Private Investigation / Private Security / Bail Enforcement

This section regulates:

Licensing of private investigative, private security and bail enforcement agencies and their employees doing business in Iowa. With certain exceptions, firms and individuals engaging in bail enforcement, or providing private investigative or security services in Iowa are required to be licensed by the Iowa Department of Public Safety.  The statutory requirements are set out in Iowa Code Chapter 80A.  Administrative rules of the Department of Public Safety regulate the operation of private investigative and security businesses in Iowa. Administrative Rules,  661, Chapter 121.

Do you want to work for an agency that is already licensed?

Contact the licensed agency directly for employment.

Do you want to obtain a private investigation, private security, bail enforcement license and operate your own agency?
  • Individuals wishing to open a private investigation, private security, bail enforcement agency must create an account in order to begin the application process. Once the application is completed and necessary documentation gathered, the materials along with payment are electronically submitted for processing.
  • Fingerprint cards should be mailed to the address at the bottom of this page.
Checklist for Application

Checklist for Application

Non-Criminal Justice Applicant's Rights

Non-Criminal Justice Applicant's Rights

Frequently Asked Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Contact Us

Further information about the licensure of private investigative and security businesses in Iowa can be obtained by contacting the Program Services Bureau of the Department in one of the following ways:

U.S. Mail:

Iowa Department of Public Safety
Private Investigation/Private Security/Bail Enforcement Licensing
Program Services Bureau
215 E 7th St 4th Floor
Des Moines IA 50319-0045






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