SB 1018 - 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 engaged as a private investigator for at least five years. Board members will serve staggered terms of two 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. Consumer reporting agencies, attorneys, collection agencies, and insurers 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 $250,000, and proof of workers' compensation insurance.
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 show registration and good standing as a business for two years and $250,000 in business general liability insurance. The Board is given authority to review reciprocity applications. Grounds for denial of licensure are specified.
Persons hired by private investigators must apply for agency licenses separately. The act specifies standards for employees of agencies. The act sets continuing education requirements – 16 hours biennially for licensees and 8 hours for employees of agencies.
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 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) and SCS/SB 493 (2005).