Buying Private Investigator Equipment
Professional PI Badges & Cards

Private detectives & investigators must have a badge & business card as part of their private investigator equipment arsenal.

Learn where to buy them here

Especially when it comes to surveillance needs, there is a vast array of private investigator tools & equipment available.

When you're on the job, tracking down a missing person or looking for evidence of infidelity, certain pieces of spy equipment can make the difference between success and failure.

What are the kinds of private investigator equipment we're talking about here?

  • Small cameras
  • Directional microphones
  • Dictation recorders
  • Bug Detectors

To hear what people are saying and see what they are doing, you can't rely on just your own two eyes--you need the help from some serious spy equipment.

Private Investigator Equipment
Badge and License

Two of the best pieces of equipment you will ever need as a private investigator are your badge and your license.

In order to get people to talk to you, you'll need much more than a directional mic or tape recorder, you'll need authority--the kind of authority that comes with a badge.

Most of the time, you'll need to get your license before you can even work as a private investigator.

There are certain regions and organizations that don't require you to have one, but you'll be much better off if you do. This is a piece of equipment you won't physically use, but will still make a difference.

When people are looking to hire a private investigator, they'll naturally want to talk to people who are the most qualified, with the best training, and impressive credentials.

To this end, it's highly recommended that you get your license whether or not you live in a state that requires it.

Your private investigator badge is another incredibly useful tool. Showing it to potential witnesses or informants is a great way to prove to them that you mean business.

You can acquire your badge from any number of locations, but it must be valid for you to show it, otherwise you'll be breaking the law yourself!

Detective Equipment: Some Necessary Items

Detective, investigator, spy, and bounty hunter equipment is necessary to get the job done right.

At times, though, it can be very expensive. If you're just starting out in the business, and you don't have enough money to buy every piece of private investigator equipment out there (and who really does?), then you need to focus on what's most important.

Here's a look at a handful of equipment pieces that you want to make sure you get right away. You can do without some of the fancy stuff for now, but these items are priceless:

Audio/Visual Recording Device

One of the most important things you'll do in the field is surveillance. This requires you to be able to keep audio and visual records of what you watch.

You can find such devices in any number of forms, from the covert (hidden device in fountain pen or wristwatch) to the practical (digital voice recorders, still cameras, video cameras, etc.).

Private Investigator Software

So much of what private investigators do is on the computer, either tracking down people or tracing their online activities. There are several software programs that are worth your while to check out, including: Email Spy, Realtime-Spy, and TipSoft.


When you're in the field, you'll have to be extra careful of where you are at all times. If you're on a stakeout, this becomes even more important. By using a GPS device, either on your phone or in your car, you can be sure that the roads will work for you instead of against you.

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