Citizens who are interested in learning how to become a bounty hunter in Mississippi can follow the steps in this guide:
|Meet the Prerequisites for Bail Enforcement Agent Licensing in Mississippi|
|Meet Mississippi Education Requirements|
|Become Licensed by the Mississippi Insurance Department|
|Begin Working in Mississippi|
Bounty hunters, also known as bail enforcement agents, working in Mississippi provide a service to law-abiding citizens and to residents who have or will employ a bail bondsman to get out of jail while their case develops. They take fugitives off the streets and return them to the custody of the courts or law enforcement, which at the same time saves a bail bondsman from the liability of having to forfeit bail paid on the fugitive’s behalf.
When not employed by or contracting with a bondsman, bail enforcement agents may also pursue fugitives wanted by state or federal officials who offer a reward for the fugitive’s capture and/or conviction.
Step 1. Meeting Mississippi Prerequisites for Licensure as a Bail Enforcement Agent
Before applying with the Mississippi Insurance Department to become a legal bounty hunter you will need to meet some initial license requirements:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Have no felony or crimes of moral turpitude convictions
- May not be employed as an attorney, law enforcement agent, or judicial official
- May not be employed as a correctional officer in a facility where inmates are bailable
- Must be able to work legally in the United States
Step 2. Meeting Education Requirements in Mississippi
There are no official Mississippi bounty hunter school requirements, however before becoming a licensed bail enforcement agent you will need to have completed 40 hours of pre-licensing education approved by the Mississippi Bail Agents Association (MBAA). At the end of the 40-hour course you must pass an examination as proof of qualification to be licensed.
Besides pre-licensing education, academic training for bounty hunter jobs in Mississippi is highly recommended. Knowing the laws and statutes of the state can mean the difference between a hefty fine and jail sentence or a successful bounty payment. You should also know how to safely identify, apprehend, and arrest a target fugitive. Certification courses and education in the following subjects can prove to be very useful for new bail enforcement agents, and is especially advantageous if you plan to go on to a future career in law enforcement:
- Criminal Justice
- Public Safety
- Law Enforcement
- Criminal Psychology
Step 3. Becoming Licensed by the Mississippi Insurance Department
To become a licensed bounty hunter in the Magnolia State you will need to submit the following to the Mississippi Insurance Department:
- Bail Enforcement Agent Application
- $40 privilege tax
- Recent color photograph
- Proof of completion of a 40-hour pre-licensing course
- Fingerprints and a $50 fee
You need to renew your Bail Enforcement Agent License every two years by its expiration date: September 30th of odd-numbered years. To be eligible for renewal you will have to complete a total of 16 hours of continuing education for every two-year renewal period (for the first year you are licensed eight hours of continuing education are waived).
Step 4. Going to Work in Mississippi
Once you are licensed you will be free to strike out on your own or team up with a bail bondsman or agency. It is a good idea to monitor legal developments in the bounty hunter field as these can change quickly due to national and local events. Membership in professional organizations such as the Mississippi Bail Agents Association (MBAA) will not only provide you with continuing education opportunities but can also help you to network with colleagues and offer support.
Currently there is a bounty being offered by the FBI and the Tate County Sheriff’s Office of $5,000 for information leading to the arrest of a wanted fugitive.