• How long have you been licensed? (Note, typically the lower the license # the longer the private investigator has held the license).

  • Have you ever worked this kind of investigation before? (Ask for examples. Listen to see if the investigator divulges anything confidential. Is so, don’t work with a P.I. who reveals confidential information.)

  • What kind of camera(s) do you use? (Any private investigator who specializes in surveillance should be able to answer this question immediately.)

  • Will you provide me with direct access to the surveillance investigators working the case? (Client contact with field investigators improves the free flow of information and can make the difference in a successful case. Ask for the cell phone # of the surveillance investigator.)

  • When does your billing began? Am I charged for travel time to and from the surveillance location? Do you charge for mileage? (There should be no “surprises” when it comes to what you are being charged by the private investigator.)

  • Does your private investigator perform “on site” court research or just use 3rd party databases when conducting background investigations?

  • What is your hourly rate? Do you have a 4 hour minimum when working surveillance assignments?

  • Do I need to sign a contract or will you provide me with a “letter of engagement” outlining exactly what the private investigator agrees to do and at what hourly rate? (The Private Investigator should offer you something in writing before beginning the assignment.)

  • Will you provide me with a copy of your Private Investigator License and your Liability Insurance Certificate? (At least ask to see a copy of the license and then verify it with the State Department of Consumer Affairs at the link below.)

  • Do you guarantee results? (A Private Investigator should never guarantee anything to a client that is not within his or her control.)

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