Private Detective Exam Information

Applicants must take and pass an examination covering Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Code, as well as investigative practices relevant to functioning as a private detective.

The exam is administered by the Department of Safety & Professional Services. The exam will be available from a home, work or public computer. To register for the exam, download, complete and submit the Application for Private Detective License (Form #469).

The passing score for this exam is 84%. After receipt and processing of a complete application, directions for accessing the exam will be e-mailed to you.

Exam results are good for one year.  You must be licensed within a year from the date you passed the exam or you will have to retake and pass the exam before you can be licensed.  You may take the exam as many times as you want.


The exam content is drawn from applicable state statutes and administrative code chapters specific to the profession. The purpose of the exam is to familiarize yourself with locating the statutes and administrative code that regulate the practice of the profession. State of Wisconsin Statutes and Administrative Code for the profession can be found under the Additional Resources section on this page.


If you fail the exam, you must retake the exam by downloading the Request to Reta​​ke Statutes and Rules or Ethics Examination (Form 2699)​ and submitting it ​along with a $75.00 retake fee to the Department. You will then be assigned another test.