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The process by which you become a bounty hunter in Arizona includes these steps:
|Learn about Basic Qualifications|
|Prepare Yourself Physically and Mentally|
|Consider an Education|
|Comply with State Requirements|
|Fulfill Ongoing Requirements|
Becoming a bounty hunter, or bail recovery agent, is an exciting and rewarding career. The role of a bounty hunter is to pursue people who have skipped bail, and bring them back to the justice system.
The profession of bounty hunting can be very exciting, but not without significant risks. For this reason it is recommended that you not only familiarize yourself with the requirements below, but also that you be sure to pay special attention to the section on physical and mental preparedness.
Arizona is one of the many states that require bounty hunters to meet certain requirements and obtain licensure prior to practicing. The Arizona Department of Insurance is the regulatory agency governing this profession. Unlike many states that do not rigorously regulate the bail enforcement profession, Arizona has strict laws that professionals must understand and comply with.
Step 1. Learn about Arizona Bounty Hunter Qualifications
The minimum requirements to serve as a bail enforcement agent in Arizona include:
- Arizona resident for at least one year
- At least 18 years of age
- No felony convictions involving theft or deadly weapons
- Must submit fingerprints to the Arizona Department of Insurance (DOI) every three years
- Must be identified as an agent of the bail bondsman in a report filed with the director of the DOI
Step 2. Prepare Yourself Physically and Mentally
Being a bounty hunter is not an easy job. You will want to be physically prepared for whatever situation you may encounter, such as fleeing suspects, violent encounters, and long-term stakeouts. Weight training for strength and endurance, as well as proficiency in a practical martial art, are ways to make sure you are ready for the physical challenge that the career may present.
In relation to the mental challenge, being a bounty hunter in Arizona can also be very demanding. Because you will essentially be pursuing people who do not want to go to jail, their ingenuity and creativity will be at peak levels. You will benefit from intense study of Arizona and interstate law, criminal psychology, and even puzzle solving and clue based games. Anything to sharpen your ability to intuit the fugitive’s next move, and ultimately capture them, will be of benefit to you.
Step 3. Consider an Education
It is in your best interests to obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in a field related to bounty hunting prior to seeking a license. A degree in criminal justice, law, public policy, police studies or psychology can provide valuable skills or knowledge regarding the legal framework in which you will operate as well as important insights into the behavior of wanted criminals.
You may also find additional training from the military, police academies or bail enforcement training academies, any of which can improve your chances at success. The rigorous physical conditioning that the military training groups provide can prove quite advantageous when pursuing or apprehending a fugitive. The training offered through bounty hunter schools can also be critical to your success.
Step 4. Comply with State Requirements
In order to serve as a bail enforcement agent in Arizona, you must comply with certain requirements set forth by the Arizona Department of Insurance. However, a license is neither required nor issued for the position. DOI requirements include:
- Submit fingerprints on a blue-outlined Form FD-258 fingerprint card
- Pay $22 for fingerprint card processing
- Submit form L-BFP (Bail Recovery Agent Fingerprint Submission Registration) with a clear 2” x 3” photo of your face attached
Submit to: Arizona Department of Insurance
2910 N. 44th Street, Ste. 210 (2nd Floor)
Phoenix, AZ 85018-7269
Step 5. Acquire Job Assignments
You may wish to contact some of the following organizations if you are looking for a job assignment:
- Alliance Bail Bonds – Gilbert
- Better Bail Bonds – Phoenix
- Bail Bonds USA – Scottsdale
- Randolph Bail Bonds – Mesa
Prior to providing an assignment, a bail bondsman is required by state law to ensure that you have fulfilled state requirements.
Step 6. Fulfill Ongoing Requirements
After your initial submission of the above requirements, you must continue to resubmit the same requirements to the Arizona Department of Insurance every three years, by September 1st. Failure to do so may result in your being unable to continue to act as a bail recovery agent in the state.
If you would like to become a member of a bounty hunting profession in Arizona, you may wish to join these organizations:
- National Association of Bail Enforcement Agents
- US Professional Bail Bond Investigators Association
- National Association of Fugitive Recovery Agents