The Truth about Bounty Hunter Licenses

Some states require a license to become a Bounty Hunter. Most states have laws regarding what type of hunting you can do whether it be physical or not. If a state makes it unlawful to physically hunt a criminal, the Bounty Hunter must use investigation and skip tracing abilities to bring him in. This changes the scope of the job, so it is important to know all phases of the job. You must follow the applicable laws where the criminal currently is.

You cannot become a Bounty Hunter without research and training. Otherwise you are a civilian who is taking the law into his or her own hands. That’s a vigilant, and shouldn’t be confused with being a bounty hunter.

You must have knowledge of how the bail bonds system works, and the laws that go along with it. It is a skill that takes time to perfect so that you not only stay safe, but so that you can be a skilled bounty hunter who makes the big bucks!

Bounty Hunters have skills in skip tracing, negotiation, being very perceptive and also great surveillance abilities. You must know how to research and look for individuals. You have to be able to look into a criminal’s past and review all possible previous residences. By completing your research you will learn a lot about the criminal you are pursuing. You will know his friends and the places he hangs out among many other things.

If you do not have a license, you cannot be paid legally for bringing back a criminal. You may also run into law problems for doing this type of work without a license. As with any job, you need to make sure you have researched and completed training before you begin as a Bounty Hunter.

Know the laws, know what you need legally to complete your job, and you’ll be less likely to find yourself on the wrong end of the law.

Here’s a list of the states where physical hunting is banned, allowed, and the states where you don’t have to have a license or training.

States where physical hunting is banned:

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

Physical Hunting allowed:

  • Alabama
  • Alaska
  • Arizona
  • Arkansas
  • California
  • Colorado
  • Connecticut
  • Delaware
  • Florida
  • Georgia
  • Hawaii
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Iowa
  • Kansas
  • Louisiana
  • Maine
  • Maryland
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Minnesota
  • Mississippi
  • Missouri
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • Nevada
  • New Hampshire
  • New Jersey
  • New Mexico
  • New York
  • North Dakota
  • Ohio
  • Oklahoma
  • Pennsylvania
  • Rhode Island
  • South Dakota
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Utah
  • Vermont
  • Virginia
  • Washington
  • West Virginia
  • Wyoming

No training or license required:

  • Maine
  • Massachusetts
  • Michigan
  • Montana
  • Nebraska
  • New Jersey
  • Rhode Island - Simple Pledge
  • Wyoming

Remember, some states are changing their rules. Though it is a common misconception that these rules have been set in stone, that is only a misconception. Many states are now looking to create stricter bounty hunting laws, requirements, and overall guidelines. It is your responsibility as a bounty hunter or potential bounty hunter, to check your states current laws and status.

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