Code Section Group

Business and Professions Code - BPC

DIVISION 3. PROFESSIONS AND VOCATIONS GENERALLY [5000 - 9998.11]

  ( Heading of Division 3 added by Stats. 1939, Ch. 30. )

CHAPTER 11.3. Private Investigators [7512 - 7573.5]

  ( Chapter 11.3 added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1285, Sec. 4. )

ARTICLE 4. Application of Chapter [7540 - 7542.1]
  ( Article 4 added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1285, Sec. 4. )

7540.
  

For purposes of this article, “licensee” means a licensed private investigator.

(Added by Stats. 1994, Ch. 1285, Sec. 4. Effective January 1, 1995.)

7541.
  

(a) Except as otherwise provided by this section, an applicant, or his or her manager, for a license as a private investigator shall have had at least three years’ experience in investigation work. One year’s experience shall consist of not less than 2,000 hours of actual compensated work performed by each applicant preceding the filing of an application.

(1) An applicant who holds a law degree or bachelor’s degree in police science, criminal justice, criminal law, or the equivalent thereof from an accredited college shall be credited with 2,000 hours of experience in investigation work.

(2) An applicant who holds an associate degree in police science, criminal justice, criminal law, or the equivalent thereof from an accredited college shall be credited with 1,000 hours of experience in investigation work.

(3) The total amount of time credited to an applicant for degrees described in this subdivision shall not exceed 2,000 hours of experience in investigation work.

(b) An applicant shall substantiate the claimed years of qualifying experience and the exact details as to the character and nature thereof by written certifications from the employer or qualified manager, subject to independent verification by the director as he or she may determine.

(1) Notwithstanding any other law, only an employer, qualified manager, or his or her designated agent may certify experience for purposes of this section.

(2) For purposes of this section, the term “employer” shall mean only those persons, corporations, partnerships, proprietorships, or other associations which, in the employ of the designated individual, regularly and routinely withheld income taxes and other payroll deductions for direct forwarding to governmental taxing authorities.

(3) For the purposes of this section, the term “qualified manager” shall mean only a manager who has qualified pursuant to Section 7536, who has directly overseen the work and experience of the applicant, and is under an employment or contractual arrangement to provide primary supervision of the applicant.

(c) An employer who is a licensee or qualified manager shall respond in writing within 30 days to an applicant’s written request for certifications of the applicant’s work experience as an employee and either provide the certifications or the reasons for denial. If the applicant notifies the director in writing, under penalty of perjury, that the applicant is unable to obtain the required written response from a licensee or qualified manager, or provides the licensee’s or qualified manager’s written denial and states, under penalty of perjury, that the licensee’s or qualified manager’s reasons for denial are invalid or insufficient and the director concurs, the director may require the licensee or qualified manager to provide the bureau with all relevant employment records maintained pursuant to Section 7531.5 regarding the applicant for evaluation in substantiating the applicant’s employment experience.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 569, Sec. 31. (SB 559) Effective January 1, 2018.)

7541.1.
  

(a) Notwithstanding any other law, experience for purposes of taking the examination for licensure as a private investigator shall be limited to those activities actually performed in connection with investigations, as defined in Section 7521, and only if those activities are performed by persons who are employed or managed in the following capacities:

(1) Sworn law enforcement officers possessing powers of arrest and employed by agencies in the federal, state, or local government.

(2) Military police of the Armed Forces of the United States or the National Guard.

(3) An insurance adjuster or their employees subject to Chapter 1 (commencing with Section 14000) of Division 5 of the Insurance Code.

(4) Persons employed by a private investigator who are duly licensed in accordance with this chapter, or managed by a qualified manager in accordance with Section 7536.

(5) Persons employed by repossessors duly licensed in accordance with Chapter 11 (commencing with Section 7500), only to the extent that those persons are routinely and regularly engaged in the location of debtors or the location of personal property utilizing methods commonly known as “skip tracing.” For purposes of this section, only that experience acquired in that skip tracing shall be credited toward qualification to take the examination.

(6) Persons duly trained and certified as an arson investigator and employed by a public agency engaged in fire suppression.

(7) Persons trained as investigators and employed by a public defender to conduct investigations.

(8) (A) Persons trained as investigative reporters and employed by a media source, as defined in Section 1070 of the Evidence Code, whose investigative journalism experience is comprised of conducting primary investigations and producing investigative projects.

(B) For purposes of this paragraph “primary investigation” means original and in-depth research and analysis involving multiple sources, including, but not limited to, public records, databases, archives, published and unpublished documents, witnesses, informers, whistleblowers, public officials, and experts, to produce investigative projects.

(b) The following activities shall not be deemed to constitute acts of investigation for purposes of experience toward licensure:

(1) The serving of legal process or other documents.

(2) Activities relating to the search for heirs or similar searches which involve only a search of public records or other reference sources in the public domain.

(3) The transportation or custodial attendance of persons in the physical custody of a law enforcement agency.

(4) The provision of bailiff or other security services to a court of law.

(5) The collection or attempted collection of debts by telephone or written solicitation after the debtor has been located.

(6) The repossession or attempted repossession of personal property after that property has been located and identified.

(c) Where the activities of employment of an applicant include those which qualify as bona fide experience as stated in this section as well as those which do not qualify, the director may, by delegation to the bureau, determine and apportion that percentage of experience for which any applicant is entitled to credit.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 569, Sec. 32. (SB 559) Effective January 1, 2018.)

7541.2.
  

The bureau shall consider requiring, and may require, an applicant for licensure to submit proof of satisfactory completion of a course in professional ethics. If the bureau requires an applicant to submit proof of satisfactory completion of a course in professional ethics the bureau may specify which courses and course providers satisfy the requirement.

(Added by Stats. 2001, Ch. 309, Sec. 3. Effective January 1, 2002.)

7542.
  

(a) A licensee and qualified manager who in the course of his or her employment or business carries a deadly weapon shall complete a course of training in the exercise of the powers to arrest as specified in Section 7583.7 and a course of training in the carrying and use of firearms as specified in Article 4 (commencing with Section 7583) of Chapter 11.5. A licensee or qualified manager shall not carry or use a firearm unless he or she has met the requirements of Sections 7583.23, 7583.24, and 7583.28 and has in his or her possession a valid firearms qualification card. A licensee or qualified manager who possesses a valid firearms qualification card shall comply with, and be subject to, Sections 7583.25, 7583.26, 7583.27, 7583.30, 7583.31, 7583.32, and 7583.37. A licensee or qualified manager who possesses a valid firearms qualification card may carry a firearm capable of being concealed upon the person in a concealed manner if he or she complies with applicable provisions set forth in Chapter 4 (commencing with Section 26150) of Division 5 of Title 4 of Part 6 of the Penal Code.

(b) If a firearms qualification card is denied, the denial shall be in writing and shall describe the basis for the denial. The denial shall inform the applicant that if he or she desires a review by the Private Investigator Disciplinary Review Committee to contest the denial, the review shall be requested of the director within 30 days following the issuance of the denial. A review or hearing shall be held pursuant to Section 7519.3. However, no review or hearing shall be granted to an individual who is otherwise prohibited by law from carrying a firearm.

(c) (1) If a firearms qualification card is denied on the basis of the results of an assessment pursuant to Section 7583.47, the denial shall be in writing and shall describe the basis for the denial. The denial shall inform the applicant that if he or she desires to contest the denial, the applicant shall request a hearing within 30 days of the issuance of the denial.

(2) Appeals of denials pursuant to this subdivision shall be in accordance with Chapter 5 (commencing with Section 11500) of Part 1 of Division 3 of Title 2 of the Government Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2017, Ch. 561, Sec. 4. (AB 1516) Effective January 1, 2018.)

7542.1.
  

Every licensee and any person employed and compensated by a licensee who in the course of that employment or business carries tear gas or any other nonlethal chemical agent shall complete the required course pursuant to Section 22835 of the Penal Code.

(Amended by Stats. 2010, Ch. 178, Sec. 1. (SB 1115) Effective January 1, 2011. Operative January 1, 2012, by Sec. 107 of Ch. 178.)

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