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INDUSTRY TERMS & DEFINITIONS

If you have never used a private detective or security guard agency before, the following terms and definitions will help you to navigate our website and understand the various services that we offer.

Private Investigator – a highly trained and competent individual, having experience conducting investigations, who lawfully gather facts, evidence, and information in an objective, logical, methodical, hypothesis-driven manner, for private individuals, attorneys, business, or governmental agencies. The term “private investigator” is considered the more up-to-date way of describing a private detective.

Private Investigations – a fact-finding process of gathering and collecting facts and evidence in a lawful, objective, logical, and methodical manner.

Private Detective – a term used to describe a private investigator.

Private Eye – a term used to describe a private investigator.

Licensed Private Investigator – a private investigator that is licensed through the state government to conduct private investigations. (e.g. Maryland). Most states require investigators to be licensed.
Licensed Private Detective – a term used to describe a private detective that has been licensed through the state government to conduct investigations (e.g. Maryland).

Licensed Private Eye – a term used to describe a private eye that has been licensed through the state government (e.g. Maryland).

Private Detective Agency – a security agency that provides private investigator services to its clientele and has been licensed to do so through the state government.

Private Investigations Agency – a term used interchangeably with a private detective agency.

Maryland Private Detective Agency – a Maryland-based and licensed detective agency licensed to operate in the state and offer private investigator services to the public.

Maryland Private Investigations Agency – a term used interchangeably with Maryland detective agency. The term “private investigator” is considered the more up-to-date way of describing a private detective.

Maryland Private Detective – a private detective (private investigator) licensed through the Maryland State Police to conduct investigations for private individuals.

Maryland Private Investigator – an investigator licensed to conduct private investigations in the State of Maryland and has compiled with Title 13 of the Maryland Code.

Maryland Private Investigations – investigations conducted by a private investigations agency who is licensed in the State of Maryland and has compiled with Title 13 of the Maryland Code.

Maryland Detective – a Maryland detective conducts investigations in the State of Maryland. This term can be used to describe a private investigator, a police detective, or a retail store detective.

Maryland Investigations – any investigations that take place in the State of Maryland including those conducted by private investigators, police detectives, police officers, or security officers.

Maryland Private Eye – a term used to describe a Maryland private investigator.

Security – the protection of life, information, and property.

Security Guard – an individual employed and licensed by a security guard agency to protect life, information, and property.

Security Officer – another term for security guard.

Uniformed Security – the protection of assets and property by uniformed security personal.

Uniformed Security Guard – an individual that performs his/her duties in a designated uniform issued by the employing agency.

Uniformed Security Officer – another term used to describe a uniformed security guard.

Security Guard Agency – an agency that offers security guard services directly to the public.

Private Security Agency – an agency that employs security officers to protect the life and property of private individuals.

Licensed Security Guard – a security guard that is licensed through a state government (e.g. Maryland) to perform security guard duties while being employed by a security guard agency.

Licensed Security Agency – a security guard agency licensed by the state government (e.g. Maryland) to perform security guard duties.

Licensed Private Security Agency – a security guard agency licensed by the state government (e.g. Maryland) to perform security guard duties for private individuals or businesses.

Maryland Security – security activities that are performed and regulated in the State of Maryland.

Maryland Security Guard – a security guard employed and licensed in the State of Maryland by a licensed security guard agency that has complied with Title 19 of the Maryland Code.

Maryland Uniformed Security Guard – a uniformed security guard, licensed in the State of Maryland and employed by a licensed security guard agency.

Maryland Security Officer – another term used to describe a Maryland security guard.

Armed Security – a security guard or officer employed by a security guard agency and that has a valid Permit to Carry a Handgun license and provides armed security services.

Unarmed Security – security services offered by a licensed security guard company that do not involve the use of firearms.

Maryland Armed Security – security services provided security guard agencies licensed in the State of Maryland that involve the use of firearms.

Maryland Unarmed Security – security services provided by security guard agencies that do not require the use of a firearm.

Personal Security – non-uniformed security services offered to individuals that may be armed or unarmed depending on the request.

TITLE 13. PRIVATE DETECTIVES

Md. BUSINESS OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS Code Ann. § 13-101
BUSINESS OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS
TITLE 13. PRIVATE DETECTIVES
SUBTITLE 1. DEFINITIONS; GENERAL PROVISIONS
Md. BUSINESS OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS Code Ann. § 13-101 (2013)

§ 13-101. Definitions
(a) In general. — In this title the following words have the meanings indicated.
(b) Central Repository. — “Central Repository” means the Criminal Justice Information System Central
Repository of the Department of Public Safety and Correctional Services.
(c) Certification card. — “Certification card” means a card issued by the Secretary under § 13-406 of this
title to an individual certified as a private detective.
(d) Firm. — “Firm” means a partnership or corporation.
(e) Firm member. — “Firm member” means a partner of a partnership or an officer or director of a
corporation.
(f) License. — “License” means, unless the context requires otherwise, a license issued by the Secretary
to conduct a business to provide private detective services.
(g) Licensed private detective agency. — “Licensed private detective agency” means, unless the context
requires otherwise, a person who is licensed by the Secretary to conduct a business that provides
private detective services.
(h) Private detective. — “Private detective” means an individual who personally provides private
detective services.
(i) Private detective agency. — “Private detective agency” means a person who conducts a business that
provides private detective services.
(j) Provide private detective services. —
(1) “Provide private detective services” means to provide, for compensation, the service of:
(i) conducting an investigation that concerns:
1. a crime or wrong committed, assumed to have been committed, or threatened to be committed; 2. the identity, habits, conduct, movement, location, affiliations, associations, transactions,
reputation, or character of any person;
3. the credibility of a witness or of any other individual;
4. the location of a missing individual;
5. the location or recovery of lost or stolen property;
6. the origin or cause of or responsibility for:
A. a fire;
B. an accident;
C. any damage to or loss of property; or
D. an injury to an individual;
7. the affiliation, connection, or relation of any person with an organization or other person; or
8. the activities, conduct, efficiency, loyalty, or honesty of any employee, agent, contractor, or
subcontractor;
(ii) securing evidence for use before any investigating committee, board of award, or board of
arbitration or for use in the trial of any civil or criminal cause;
(iii) nonuniformed personal protection; or
(iv) conducting an investigation to locate or apprehend a fugitive from justice, unless the person:
1. conducting the investigation is a property bail bondsman or licensed by the Insurance
Commissioner of the State or a similar licensing body of another state as a bail bondsman;
2. is an employee of a property bail bondsman or a licensed bail bondsman for the purpose of
locating or apprehending fugitives from justice; or
3. is authorized as an agent by a property bail bondsman or licensed bail bondsman in advance of
the apprehension of a fugitive from justice.
(2) “Provide private detective services” does not include:
(i) performing any activity of a person who is engaged exclusively in the business of making
investigations and reports that relate to the financial standing, creditworthiness, or financial
responsibility of any person; (ii) performing any activity of a person who is engaged exclusively in the business of making a report
for an insurance or credit purpose, except if the making of the report involves an investigation or
surveillance of a sort normally performed by a person who otherwise is subject to this title;
(iii) monitoring an electronically controlled burglar or fire alarm system with a central unit; or
(iv) making a marketing survey.
(k) Representative member. — “Representative member” means a firm member who is appointed under
§ 13-302(b) of this title to act on behalf of the firm.
(l) Secretary. — “Secretary” means the Secretary of State Police

TITLE 19. SECURITY GUARD CERTIFICATION

BUSINESS OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS
TITLE 19. SECURITY GUARD AGENCIES AND SECURITY GUARD CERTIFICATION
SUBTITLE 4. CERTIFICATION OF SECURITY GUARDS
Md. BUSINESS OCCUPATIONS AND PROFESSIONS Code Ann. § 19-401 (2013)

§ 19-401. Certification
(a) Certification generally required. — Except as provided under subsection (b) of this section, a
licensed security guard agency may provide an individual for hire as a security guard only if the
individual is certified by the Secretary as a security guard.
(b) Exceptions. — A licensed security guard agency may provide an uncertified individual for hire as a
security guard if:
(1) the security guard agency has submitted to the Secretary the application of the individual for
certification as a security guard, fingerprint cards, and records fee as required under § 19-402(b) of this
subtitle; and
(2) the Secretary has not disapproved the application; or
(3) the individual has obtained and currently possesses certification by the Maryland Police and
Corrections Training Commission as a police officer.
HISTORY: 1996, ch. 602, § 2

MSP LICENSE APPLICATIONS

The Maryland State Police Licensing Division administers the provisions of the Annotated Code of Maryland and COMAR related to: the licensing and registration of firearms; handgun permits; security guards; private detectives; special police and agencies and other licensing functions as defined by statute or regulation.

Maryland State Police
1111 Reisterstown Road
Pikesville, MD 21208
ATTN: Handgun Licensing Div.
​410.653.4500

Use the below link to complete your HANDGUN PERMIT APPLICATION:

https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/CriminalInvestigationBureau/LicensingDivision/Firearms/WearandCarryPermit.aspx

Use the below link to complete your PRIVATE DETECTIVE APPLICATION:

https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/CriminalInvestigationBureau/LicensingDivision/ProfessionalLicenses/PrivateDetective.aspx

Use the below link to complete your SECURITY GUARD APPLICATION:

https://mdsp.maryland.gov/Organization/Pages/CriminalInvestigationBureau/LicensingDivision/ProfessionalLicenses/SecurityGuard.aspx