Frequently Asked Questions

Tips for Hiring a P.I.

Get Started



San Francisco Bay Area   |   Silicon Valley   |   Los Angeles   |   Orange County   |   Inland Empire   |   San Diego   |   Southern California   |   Beyond
Bear Witness Private Investigation Firm  *  Private Investigators  *  Private Detectives  *  Bear Witness Private Detective Agency

Copyright © Bear Witness 1996 - 2020.  All rights reserved.  |  Sitemap

TIP #1:  Insider Tips & Pitfalls | Article by Bear Witness: How to Hire a Private Investigator

Before you hire any Private Investigator, make sure they are licensed and have actual experience.  Use the free online resource we provide to weed out the dishonest ones. 

Start by checking to see if the Private Investigator / Private Detective is State Licensed to legally perform investigations in your desired State.  In California (for example), if they are not licensed, it is illegal for them to work for you.

In California, you can verify all State issued Private Investigator Licenses on the Department of Consumer Affairs website.  This simple check will tell you if the company holds a valid private investigator's license.  And it will also, just as importantly, reveal exactly when that P.I. license was issued.     

Beware of licensed private investigators who exaggerate (or blatantly lie about) their levels of experience on their websites or advertisements.  They do this simply to boost their credibility in the hopes of gaining your business.

Let's face it; competition is fierce in California.  Many pray these little “white lies” go unnoticed.  Some boldly claim or advertise that they have been a licensed private investigator for 5, 10, 15, or 20+ years....or whatever sounds good to them at the time.  But, when you check them out (directly from the governmental agency that issues P.I. Licenses in California), you may find their actual experience as a licensed private investigator to be quite minimal. 

Verify their credentials (using the provided link below) and you will not be fooled by those deceitful and unsavory practices designed to put money in their pockets by tricking you.

You already have a problem and you seek professional help.  Therefore, experience and honesty should be a top priority for you!  Do yourself a favor and check them out before you hire.  It's quick, really simple, and free to use. 

If you encounter any problems using the B.S.I.S. (Bureau of Security and Investigative Services) site below, just give us a call anytime and we'll walk you through it.  Once you visit on the site linked below, simply input either the private investigation company name or their P.I. License number to get the basic results.  Click on those results to view all licensee information including license status, issue date, expiration date, owners, & any disciplinary actions, if present.

CLICK HERE to verify a Private Investigator license in the State of California.


To summarize Tip #1, always remember, if a private investigator is trying to deceive you from the start, just how do you think they will treat you later?  If they cannot tell you the simple truth about how long they have been a licensed Private Investigator, then walk away with a smile on your face and be thankful you did not hire them. 

Click to continue to Tip 2.