Fiscal Problems Threaten Colorado Private Investigator Licensing Program

By Denver Private Investigator Blog

DENVER – The fee to obtain a private investigator’s license in Colorado will have to double again next year based on the current number of licenses that have been issued and the cost of operating the licensing program, the latest indication that the program will likely be abandoned unless obtaining a license becomes a requirement instead of an option.

State regulators say that of the 90 private investigators who had obtained a license last year, only 43 renewed this year. Another six private investigators obtained their first license this year.

That generated about $32,000 in revenues. With a project budget of about $80,000 for the fiscal year that began July 1, state regulators say the program is facing a $48,000 deficit.  The program is not supported by state revenues; licensing fees are its sole source of revenue.

The licensing program is voluntary; private investigators in Colorado can continue to operate in the state without obtaining one. That makes Colorado one of less than handful of states that don’t require private investigators to obtain licenses.

Colorado’s program began in 2012, but ran into financial trouble almost immediately. Backers had projected that about 250 private investigators would obtain licenses, and when only 90 did state regulators boosted the annual fee for a license from $320 to $644. That provided enough revenues to meet the program’s expenses during the last fiscal year, but less than half of the private investigators who had obtained their licenses in 2012 renewed them, putting the program in a deep financial hole this fiscal year.

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