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If you want to learn how to become a licensed bounty hunter in South Carolina, you must complete a number of steps:
|Satisfying South Carolina Minimum Requirements|
|Satisfying Education Requirements in South Carolina|
|Taking the South Carolina Runner Exam|
|Fingerprinting in South Carolina|
|Apply for South Carolina License|
|Renewing your South Carolina License|
Bounty hunters in South Carolina, also referred to as runner bondsmen, are employed by a bondsman for the purpose of assisting and surrendering a defendant to court, keeping a defendant under surveillance, and assisting the bondsman when presenting the defendant in court.
Just like a bail bondsman, a runner bondsman is licensed to work in South Carolina through the South Carolina Department of Insurance. It is illegal to work as a bounty hunter in South Carolina without being licensed.
Step 1. Meet South Carolina Minimum Requirements
Before you can being pursuing a job as a licensed bounty hunter in South Carolina, you must ensure you meet minimum requirements, as set forth by the South Carolina Department of Insurance. The Department of Insurance states that all bounty hunters in the state must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be a resident of South Carolina
- Have no felony convictions or other convictions involving moral turpitude within the last 10 years
Step 2. Meet South Carolina Education and Training Requirements
You may also choose to pursue additional educational opportunities when preparing to become a bounty hunter, as a solid foundation in a criminal justice, public administration, sociology, or similar associate’s or bachelor’s program provides many benefits for achieving success in this profession, particularly for bounty hunters who pursue other law enforcement or criminal justice jobs in the future.
To become a bounty hunter in South Carolina, you must complete at least 20 hours of pre-licensing education in the field of bail bonding. The education received must be approved by the Department of Insurance. The Department of Insurance maintains a list of approved education providers in South Carolina.
Once you have completed your pre-licensing education, you will need to ask the education provider to complete a Certification of Completion, which you will need to include with your application for licensure.
Step 3. Take the South Carolina Professional Bail Bondsman/Runner Examination
Upon the successful completion of your pre-licensing education, you will be eligible to take the examination through PSI, the company contracted to handle all bail bondsmen examinations in the state.
You can schedule your examination on PSI’s website or by calling them at 1-800-733-9267. The cost to take the examination is $45, and you may take the exam at any one of PSI’s locations across the country. In South Carolina, you may take the exam at the following PSI testing centers:
- Beaufort/Hilton Head
Before taking the Professional Bail Bondsman/Runner examination, it is best to prepare yourself by studying the Candidate Bulletin, which provides details on the content you can expect to be included in the examination. You will have 60 minutes to complete the computer-based examination.
Upon the successful completion of your exam, PSI will notify the Department of Insurance, and you can complete the application for licensure as a bounty hunter in South Carolina. You must apply for your license within 12 months of passing the exam, or you will need to retake the exam.
Step 4. Complete Fingerprint Cards in South Carolina
You will be required to include a complete set of fingerprints with your application. You must submit two fingerprint cards, which should be coded for the South Carolina Department of Insurance and certified by an authorized law enforcement officer.
Step 5. Apply for Licensure as a Runner Bondsman in South Carolina
In addition to completing your online application for Application for Professional Bondsman Runner, you must provide the Department of Insurance with the following:
- Appointment of Runner, Form BB1102 (to be completed by the bail bondsman)
- A license fee of $200 (payable to the South Carolina Department of Insurance)
- A passport-sized photograph
- Certificate of Completion from your pre-licensing education
- The original exam score report from PSI
- A completed Power of Attorney for Bail Bond Runner, Form BB1104 (if your supervising bail bondsman authorizes you to execute bail bonds)
Send all documents to:
South Carolina Department of Insurance
P.O. Box 100105
Columbia, SC 29202
The South Carolina Bail Agents Association provides a wealth of information and resources for professionals in the bail bond business, including recent legislative news, an agent directory, and an annual conference.
Step 6. Maintain your South Carolina License
All licenses for bondsmen/runners expire on June 30 of each year. You must successfully complete at least 6 hours of continuing education to maintain your license. You must submit your continuing education hours through the South Carolina Department of Insurance.
All license renewals must be completed online, and the cost of renewal for a runner bondsman is $200.