Do Computer Forensic Examiners need a PI license in Florida?
Hello group, Does anyone have current information regarding the legal necessity for a PI license in Florida? From what I have read, there doesn't seem to be specific language within the Statute's for Florida. In the past, no one has brought this up to me and I have done many forensic cases in Florida. I now have a client who only wants someone with a PI license in Florida. I know companies can obtain a PI license in other states which acts as an umbrella for employees. Any advice or guidance would be appreciated. Thanks - Richy
About 8-10 years ago there was a concerted effort by PI organizations in various states to push the idea that Forensic Investigation fell under the purview of Private Investigation. It was an attempt to own more of the pie. There was brief angst around concepts like, "Does Geek Squad now need to be Licensed/Registered PI's?"
The whole concept pretty universally fell apart everywhere at the first attempt to define forensic standards and licensing necessary to be part of the PI organization. There are still a lot of PI companies that push the concept in their marketing, but I'm not aware of that original nonsense idea surviving law anywhere.
That said, it seems reason and logic are currently alien concepts in Florida so I have no idea.
I actually did the necessary training to become a registered PI in my then state just for fun. I learned some interesting things but nothing related to digital forensics.
@watcher Hi, thanks for the response. That's kind of what I have been seeing and hearing as well. I haven't been asked in over 10 years of doing Computer Forensics within Florida if I have a PI license. We have a client that is adamant about it. Like you, I am going to become registered. I am not sure if I need to take a course first or just do the exam prep. There is a 40 hr. CC intern course that, but that seems like overkill to get licensed. Any thoughts on that?
@scales954 Every state seems to be different, I'm not familiar with Florida.
Where I was, people were registered and companies were licensed. Even after becoming a "Registered Private Investigator" you still could only work as a PI under a "Licensed Company" or several exceptions such as for an attorney. The training required a minimum number of hours and had to be administered and tested by a "Licensed Trainer" so do it yourself exam was not possible, plus it's a very self protecting bureaucratic organization that required vetted shepherding to jump through all the hoops.
Some states even require previous LEO work making it all but impossible, while a very few states don't require any licensing at all.
If you do get a PI Registeration, you'll also be looking at required annual training to maintain it which will also cost money.
I think it's only a marketing value in limited circumstances.
Thanks for the additional input. I reached out to the Tallahassee Regional Office and based on what they said, I can obtain the C license with my current forensic experience.
@scales954 can you reach out to me offline about this? I’m looking to try the same thing that you seem to have been approved to do. I’d like to hear the steps