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Thread: What Is A PERC card?

  1. #1

    Question What Is A PERC card?

    Hello to All,

    I discovered my options to becoming a Private Investigator are the following:

    OPTION 1:
    I can call 217-782-8556 or 217-782-0458 to check up on my PERC CARD. But my PERC card is not going to get me hired, it is not going to get me trained, and it certainly won't get me more money unless I choose the next Option 2:

    OPTION 2:
    I can join the Private Investigators union and request their PI Union License by calling 406-534-0251.

    Or order the PI Union License online at the following link:

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2003
    New Hampshire
    What is a PERC CARD, and who needs to have one, and what it's supposed to do?

    I've read through all the posts on this Licensing forum and the last few mentioned a "PERC" card. Since no one else asked the question, I'm probably the only one that doesn't know the answer. So, please forgive my ignorance and enlighten me as to what this is. (A constant customer complaint in the insurance industry was the fact that people in the industry used so many acronyms they seemed to speak in codes. It appears that there are a number of acronyms used in the PI field as well. Now, I can really identify with those former customers).

    The following may be of help to you:

    "The PERC card only allows you to start your job hunting and look for an employer to hire you (good luck). It does not guarantee you work, like the PI Union License does."

    "I chose the PI Union License from the International Private Investigators Union (IPIU). With their PI Union License, I was able to get hired without having the PERC CARD.

    "The State of Illinois has two (2) classes of private investigative cases: Regulated Cases versus Unregulated Cases. Using the PI Union License and their on-the job training, I was able to work for some attorneys, integrity background agencies, and several other national companies hiring in my local area. These are all unregulated PI cases in Illinois.

    "As a result of earning money from these cases, I upgraded my IPIU plan and am now getting my Illinois State PI Agency License through IPIU's help in getting me a licensed PI to sponsor my agency license. The process takes 4-6 weeks (instead of the traditional 3-5 years). Then I will be able to do both unregulated cases PLUS regulated cases, and earn 5 times the amount of money per hour.

    "If you wish to learn more, call IPIU at 406-534-0251, or go to the following web link and choose one of their plans:

    Or here:

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2002


    It is my understanding that:

    Anyone who does any type of security related work in this state must obtain this card.

    PERC stands for Permanent Employee Registration Card.

    You can go to Illinois Department of Professional Regulation website to get the application:

    Or, the current PDF download application is here:

    If you are hired by a firm they sometimes will pay the fees for you. If you don't have the card you (and your employer) risk fines. This just happened to a security outfit in my town.(Better safe than sorry.)

    The instructions for application are located in the link. It costs $55.00 to apply plus the cost of having your fingerprints scanned. (The fee for me was $48.00). I just did this about a month ago.

    I also took the Illinois State accredited Private Security Class through my local junior college. I don't know if that is required to get the card or not. The class gives you minimum firearms training as well as an overview of the security industry.

    I hope this is helpful.

    Mary Anne Fontaine

  4. #4

    Thanks for the great information (and link) related to the PERC card for IL. I've just started out and this is exactly the type of information I need. If anyone has any other helpful tips for being a PI in IL, please post or contact me direct.

  5. #5
    There is a section on the application for a PERC for the agency’s an the agent in charge’s license number, this is NOT a requirement.

    You are suppose to complete a 20-hour training course that can be taken at many community college’s or at firm’s such as mine that offer the course. If you are hired by an agency they can always waive the course for on-the-job training.

    It can’t hurt to apply for it and see what happens. The State does not keep a certificate on file for the 20-hours course.

    I assume you know that you can download the application online. If not go to: and click on the subject for the Permanent Employee Registration Card.

    If you have other questions specific to this please ask.


  6. #6
    Jonathan Persky's Avatar
    Jonathan Persky is offline Certified Process Server:
    International Private Investigators Union

    Private Investigator Forum Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2005


    Here's something to think about: The Perc card came into existance within that past 10 to 15 years. This requirement was added in when the Illinois Detectives ACT had gone through a repealing. It appears I'm told that a lot of undercover police officers at one time were ( and still are) Detectives. [B] There's no secret about the crime rate and the rough areas throughout certain cities and counties in Illinois. With The crime rates in Illinois on the up & up 10 years ago and prison walls getting thicker- within its rough confines, its not secret some more stringent requirements through legislature would come to be in place. Illinois is one of the pioneer states where corruption prevailed back about a century ago.

    Also, many felony cases were dismissed over a period of time in "courtroom workgroups" that were utilized many years ago- A system that obviously failed because it didnt help a lot of crime prone individuals in the rough spots.

    just two cents here & facts !

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Nov 2008

    Re: What Is A PERC card?

    Well I sent off for my card on last Monday, I ended up taking my picture and then having it sent to walmart and had them make me a wallet, which looked good.

    Received a letter on Saturday stating that the state had received it and would process it as fast as possible. Check has already returned through my bank, they didn't waste any time cashing it. I am excited about it, and have contacted a few large operations about jobs, one contacted me back, the other I have yet to hear anything.

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