I am considering getting into the drone search and rescue industry in the southern California area. Specifically, using thermal drones to look for lost dogs. I stumbled upon a website https://www.missinganimalresponse.com/mar-courses/ that stated in part

If you plan to offer fee-based services, be aware that a few states (in the USA) have laws that say you must have a private investigator’s license in order to search for lost or stolen pets as a business.

I have two questions regarding this, the second is dependent on the answer of the first, so it may not be relevant:

Does California have this requirement and, if so, what is the reference?

If California does have this requirement AND I only accept donations (as opposed to fixed-fee based), does the PI License requirement still apply?

  • $\begingroup$ Welcome to D&MA:SE. I wonder if you might have better luck getting answers to this question on Law:SE? $\endgroup$ Commented Jun 17 at 23:48
  • $\begingroup$ That’s a good idea, thanks. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan
    Commented Jun 19 at 12:52


Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.