used in this chapter:
    (A) "Private investigator" means any person who engages in the business of private investigation.
    (B) "Business of private investigation" means, except when performed by one excluded under division (H) of this section, the conducting, for hire, in person or through a partner or employees, of any investigation relevant to any crime or wrong done or threatened, or to obtain information on the identity, habits, conduct, movements, whereabouts, affiliations, transactions, reputation, credibility, or character of any person, or to locate and recover lost or stolen property, or to determine the cause of or responsibility for any libel or slander, or any fire, accident, or damage to property, or to secure evidence for use in any legislative, administrative, or judicial investigation or proceeding.

    Your first reaction is to say “Look at division (H) and see if I fall into one of the exempt categories.” Good, that’s what you should do, and you did, and your not, so what’s next?

    Let’s look at this again – a PI in Ohio is one who “engages in the business of private investigation.” In other words, if you are not in the business, you are not a PI, and you’re out of the regulations. This is important, so let me say it another way – in order to be bound by the regulations, the regulations have to define you as being within the scope. If you don’t fall within the defined scope, you are outside the regulatory jurisdiction, and you are free to pursue your dreams. (Unless, of course, there’s another regulation binding you, but as far as I can tell ORC 4749 and OAC 1301:5-4, which we’ll get to in a minute, is all you got.)

    The question now is whether you are engaged in the business of private investigation, which is the purpose of 4749.01(B) above. Cut to the chase – remember, the exceptions don’t apply for our discussion - the code explicitly says “for hire.” What’s that mean? Hire (noun), compensation for the use of a thing, or for labor or service (Black’s Law Dictionary). So, a PI in Ohio is engaged in the business when they do PI work for compensation.

    Sounds like all of us. I certainly don’t work for free. But, wait a minute, what’s compensation? Black’s again – “remuneration for services rendered, whether in salary, fees, or commissions.” Remuneration? “Payment, reimbursement, reward, recompense, salary, compensation.” Compensation? Didn’t we start there? Gotta love that Black’s Law Dictionary!!

  39. #39
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    My Opinion of the Ohio PI Licensing Regulations: Part 4 – Back to Example 1

    So let’s go back to the examples. Here’s my opinion on Example 1: If you do a public records check on the Internet, give her the results, and she pays you for the cost of the search and buys you a six-pack, what’s the crime? You did something anyone can do, and she simply showed her appreciation. You did not solicit her through advertising or by hanging a sign on your door, she didn’t call you because of an ad in the yellow pages or a flier, and you have never said you were a PI in the state of Ohio. You did a favor, she said thanks, get over your bad self and have a brew.

    How about the rest of the examples? In 2 & 3 I hope you expect compensation. In #4 you better expect compensation. So you’re a PI in Ohio and you need a license, right? Well, let’s do a little more research.

  40. #40
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    My Opinion of the Ohio PI Licensing Regulations: Part 5 – Back to Examples 2-4

    The code defines employees! 4749.01(I): "Employee" means every person who may be required or directed by any employer, in consideration of direct or indirect gain or profit, to engage in any employment, or to go, or work, or be at any time in any place of employment, provided that the employer of the employee deducts all applicable state and federal employment taxes on behalf of the employee.

    In Example 2 you are an employee. Division (B) contains the language “the conducting, for hire, in person or through a partner or employees . . .” So, the licensed firm conducts, for compensation, PI work, through you, as an employee. (In case you haven’t noticed, I’m an artist with commas. Annoying, ain’t it?) Done! Your covered by the regs and don’t need a license. You can do whatever area of PI work your employer assigns you since they are the party with the license, the firm is for hire, and you work as an employee through their license. Example 2 is a good deal. Open another brew. (There are some employee registration requirements I won’t get into here, but for now just remember I noted this.)

    Let’s increase the comfort level on this one, and look at a notation in OAC 1301:4-5. (Gotta tell you something here – you won’t find this notation in the stuff posted at the OH Homeland Security PI page, you have to go to the “officially” published code.) This is what it says after Section 08, Required Experience: “1. (1994) The licensing scheme under RC Chapter 4749 requires only the head of the business to be licensed. The licensee’s employees need only register with the department of commerce.” This is what I like to call a regulatory gem – lays it out in plain language!

    Example 3 complicates the issue by making you an independent contractor. My answer is: So what? It actually makes the issue less complicated! Let’s read it again: “the conducting, for hire, in person or through a partner or employees . . .” Doesn’t say independent contractors. Remember what I said so long ago - if you don’t meet the definitions, you are outside the regulatory jurisdiction, and you are free to pursue your dreams. Not defined, not regulated, go to work and when you’re done – that’s right – get your remuneration and break into one more brew. Good for the licensed PI firm, too, they don’t have to register you!

    By now you should see without further discussion that Example 4 will land you in court, when (not IF) you get turned into the OH Division of Homeland Security, where Licensed PI’s are now regulated. No more brew for you, at least until you make parole . . .

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