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To learn how to become a bounty hunter in Ohio, you must complete a number of specific steps:
|General Ohio Requirements|
|Education in Ohio|
|Ohio Surety Exam|
|FBI Background Check|
|Apply for your Ohio License|
|Keep your Ohio License Current|
The Ohio Department of Insurance issues licenses to more than 205,000 insurance agents in the State, which includes surety bail bond agents, who also work as bounty hunters.
Surety bail bond agents are licensed by the Ohio Department of Insurance to sell surety bonds through an insurance company. Only an individual who is licensed by the Department of Insurance may post a surety bond.
According to Ohio law, no one can serve in a bounty hunter capacity and apprehend, detain or arrest a defendant on bond unless they are a law enforcement officer, an off-duty peace officer, a private investigator, or a surety bail bond agent.
Therefore, the term “bounty hunter” in this report will refer to a surety bond agent.
Step 1. Meet Minimum Ohio Requirements as a Bounty Hunter
To be licensed as a bounty hunter in Ohio, you must be at least 18 years old, and you must be able to successfully pass a criminal background check.
Step 2. Complete Ohio Education Requirements to Become a Bounty Hunter
Before you can take the Surety Bail Bond exam to become licensed as a bounty hunter in Ohio, you must successfully complete a pre-licensing education program from an Ohio approved pre-licensing provider.
You can find a list of approved pre-licensing schools on the Ohio Department of Insurance website. Education requirements include either completing a 20-hour classroom course or completing an approved self-study course.
In addition, many individuals pursuing a career as a bounty hunter also choose to complete a course of formal education through an associate’s or bachelor’s degree program so as to better prepare themselves for this profession.
Step 3. Take the Ohio Surety Bail Bond Examination
The Ohio Department of Insurance contracts with Prometric to provide the Surety Bail Bond examination. To qualify to take the exam, you must successfully complete an Ohio-approved pre-licensing course and provide Prometric, on the day of your exam, with the original Course Completion certificate received from the education provider upon completion of the course.
Note: Your Course Completion certificate is valid for 180 calendar days following the completion of the course. You must pass your license exam within those calendar days or you will be required to take the course again.
Prometric provides computerized testing through its testing centers across the country. To take the exam, you must schedule with Prometric and pay the exam fee of $25, both of which can be done on Prometric’s website. You may also contact Prometric at 1-800-853-5448 to schedule your exam. Within Ohio, you may schedule your exam at any of the following Prometric testing center locations:
You can prepare to take the Surety Bail Bond examination by studying the exam outline through Prometric. You will have one hour to complete the exam’s 60 questions. You must bring two forms of identification with you on the day of the exam, one of which must be a government-issued photo ID.
Step 4. Complete the Ohio State and FBI Criminal Background Check
Upon passing the exam, you must complete the electronic state and FBI criminal background check through WebCheck.
All related forms and WebCheck locations are available on the Ohio Attorney General’s website.
Step 5. Apply for Ohio Licensure as a Bounty Hunter
Upon receiving notification from Prometric of your passing exam score and information regarding your background check through WebCheck, you will be eligible to apply for licensure as a bounty hunter in Ohio.
You must complete the electronic Surety Bail Bond application and pay the $150 application fee through NPIR and send any supporting documentation to:
50 West Town Street
3rd floor, Suite 300
Columbus, OH 43215
You may also download and print a paper application here and send it, along with the $150 fee (made payable to State of Ohio Treasurer), to the above address.
Step 6. Get to Work and Maintain your License in Ohio
You can find a wealth of information regarding the bail bond business in Ohio and engage in networking activities through the Ohio Bail Agents Association.
The Ohio Department of Insurance also maintains a list of bail bond companies authorized to practice in Ohio.
Just as important as achieving your bounty hunter license in Ohio is maintaining it. As such, it is important to follow the renewal procedures for your license so as to not let it lapse. All licenses are renewed annually before the last day of February. The cost of renewal is $150, and you must renew your license online through NPIR.
To qualify for renewal, you must show proof of at least 7 hours of continuing education, which must include at least one hour of approved ethics training.