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To become a licensed bounty hunter in New York State, you must complete the following steps:
|Meet New York Minimum Requirements|
|Complete New York Education Requirements|
|Get Fingerprinted in New York|
|Obtain a New York Surety Bond|
|Apply in New York|
|Maintain New York Licensure|
According to the New York Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, a bounty hunter, otherwise known as a bail enforcement agent, is an individual who apprehends individuals who have broken the terms of their bail or bond. Bail enforcement agents are tasked with surrendering these individuals to the appropriate jail or court.
Step 1. Meet New York Minimum License and Experience Requirements
Before you pursue a career as a bounty hunter in New York, you must be at least 25 years old and have no felony convictions.
You must have at least 3 years of experience working as a:
- Police officer*
- Investigator in a state, county or federal agency**
- Employee in a licensed private investigator company where one person performed the duties of a bounty hunter
*The minimum requirements to become a police officer in New York are you must be at least 20 years old and have completed at least 60 college credits.
**The minimum requirements to become a private investigator in New York are you must be at least 25, you must have at least three years working in an investigation business, and you must pass an examination.
Step 2. Meet New York Education Requirements
All candidates for bounty hunter jobs in New York must complete a training program that is approved by the Secretary of State and is no less than 25 hours in duration. The only exception to the training program requirements is police officers that have more than 3 years of experience.
The Division of Licensing Services maintains a list of Bail Enforcement Agent Qualifying Schools on its website. You may also contact the Division of Licensing Services at 518-474-4429 if you have any questions regarding approved providers.
Upon completion of your course of study, you will receive an original course certificate from the school that you must furnish to the Department of State.
Step 3. Supply the New York Department of State with Fingerprints
All bounty hunters in New York State must supply the Department of State, Division of Licensing Services, with a set of fingerprints. The Division of Licensing Services has contracted with MorphoTrust USA to provide electronic fingerprinting services.
The cost of fingerprinting services is $75, and you must make payment to MorphoTrust USA in the form of a check or money order (or credit card payment).
You can schedule an appointment with MorphoTrust USA to obtain your electronic fingerprints either online at www.indentogo.com or by calling 1-877-472-6915. When scheduling, you must provide them with the ORI number NY922020Z.
When you arrive at the appointment, you must bring the NYS Fingerprinting Services-Information Form with you. After getting your fingerprints, you will receive two receipts as proof of completion; you must include one receipt with your completed application.
Note: Fingerprints are only valid for 5 months, so it is important to submit your application within this time frame, otherwise you will have to complete the fingerprinting process again.
Step 4. Obtain a Surety Bond in New York
To work as a bounty hunter in New York, you must obtain a surety bond in the amount of $500,000 (arranged through a surety company), complete the Bond form, and mail it with your completed application.
Step 5. Complete Application for Licensure as a Bounty Hunter in New York
To apply for licensure, you must complete the Private Investigator, Bail Enforcement Agent Application and mail it, along with the following documents:
- $400 application fee (company check, money order of cashier’s check made payable to NYS Department of State)
- A signed DMV Informed Consent form
- Receipt from electronic fingerprinting (see Step 3)
- Sworn statements from all employers verifying your experience
- Sworn statements from at least three people verifying your experience
- Proof of earnings in the last three years of full-time experience
Mail application packet to:
NYS Department of State Division of Licensing Services
P.O. Box 22001
Albany, NY 12201
Step 6. Maintain your New York License
To maintain your license as a bounty hunter in New York, you must pay the renewal fee of $400 and provide the Department of State with a Certification of Bonded Status. You can expect to receive a renewal form 90 days prior to the expiration of your license.