All Private Investigators in Singapore have to apply for a license with the Singapore Police License Regulatory Department or PLRD for short. If you've ever considered a career in the PI industry, this is what you need to know.
Private Investigators operating in Singapore provide investigative services to legal firms, insurance companies, corporate companies, and private individuals to gather evidence and information. Litigation support is also a type of investigation service Singapore Private Detective offer to lawyers. Private individuals hire Private Investigators (PI) for many reasons such as locating missing people, conducting background checks, gathering evidence for adultery, conducting general surveillance, and many others. Most Singapore Private Investigator's scope of work is in conducting surveillance, field investigation, and conducting online searches. Pretext phone calls are often used by Private Investigators to confirm the information and gather data on the subject. In Singapore Private Investigation Agencies Are licensed by the Police Licensing & Regulatory Department located at Police Cantonment Complex, 393 New Bridge Road, Singapore 088763.
Singapore Police Force (SPF) Private Investigator License
A Private Investigator's license is required if you are employed to perform any of the following functions:
Obtain and furnish information on the personal character or actions of any person or as to the character, nature of the business, or occupation of any person;
Search for missing persons;
Obtain and furnish information on the causes, the origin of, or responsibility for fires, libels, losses, incidents, damages, or injuries to real or personal property;
Locate or recover lost or stolen property or obtain information on that property; or
Secure evidence for use in civil or criminal proceedings.
A licensed Private Investigator is not allowed to solicit services on his own. Only the licensee of a Private Investigation Agency can advertise to provide private investigation services.
To be eligible for a Private Investigator's license, you must meet the following criteria:
Be a fit and proper person
Be a Singapore Citizen or a Singapore Permanent Resident and above the age of 16
1Section 21(8) and 21(9) of the Private Security Industry Act 2007, states:
In deciding whether a person or an officer of a business entity is a fit and proper person, the licensing officer may consider any of the following matters as indicating that the person or officer may not be a fit and proper person:
that the person or officer associates with a criminal in a way that indicates involvement in an unlawful activity;
that in dealings in which the person or officer has been involved, the person or officer — (i) has shown dishonesty or lack of integrity; or (ii) used harassing tactics;
that the person or officer is or was suffering from a mental disorder; or
that the person or officer is undischarged bankrupt or has entered into a composition with his debtors.
The above-mentioned shall not limit the circumstances in which a person or an officer of a business entity may be considered by the licensing officer not to be a fit and proper person.
SPF Licensing Conditions
A copy of the Private Investigator licensing conditions can be found here.
You are required to obtain the following documents before applying for a Private Investigator license.
Scanned Copy of Passport (for Singapore Permanent Resident)
if applicable, WSQ certificate in ‘Perform Investigation Activities in Compliance with Legal Requirements (PI)’*
*You may apply for an exemption from the training requirement. Please click here to find out if you are eligible for exemption.
A non-refundable processing fee of $16 is required.
At least 21 working days from the receipt of the application, processing fee, and the necessary supporting documents (if required). Any incomplete or incorrect submission will be rejected. You will be notified of the outcome of the application by post. Alternatively, you can log in to GoBusiness Licensing to view your application status.
Renewal Of License
You should receive the notification for renewal about 2-3 months before the expiry of your license. Upon approval of the renewal application and payment of the prescribed fees, the Police Licensing and Regulatory Department will send the license by post to the licensee’s registered mailing address.
How To Apply
You will be directed to GoBusiness Licensing webpage which will require you to sign in using your SingPass. The process may take around 15-20 minutes to complete. Apply
Private Investigator ID Card
Under Section 20 of the Private Security Industry (Private Investigation and Security Agencies) Regulations 2009, all licensed Security Officers or Private Investigators must carry an ID card whilst on duty for identification purposes. The ID card does not confer any statutory powers on its holder. More information on the ID cards can be found here.
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