Criminal Justice School Info

Bounty Hunter Requirements

Bounty Hunting can be a dangerous profession, so it should be no surprise that there are several requirements to become a bounty hunter. There are only a few legal requirements (and in some states there are no legal requirements whatsoever) such as a bounty-hunting license. The bounty-hunting license usually requires a certain amount of formal training and passing a written test. It is recommended that you obtain formal education such as a criminal justice degree, firearm training, and some related experience such as police work or an internship with a bounty hunter. The bounty hunter requirements vary from state to state.

In addition to the legal requirements, there are a few common sense elements that are necessary for keeping safe. First, bounty hunters need to be physically fit in order to apprehend their bounties. Second, bounty hunters should be well equipped with self-defense equipment. Private investigator Bill Hunt suggests that every bounty hunter (or anyone in law enforcement for that matter) should have both a can of Mace and a Taser; it is also advisable to carry a firearm if you have the proper legal authority to do so. Also, a good, safe, and inconspicuous vehicle is necessary for a bounty hunter, so that they can move around without arousing suspicion.

Lastly, most bounty hunters work independently out of their own offices. There are bounty hunters that work for bail agencies but most bounty hunters are independent contractors and because of this it would be advisable to have business skills in order to manage an office. This includes marketing knowledge, networking (a bail agency won't hire you unless they know who you are and trust you), and office management if you begin to hire other bounty hunters.

There are some states where bounty hunting is not legal. Some states also have special rules about what a bounty hunter can and cannot do such as use a firearm.

States where bounty hunting is illegal

  • District of Columbia
  • Illinois
  • Kentucky
  • North Carolina
  • Oregon
  • South Carolina
  • Wisconsin