E.L. and Megan,
Sadly, the state of Montana is not the only one without an active PI association. As of early 2021, North Dakota, Wyoming, New Mexico, Alaska, and Hawaii also did not have state associations for professional investigators, and those are just the ones I know of in the western US. I researched this topic because I am Region 6 Director for NALI, the National Association of Legal Investigators. I always encourage what I call ‘orphan’ investigators in those states to consider joining a ‘family’ elsewhere. There are national organizations like NALI and NCISS, or state associations in bordering states or elsewhere in the country. Even states with PI associations don’t always have active associations, especially if their membership is small. Active means they provide training and business referrals for members. Other states, like California, have several large and very active PI Associations. Here in Colorado our state association, the Professional Private Investigators Association of Colorado, holds monthly trainings online, a course for new investigators, and an annual in-person conference each September. We operate a members-only listserv to crowdsource answers to questions, requests for direct referrals, and subcontracting opportunities. PPIAC is fortunate to have members from several states, so that’s another option for an investigator in a state without its own associaiton. I invite you to look at nali.com nciss.org and ppiac.org to see if one of them is right for you. Aloha!