Bounty Hunting in New York
Bounty Hunters are known as Bail Enforcement Agents in New York and their behavior is explicitly regulated by state law. Fugitive Recovery Agents require training and licensure before they may make arrests in the state with the exception being the provision that a Bail Enforcement Agent may, “by a written authority indorsed on a certified copy of the bail bond, empower any person over twenty years of age to do so.”
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How to Become a Bounty Hunter in New York
To become a Bounty Hunter in New York, you must have “three years' experience as a police officer; an investigator in an agency of the state, county, or federal government; or an employee of a licensed private investigator or at a firm, partnership, company, or corporation where one member has been performing the duties described in the definition of bail enforcement agent; OR twenty years' experience as a police officer or fire marshal.”
Becoming a police officer is possible through organizations such as the NYPD. Applicants must be at least 21 years old, a US citizen, and have completed at least 60 college credits with minimal GPA requirements or two years of military service. They also must pass a character and background check and have a valid driver’s license, among other things.
Private Investigators in New York must be at least 25 years old, part of an investigations business, three years of experience as an employee of an investigations business, pass an examination, and submit fingerprints along with $475 fee. More information can be found at the New York Department of State.
If you meet these requirements for licensing, becoming a Bounty Hunter in New York first involves finding a licensed bail bond company that will contract you to skip trace fugitives. But they will not hire just anybody. Professional bondsmen in the state are governed by lengthy regulations and restrictions and must ensure that the Fugitive Recovery Agents under their employment maintain only safe, effective, and lawful practices in their pursuit of fugitives. Thus, training and education about New York bail laws and safe skip tracing practices is highly recommended in addition to experience as an officer or a private investigator.
In addition, Bounty Hunters in the state must acquire a license, which requires a bail enforcement agent qualifying course. A list of school offering approved courses can be found here. The course takes 25 hours and must be completed before a license will be issued.
New York Bounty Hunter Licenses and Requirements
Bail Enforcement Agents’ licenses are regulated by the Department of State in New York. Specific information regarding where to apply can be found here, but, to sum it up briefly, proof of a training course must be submitted along with fingerprints, a background check, and a surety bond in the sum of $500,000. The fee is $475 for a license which must be renewed every two years.