How to Become a Bounty Hunter in California
Bounty hunting in the state of California requires a thorough understanding of its bounty hunting regulations since there are several provisions for fugitive recovery agents. For example, bounty hunters cannot wear a uniform or identify themselves as law enforcement agents, nor can they forcibly enter into a residence. Furthermore, as a California bounty hunter you are required to carry documentation at all times identifying yourself as a bail recovery agent.
Other California regulations require out-of-state fugitives to be delivered to California within 48 hours of capture. Additionally, California is 1 of 4 states that requires out-of-state bounty hunters seeking to apprehend “skips” entering the state, to obtain a bench warrant to determine if there is cause to apprehend the suspect. Additional regulations also require bounty hunters to notify the local police 6 hours prior to making an arrest.
Become a Bounty Hunter in California
To become a fugitive recovery agent in the state of California, you must be at least 18 years of age without a felony conviction. You also must complete a 12-hour pre-licensing bail education course followed by a 40-hour power of arrest course approved by Peace Office Standards Training Board, and finally, a required 8-hour security guard course.
Local California bounty hunting training schools are available online and through selected schools that also offer training in criminal justice. It is strongly recommended that you earn a degree in criminal justice or a related field such as psychology or sociology before pursuing a bounty hunter career in California. A degree in one of these subjects will help you qualify for related careers, such as police officer, S.W.A.T team member, sheriff, corrections officer or private investigator.
To begin your career in bounty hunting, negotiate contracts with surety bail bond companies to get assignments for pursuing fugitives that have skipped bail. If necessary, offer to complete jobs for a lower rate or even for free. If you find the fugitive, the bail bond company will likely hire you again.
Licensing Requirements in California
Once you complete your fugitive recovery training, you must apply for your bounty hunter license through the California Department of Insurance (CDI), and take a bail license examination with a passing score of at least 70%. The California Bail Agents Association can help you obtain your license and provide information about the local training classes. Finally, once you become a licensed California bail recovery agent, you are required to complete 6 hours of continuing education classes every year to maintain it.