Colorado Private Investigator Licensing-Update

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Many of you might have heard the news that the Governor of Colorado vetoed the private investigator licensing bill (HB20-1207) on Saturday, July 11, 2020. There has been some confusion as to what this actually means for private investigators operating in Colorado, so we will try to clarify.

The current Colorado private investigator licensing program went into effect on June 1, 2015 and as with every licensing program, was given a sunset date. That is a date when legislators look at the program to see if it is working and worth continuing. The sunset date attached to that bill (which is the current law) was September 1, 2020. Therefore, the new bill (HB20-1207) was drafted in 2020 for the legislators to ask to continue the program past the sunset date and CPI supported this bill and the continuation of licensing. Although this bill passed the House of Representatives and the Senate with over 75% approval on both floors, the Governor chose to veto this “extension of the law.” That is enough support (66% is needed) in both chambers to over ride a veto however, the legislative session had already ended and the veto becomes the final word on HB20-1207. Keep in mind this is new legislation and the only way it would affect the CURRENT law would be to extend the law for another five years, if this bill had passed.

The original law which went effect on June 1, 2015 is still in effect, past the stated sunset date. Though DORA (Colorado’s regulating body) never notified any of the over 1000 Colorado license investigators of the veto or how this would affect our licenses, CPI has learned the following. DORA posted an FAQ on their web site which indicates that the current PI licenses (set to expire on May 31, 2021) are still in effect and all licensing laws are being enforced during their “year long wind up” period. According to the FAQ the licensing law may even stay in effect a short time after that.

Bottom line is the Colorado PI licensing law is still in effect until at least May 31, 2021 and DORA will continue to take complaints, applications for new licenses and continue to enforce all laws regarding this program, including complaints for unlicensed activity.

This licensing law has been heavily geared toward protecting YOU, the consumer, who is considering hiring a private investigator in Colorado. This gave consumers a place (DORA) to check that investigator is properly licensed, which means that they have gone through a background check, they carry a bond and it also gives the consumer a place to file a complaint, when necessary. After May 31, 2021 (or shortly thereafter according to DORA) none of these protections will be in place for the consumer. When hiring a private investigator, be sure to know they are legitimate and those being members of state, national or world associations, are often times an indicator of a trustworthy investigator. CPI is a member of the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado (PPIAC), the National Council of Investigation and Security Services (NCISS) and a past member of the World Association of Detectives (WAD).