Online Bounty Hunter Certification and Training Information

Bounty hunters assist bail bondsmen in locating clients who have missed trial dates. Most of the skills are learned in the formal classroom or through experience. Those interested in the profession can learn the terms and legal requirements that are a foundation for this field with manuals and online classes.

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Key Tasks and Skills for Bounty Hunting

Bail enforcement agents (BEA), also known as bounty hunters or fugitive recovery agents, provide a number of services to their bail bondsmen clients. The end result - apprehending a skipped client - is only possible after the BEA completes his or her investigation. Knowledge of computer databases is a key skill which allows the bail enforcement agent to research a fugitive's habits and contacts. Excellent people skills and the ability to notice details are also important.

Bail Enforcement Agent Certification

Certification and licensing laws for bail enforcement agents vary from state to state. Some states, such as Kentucky, do not have bail bond systems and do not allow bail enforcement agencies to operate. Illinois, Kentucky and Oregon do not permit bail enforcement agents to arrest fugitives. In states that do permit bounty hunters, the licensing requirements and procedures vary. For example, California and Texas have more restrictive licensing requirements than most states.

California Fugitive Recovery Agent Requirements

Until early 2010, California required its fugitive recovery agents to hold a bail agent license or private investigator license. Agents also had to take a security guard class, a bail education class and a power of arrest class. These classes required approximately 60 hours of study. Fugitive recovery agents cannot display badges or clothing that implies they are sworn law enforcement officers. Carrying weapons is strongly discouraged. Agents must notify local law enforcement before attempting to collar a fugitive. Licenses for bail enforcement and bail bond agents are obtained from the Department of Insurance in California.

Texas Bounty Hunter Requirements

In Texas, bail enforcement agents must be sworn peace officers, licensed private investigators or commissioned security officers. Texas law restricts the activities of bounty hunters, preventing them from entering homes without permission. Bounty hunters must also have a written authorization from the bail agent before apprehending the fugitive. State law includes a number of restrictions on where and how fugitives are held after being captured.

Training for Bail Enforcement Agents

Restrictions like those mentioned above limit the training options for bounty hunters. California and Texas require bail enforcement agents to take classes in person from approved training programs. Many of these programs, however, do offer introductory materials online. These books and beginning courses give the student an overview of the profession and some basic terminology.

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