Training for Bounty Hunter Jobs in Washington

The process for becoming a bail bond recovery agent in Washington follows these five steps:

Meet General Washington Requirements
Complete Education and Training Requirements in Washington
Submit Washington Application and Required Documentation
Pass the Washington Examination
Now that you’re a Bail Bond Recovery Agent in Washington

In Washington state, bounty hunters are referred to as bail bond recovery agents. These agents are regulated by the Washington Department of Licensing, and must meet stringent requirements with regards to training and criminal background checks. Thorough training is required of all bail bond recovery agents in Washington as it relates to the law, the use of firearms and other tools, and defensive tactics.

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Step 1. Meet Washington’s General Bail Bond Recovery Agent Requirements

General prerequisites that you must fulfill before being eligible to become a bounty hunter in Washington include:

  • Attaining the age of 21 (or older)
  • Possessing U.S. citizenship or resident alien status
  • Having no criminal convictions directly relating to abilities to perform bail bond recovery agent duties or hindering public safety
  • Possess at least one of the following:
    • High school diploma
    • GED
    • Three years of work experience in the bail industry
  • Complete Washington state bail bond recovery agent training requirements (see Step 2 below)
  • Pass an examination (see Step 4 below)



Step 2. Complete Washington’s Education and Training Requirements Bail Bond Recovery Agents


The Washington State Department of Licensing requires that all applicants to become bail bond recovery agents complete at least 32 hours of training. This training may be accomplished through public or private instruction and must include the following content areas:

    • Field operational procedures (through public or private instruction)(if you have completed law enforcement training in the past six years such as that required of peace officers, you are exempt from this requirement):
      • Safety techniques
      • Use of force/degrees of force
      • Custody and transporting prisoners, including those under the influence of drugs or alcohol and those who are emotionally disturbed or violent
      • Searching and entering buildings
      • Applying restraints and handcuffs
      • Defensive tactics


    • Civil or criminal law (through public or private instruction or self-study):
      • Constitutional law
      • State statutes on bail regulations
      • Civil liability
      • How to surrender defendants into custody
      • Civil rights of persons detained in custody
      • Exoneration procedures
      • Contracts
      • Powers of a bail bond recovery agent
      • Principles of identifying and locating defendants, including:
        • Surveillance
        • Confidentiality
        • Public records


  • Firearms (at least eight hours of training- must be from a Criminal Justice Training Commission (CJTC) certified firearms training instructor)
  • Certification in the use of the following tools (provided by one of these listed trainers):
    • Oleo capsicum resin sprays /foams that are rated at 100,00 to 2,000,000 Scoville Heat Units
    • Baton – expandable, side handle or straight stick
    • Taser X/M26


While possession of a college certificate or degree is not necessary to become a bail bond recovery agent in Washington, having this type of education can increase your success on the Bail Bond Recovery Agent exam and improve your chances of licensure. Going to bounty hunter school for a degree in one of the following areas is most helpful to Washington Bail Bond Recovery Agents:

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  • Diploma-Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Applied Science-Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science-Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science- Criminal Justice Leadership Emphasis



Step 3. Submit an Application and Required Documentation to Become a Bail Bond Recovery Agent in Washington

The next step in your quest to become a bail bond recovery agent in Washington is to submit your application.

  1. Download the Washington Bail Bond Recovery Agent License Application and complete it in full.
  2. Attach proof of completion of the required 32 hours of training (a copy of the training course curriculum and certificate of completion, or transcript showing completion)
  3. Submit licensure fee of $450 via check or money order payable to the Department of Licensing
  4. Select two choices for your exam locations. A licensing representative will contact you after submitting your application to schedule the exam.
  5. Obtain a fingerprint card from the Department of Licensing and take it to a law enforcement agency that does fingerprinting. Submit the completed fingerprint card to the address below with your application.
  6. Mail all of the above to Bail Bonds Program, Department of Licensing, P.O. Box 35001, Seattle, WA 98124-3401.
  7. It will take 4 to 6 weeks to complete the background check, and the Department of Licensing will be sent the results. You will be contacted by a licensing representative to schedule your exam.



Step 4. Pass the Required Exam for Washington Bail Bond Recovery Agents

Once your application has been submitted, a licensing department representative will contact you to schedule your bail bond recovery agent exam.  It consists of 50 multiple-choice questions. You must get a score of 85 percent or better to pass. Exams are given at licensing offices statewide in:

  • Bellingham
  • Kent
  • Bel-Red Supercenter
  • Kennewick
  • Bremerton
  • Lynnwood Supercenter
  • Clarkston
  • Olympia
  • Everett
  • Omak
  • Federal Way
  • Parkland
  • Port Townsend
  • Port Angeles
  • Renton
  • Puyallup Supercenter
  • Seattle (25th Ave)
  • Sunnyside
  • Spokane (Sprague Ave)
  • Tacoma Supercenter (Yakima Ave)
  • Wenatchee
  • Walla Walla
  • Vancouver (136th Ave)
  • Union Gap

A study guide for the exam is provided on the Department of Licensing website.

If you pass the exam and your application is approved, you will be issued a license to become a Bail Bond Recovery Agent in Washington.



Step 5. Now that You’re a Bail Bond Recovery Agent in Washington

You have made it! You are now a licensed Bail Bond Recovery Agent in Washington! Make sure to maintain your license properly through the following methods:

  • You will be mailed a renewal notice 45 to 60 days before your license expires. You will be given instructions on how to renew your license and pay the $475 renewal fee
  • Complete eight hours of continuing education training each year. Keep records of your training and submit them to the Department of Licensing every three years.
  • If you carry a firearm, you must keep your firearm certification up to date through approved continuing education as well

Bail Bond Recovery Agent Employers in Washington

The following organizations are some of the major employers of bail bond recovery agents across the state of Washington:

  • Olympia Bail Recovery, Olympia
  • Chase Solutions, Olympia
  • Harbor Bail Recovery, Olympia
  • Spokane City Bail Enforcement, Spokane
  • Bail Recovery Services, LLC, Pasco
  • Fugitive Recovery Services, Lake Stevens
  • Caseys Bail Company, Bremerton
  • J & Associates, Amboy



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