Arizona Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps
Arizona has a population of 6.8 million and does allow the profession of bounty hunting as a method of locating and apprehending fugitives who have skipped bail (known as “skips”). The Arizona Department of Insurance does not license bounty hunters (known as bail recovery agents in Arizona) but they do require them to be registered. If a career as a bail recovery agent interests you, continuing reading to learn more about the requirements and process set forth by the Department of Insurance.
Requirements for Prospective Bounty Hunters in Arizona
Prior to becoming a bail recovery agent in Arizona, individuals must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have no felony convictions, nor have been convicted of theft or illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon
Steps to a Career as a Bail Recovery Agent in Arizona
Because bail recovery agents are not required to be licensed, there is not a detailed process for starting a career in the profession. Listed below is the registration process along with some tips to increase your ability to secure work as a fugitive recovery agent in Arizona. Bail recovery agents work for bail bondsmen to find and return defendants who have skipped bail in the hopes of avoiding jail or prison. While some states require bail recovery agents to be licensed, Arizona only requires that agents be registered. Continuing reading below to learn more about the registration process for bail recovery agents in Arizona.
1. Obtain the appropriate training.
The Arizona Department of Insurance does not require any training to become a registered bail recovery agent in the state. However, it will be useful for your career to obtain some training in fugitive recovery. The Probationary Monitoring Services of Arizona provides training for bail recovery agents in all phases of their careers. Additionally, you should consider obtaining at least a certificate in criminal justice to give you a solid understanding of laws and the criminal justice system.
2. Complete the fingerprint verification form.
To register as a bail recovery agent, you will need to be fingerprinted, submit to a background check, and agree to have this information on file with the Department of Insurance. Working with an approved vendor, you must show a valid government-issued photo ID. The fingerprint card will be returned to you in a sealed envelope, which you must submit to the Arizona Department. Opening or folding the envelope will result in a rejected registration.
3. Submit your registration.
After you feel confident in your training as a bail recovery agent and you have been fingerprinted, you should submit your application for registration to the Arizona Department of Insurance. As a part of the registration process, you must submit:
- A sealed envelope containing your fingerprint card and completed Form L-FPV
- A 2 inch by 3 inch photograph of your face
- The FBI fingerprint card processing fee of $22.50 (as of March 2016)
4. Receive your license.
After submitting your registration and passing the background exam, you will be able to work as a bail recovery agent in Arizona. Once you have identified a bail bondsman to work with, he or she must submit to the Department of Insurance Form L-BRA. This form is essentially an agreement between the bail bondsman and bail recovery agent and certifies that the bail bondsman is ultimately responsible for the actions of the bail recovery agent.
Bail recovery registration must be renewed every three years on September 1st. To renew, you must submit the fingerprint Form L-FPV and the registration Form L-BFP along with an updated 2 inch by 3 inch picture. The fee to renew is the same as the original registration fee, $22.50 (as of March 2016).
Most bail recovery agents expand their careers to include similar jobs, not only to earn additional income, but also to gain valuable experience and connections related to the field. Some of these jobs include working as a private investigator or a process server. Continue reading to learn more about the requirements of both professions in the state of Arizona.
Private Investigator/ Private Detective
Private investigators (PIs) are detectives who work for independent clients to find information on a matter that is relevant to the client. PIs, also known as private detectives (PDs) can investigate legal, financial, and personal data. In Arizona, PIs are licensed by the Department of Public Safety – Licensing Unit. The Unit requires that you:
- Are a US citizen or legal resident
- Are at least 21 years of age
- Have no felony convictions and no misdemeanor convictions (involving personal violence, use of force, illegal use or possession of a deadly weapon, fraud, arson, theft, or domestic violence) within the past five years
- Not be found to be mentally incompetent by the court
To apply, you must meet the qualifications above and have at least three years of investigative experience. As of March 2016, the fee to apply for licensure as a private investigator was $250.
A process server works independently for the court system to file legal papers, serve documents to parties involved in a lawsuit and retrieve documents as needed. Process servers in Arizona are, certified by the Arizona Judicial Branch. To become certified, you must be at least 21 years of age, a US citizen or resident alien, and possess school diploma (or GED). Process servers can only apply for certification and write the certification exam in their home county.
The Arizona Process Servers Association provides training and resources to help process servers in the state.
Training and Education Options in Arizona
We previously discussed the importance of attending a fugitive recovery course so that you can learn more about fugitive recovery and the process and laws governing Arizona. A great foundation for that profession-specific training is a two- or four-year education program on criminal justice or policies of criminal procedure. With a formal education, you will be more knowledgeable about the crime and justice system and you will show potential employers that you are serious about your career. Listed below are a few schools in Arizona that offer associate degrees or a certificate program in criminal justice.
Arizona State University
411 N Central Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Eastern Arizona College
615 N Stadium Ave
Thatcher, AZ 85552
Mesa Community College
1833 Southern Ave
Mesa, AZ 85202
Rio Salado College
2323 W 14th St
Tempe, AZ 85281
Bail recovery agents must be somewhat aggressive if they wish to find steady work in Arizona. As a bounty hunter, you must be comfortable introducing yourself to bail bondsmen and explaining why your qualifications make you right for the job. Bail recovery agents should look for more experienced professionals in the field who can act as mentors. You may want to search for any apprenticeships for bail recovery agents in Arizona to learn how bounty hunting works in the real world and to gain valuable experience.
Featured Bail Agents in Arizona
According to the Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS) website, there are 18 member bail agents in Arizona. Here’s a listing of top-rated, well-known, or big city bail bond agencies in Arizona to help you find job opportunities.
Affordable Bail Bonds
1740 Grand Ave
Phoenix, AZ 85007
Arizona Quest Bail Bonds
2700 N Oracle Rd
Tucson, AZ 85705
Azteca Bail Bonds
1235 W Silver Lake Rd
Tucson, AZ 85713
Bail Bonds Tucson
2200 E Elm St
Tucson, AZ 85719
Betty’s Bail Bonds
762 N Arizona Ave #2
Chandler, AZ 85225
Dignity Bail Bond
1 E Washington St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Maricopa County Bail Bonds
125 N 2nd St
Phoenix, AZ 85004
Randolph & Company Bail Bonds
49 S Mesa Dr
Mesa, AZ 85210
Sanctuary Bail Bonds
6721 N Black Canyon Hwy
Phoenix, AZ 85015
Silver Lake Bail Bonds
648 N Stone Ave
Tucson, AZ 85705
For even more bail agents in Arizona, try out the PBUS Find a Bail Agent tool.
Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Arizona
The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary data for bounty hunters in Arizona. To provide salary and outlook data, we use the information provided for private investigators as a proxy because of the similarity in job function and compensation.In Arizona 220 private investigators were employed in 2014 and they earned an annual average salary of $51,540.2 Through 2022, jobs for private investigators are expected to increase by 24.8%.3 The table below shows employment and salary data for Arizona’s largest cities as reported by the BLS.
|City or Metropolitan Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary||Phoenix-Mesa-Glendale||180||$53,070|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.
*Estimate not available from the BLS.2
Check out these two associations in Arizona to build and grow your network.
- Arizona Bail Bondsmen Association – An association of professional bail agents in Arizona that provides networking and continuing education opportunities for bail recovery agents in the state.
- Arizona Association of Licensed Professional Investigators – An association of private investigators in Arizona that provides legal resources, updated code of ethics, and networking opportunities for PIs in Arizona.
- Arizona Process Servers Association – An association that provides training and resources to help process servers in the state.
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Arizona: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/az
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Arizona: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_az.htm
3. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm