SB 493 - This act creates the Board of Private Investigator Examiners within the Division of Professional Registration in the Department of Economic Development. The Board will consist of five members appointed by the Governor with the advice and consent of the Senate. Each member must be a U.S. citizen, Missouri resident, at least 30 years old, and actively engages as a private investigator for at least five years. Board members will serve staggered terms of four years. The Board of Private Investigator Examiners Fund is also created.
The act makes it unlawful for persons to engage in the private investigator business unless licensed. Employees of not-for-profit organizations who make and process requested for healthcare providers and facilities for employee background screening are exempted from licensure. Application requirements are specified. Licensees must be at least 21, a U.S. citizen, and comply with qualifications set by the Board. Persons must also provide proof of liability insurance of at least $1 million, proof of workers' compensation insurance within 30 days of licensure.
The Board shall ensure applicants complete a course of training conducted by a certified trainer; pass a written examination; and submit to an oral interview with the Board. Complete background checks will be conducted on all applicants. The act grandfathers current private investigators and a license will be issued to such persons who apply within 180 days if the applicant shows registration and good standing as a business and $250,000 in business general liability insurance. The Board is given authority to review reciprocity applications.
Grounds for denial of licensure are specified. The Board shall set the fees for licensure. Licenses must be posted in a conspicuous place in the principal place of business of the licensee. Pocket cards will also be issued to licensees. Licenses shall expire two years after issuance and provisions for renewal are provided.
Licensees may divulge to the Board, law enforcement officers, or a prosecuting attorney information acquired as to any criminal offense. Licensees are prohibited from: knowingly making a false report; causing a report to be submitted that the licensee has not exercised due diligence in ascertaining the facts; giving the impression that the licensee is connected with the federal or state government or any political subdivision; appearing as an assignee in any proceeding; manufacturing false evidence; or creating a video of any person in their home without that person's permission.
Restrictions on record keeping and advertising are specified. License disciplinary procedures are specified. The Board is given rulemaking authority. The Department of Public Safety shall establish guidelines to permit private investigators to carry concealed firearms which shall not be greater that the POST standards.
The Board shall certify qualified trainers of private investigators. Persons who knowingly falsify fingerprints or photographs required to be submitted is a Class D felony. Violation of other provisions is a Class A misdemeanor unless it is a second or subsequent violation in which case it is a Class D felony.
Provisions for licensure of current law enforcement officers and limitations one their conduct are specified.
This act is similar to SB 750 (2004).