To become a bail bonds runner (bounty hunter) in North Carolina, you must complete a number of steps:
According to the North Carolina Bail Agents Association, in North Carolina, licenses are issued to bail bond runners, defined as individuals employed by professional bail bondsmen for the purpose of:
- Assisting the bail bondsman in presenting a defendant in court
- Keeping a defendant under surveillance
- Executing bonds on behalf of the bail bondsman
Bail bond runners are most commonly known and referred to as bounty hunters, though the state is careful to note that it does not license the practice of bounty hunting, per se.
Step 1. Meet North Carolina Minimum Requirements
A bounty hunter license is one of three licenses you can obtain in North Carolina, with the other two being a surety bail bondsman (appointed by an insurer) and a professional bail bondsman. As such, the minimum requirements for becoming a bounty hunter are the same as a bail bondsman:
- At least 18 years old
- No felony convictions
- No misdemeanor drug convictions within the last 2 years
- A valid North Carolina driver’s license or state-approved state identification
- A high school diploma or GED
- A North Carolina resident
- No current bail bond responsibilities
Further, you cannot be employed in a public position or in a law enforcement position to be eligible to become a licensed bounty hunter into North Carolina.
Step 2. Complete an Educational Course to Become a Licensed Bounty Hunter in North Carolina
Many individuals seeking a career in this profession obtain an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in criminology, criminal justice or a similar field as to achieve the a solid foundation in this field and prepare for similar jobs in law enforcement.
Before you can become a licensed bounty hunter in North Carolina, you must take a pre-licensing course through the North Carolina Bail Agents Association. This two-day course is a requirement for taking the bounty hunter exam and achieving a license in North Carolina.
Information on PLE courses, including upcoming dates and locations, is available on the North Carolina Bail Agents Association website. You may also call 919-832-0867 if you have any questions regarding registering for and taking these classes.
The PLE classes are the same for both bounty hunters and bail bondsman. To schedule your two-day PLE course, complete the PLE Registration Form and send it with a certified check for $500 (made payable to NCBAA) to: P.O. Box 19663, Raleigh, NC 27619. You may also email your completed registration form to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Step 3. Complete North Carolina Fingerprinting Process
Bounty hunters in North Carolina must have a complete set of fingerprints on file with the North Carolina License Department of Insurance.
Pearson VUE MUST have your electronic fingerprints on file before you can schedule to take the bounty hunter exam.
You can expect to receive email correspondence from the North Carolina Licensing Management System with the appropriate forms and instructions for completing electronic fingerprints.
Print and complete the three forms and take them to a local law enforcement office that has Live Scan electronic fingerprint services. After getting your complete set of electronic fingerprints, the law enforcement office will sign off on the forms and send them, along with your electronic fingerprints, to Pearson VUE. Upon receipt of your electronic fingerprints, you will receive an authorization letter within 30 days to schedule to take your bounty hunter exam.
Step 4. Take the Required Examination to Become a Licensed Bounty Hunter in North Carolina
Upon successfully completing the required PLE course, you must then register through Pearson VUE, the company that handles all bounty hunter license exams in the state, to take the exam. After passing the exam, you will be issued a PLE certificate of completion, which will allow you to become licensed in North Carolina.
You must take the Bail Bond exam to become a bounty hunter, which includes the following material:
- Powers and Duties of the Commissioner
- Prohibited Practices
- Bail Bond Procedures
- Fiduciary Responsibilities
- Bail Bond Terminology
- North Carolina Statutes and Regulations Pertinent to Bail Bondsmen
When scheduling your examination through Pearson VUE, you must choose the location where you will take the examination. Within North Carolina, there are Pearson VUE testing centers at the following locations:
Step 5. Apply for North Carolina Licensure as Bounty Hunter
You may apply for a bounty hunter license after passing the bail bond examination through Pearson VUE. To become licensed as a bounty hunter in North Carolina, you must set up an account and profile through the North Carolina Department of Insurance website and pay the license fee of $233, which includes the $183 license fee and a $50 processing fee.
You can either pay for your license fee online using a credit or debit card or pay by check or money order (payable to the North Carolina Department of Insurance) and mail it to:
North Carolina, State of DOI
P.O. Box 742175
Atlanta, GA 30374
Step 6. Get to Work in North Carolina
The North Carolina Department of Insurance has a SBS Report Generator Service, which provides custom mailing lists that allow you to purchase a report of licensed bail bondsmen in North Carolina.
You can also find a wealth of information on bail bondsmen and bail bond agencies in North Carolina on the North Carolina Bail Agents Association website.
Step 7. Maintain your North Carolina Bounty Hunter License
Bounty hunter licenses in North Carolina are renewed on June 30 of odd-numbered years. To renew your license, you must provide proof of the completion of 3 hours of continuing education. Continuing education information is available on the North Carolina Bail Agents Association website. The cost of renewal is $40, and all renewal applications must be completed online through the NC Licensing Management System.