Private Investigation and Background Checks Cost, Rates and Fees
Private investigation and background checks cost depends on the rate, amount of hours worked and expenses.
Snelling Private Investigators practice transparency in our pricing and billing. Basic hourly rates are $70 to $80 per investigator plus expenses. We provide time and expense estimates in writing – no surprises.
Basic Private Investigation Rates
Here are the basic investigation fees; however, we customize investigation. Call for a detailed estimate.
$80 per hour - 4 hours minimum, including travel to and from the case and reporting, plus mileage and other expenses*. 2nd investigator @ $70 per hour.
Note: Challenging and complex surveillance investigations often take 1 to 2 days or more.
$80 per hour - 2 hours minimum charge, including to and from the case and reporting if applicable, plus mileage and other expenses. Any additional hours at $80 and other expenses*
$240 Custom Background Check - 3-hour minimum charge at $80 per hour, plus free $10 data expense. Any additional hours at $80 per hour and expenses*.
$160 National Criminal History Check - 2-hour minimum charge at $80 per hr., plus free $15 data expenses (based on verified 3-states criminal check and all-state general database). Any additional hours at $80 per hr. and other expenses*.
$80 Oregon or Washington Criminal History Check - 1-hour minimum charge, plus $10 free data expenses. Any additional hours at $80 and other expenses (like court records)*.
$160 flat fee with legitimate purpose (First 2 hours at $80 per hr. and free $10 data fees)
$200 flat fee with permission (First 2.5 hours at $80 per hr. and free $10 data fees). Any additional hours at $80 per hr. and expenses*.
Note: See our People Search page for locate people for an explanation about legitimate purposes and permission purposes.
Mileage $ .58 per mile (the IRS rate). Call for reduced mileage cost and travel rates and expenses.
Data, court and other records, case expenses vary
* any additional investigation hours and expenses must be authorized and an additional retainer is required.
Frequent Request Asked Questions (FAQ)
Will you maintain my confidentiality?
Yes. We protect your confidentiality with a vengeance. Also, we are bound by law in Oregon, unless you give us permission to do otherwise, or the law requires otherwise.
Do you have offer free consultations?
Yes. We offer free phone consultations. Free in-person consultations in Portland and Vancouver depends on the case. You must have a free phone consultation first. Appointments are required.
How much retainer do you need?
We will provide time and expense estimates in writing. No surprises. The appropriate retainer for services is required in advance. If the investigation is continuing, additional hours and expenses must be authorized and an additional retainer is required.
How do I pay you and do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We do not take credit card payments by telephone, however we offer Paypal payment by Visa, Mastercharge, American Express and Discover cards. We also accept payment by wire and courier delivery and standard mail.
When I assign an investigation, what am I charged for?
The cost of private investigation include time, such as travel, investigation and verbal and/or written reporting time, plus expenses. Some investigative products are billed under a flat private investigation rate (with reporting time is on the clock).
What if I don't need a written contract?
All investigation work must to be authorized in writing before we will start a case, even if you've sent us a retainer.
Can I opt out of a formal written report?
Yes. Clients can opt out of a formal written report, however we maintain detailed notes in those cases, and report by telephone and/or email. Some clients want a simple report, and some want detailed reports for legal purposes. Clients are entitled to an oral or written report by law if the services and report are prepaid for.
Do you guarantee results?
No. Given unknown variables inherent to investigation, no private investigator can guarantee "results." With accurate information supplied by you, and for cases worked at our recommendations, we guarantee the most advanced methods and the best results.
Do you carry professional liability insurance?
We carry $1,000,000/$5,000,000 in liability and errors and omissions insurance, but have never needed to defend ourselves legally. We also carry subcontractor liability and commercial and non-owned auto coverage.
Oregon and Washington private investigator laws only require a $5000 and $10,000 surety bond for private investigators respectively. It is a RED FLAG if a private investigator don't have liability and errors and omissions insurance It is your liability too.
Do you use subcontractors?
We use our own expert licensed private investigators. In only exceptions, we use our own screened insured subcontractors in appropriate circumstances.
Using a subcontractor private investigator is a RED FLAG (include national private investigators and/or local private investigators). Don't assume that a firm that their "team" or "associates" are employees. Again, it is your liability too.
How do I know if what I want you to do is legal?
It is our job to know what is legal or not in private sector investigation. Also, while we keep up on changing laws and ethics concerns, we defer to appropriate legal experts in "gray" areas.