Colorado’s private investigator license law was passed in 2014 and took effect in 2015. It is subject to a sunset review as are all other license programs issued by the state. A sunset provision repeals all or part of a law after a specific date, unless the legislature extends it. Colorado’s PI law recently underwent a sunset study by Colorado’s Department of Regulatory Agencies (DORA) and would be scheduled to repeal in September 2020. When Colorado reinstated PI licensing in 2015, there were only 5 states remaining with no state PI licensing requirements.
After conducting a nearly year-long study of the PI licensing program, on October 15, 2019 DORA issued a recommendation to sunset the PI license law. In their report, DORA cites the public is not protected from clear, understandable harm through licensure. DORA also cited virtually non-existent disciplinary actions against licensed individuals. DORA came to this conclusion based on their data, which has been compiled since 2015 and by contacting and obtaining input from several agencies, officials, and associations including the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado.
What does this mean for Colorado’s PI licensing law moving forward? PPIAC remains committed to keeping PI licensing program in place. For this to happen, a bill will need to be introduced in the 2020 legislative session. DORA, who recommended to sunset the program, will not work on behalf of the profession to recommend a licensing bill in the 2020 session. PPIAC will once again have to put forth this effort.
PPIAC has been at work for about a year to keep PI licensing. This work began by reaching out to DORA soon after their sunset study began, continued with obtaining a lobbyist with the specific goal of getting a licensing bill passed in 2020, and continues with several meetings taken place and scheduled with potential bill sponsors.
Since October 15th, many investigative professionals have expressed concerns of PI licensing being repealed. Consumers, the general public and private investigators across the country have provided PPIAC with specific examples of consumer harm and nefarious behavior from both licensed as well as unlicensed private investigators operating in Colorado. The initial feedback and examples of harm are greatly appreciated and will be used. PPIAC still needs your help! If you are interested in assisting PPIAC to keep licensing in place, contact the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado at https://ppiac.org/contact-us .