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Arkansas Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

The state of Arkansas, with a population of 2.6 million, has a commercial bail system in place that allows for the profession of bounty hunting.1 Per House Bill 1163 of the 82nd General Assembly of Arkansas, no individual can have the title of bounty hunter or bail enforcement agent (approved April 5, 1999) in the state. Other than law enforcement, only licensed bail bond agents may apprehend a fugitive who has skipped bail. In this situation, bail bond agents, or bondsmen, use their skills and resources to locate and return fugitives or “skips” who have failed to show up in court. Bail bond agents in Arkansas must be licensed by the Arkansas Professional Bail Bondsman Licensing Board (APBLB). Those who have an interest in becoming a bail agent in Arkansas must understand the requirements imposed by the Board and the steps to licensure.

Requirements for Prospective Bail Bond Agents in Arkansas

If you hope to become a bail agent in Arkansas, you must meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen of the US or resident alien
  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have no felony convictions or no convictions for crimes of moral turpitude

Once you meet these qualifications, you can begin completing the steps to licensure for a bail bond agent in Arkansas.

Steps to a Career as a Bail Bond Agent in Arkansas

In Arkansas, the Board administers bail agent licenses to ensure that bondsmen understand the law and complete an acceptable training program. To become a bail bond agent in Arkansas, you must follow these steps:

1. Complete the required training.

Hopeful bail agents must complete eight hours of pre-licensing training. Prices for training courses may vary, but the course will include Arkansas law relating to arrest and bail, interviewing techniques, the legality of search and seizure, and skip tracing. You may want to supplement this training with a formal education in criminal justice or legal studies.

2. Complete the application.

Once you complete the training you must submit the application for bail bondsman licensure. You will need to undergo a criminal background check and submit your fingerprints at the Arkansas Police Headquarters. WIth your application, you must submit:

3. Take and pass the examination.

All bail bondsmen in Arkansas must take and pass a written state examination. The exam is offered electronically on the second and fourth Tuesday and Thursday of the month and at the Board Office (101 E Capitol, Ste 117, Little Rock, Ar) on the second and fourth Wednesday of the month. You must score 70% or higher to pass. You may retake the exam as many times as needed to pass, but you must pass within one year. The exam fee is $25 (as of May 2016).

4. Receive your license.

After completing the three steps above, you will become a licensed bail bond agent in the state of Arkansas. Bail agents must renew their license every year on or before December 31. As of May 2016, renewal fees for bail agents cost $100. You must complete six hours of continuting education from an approved provided in order to renew your license.

Related Careers

Bail bond agents may supplement their income by working in fields related to bounty hunting. Two of those include working as a private investigator (PI) or a process server. Each state has different requirements for PIs and process servers; to learn more about both professions and to learn specific Arkansas requirements continue reading below.

Private Investigator/ Private Detective

Private investigators work for clients to find information on personal, financial, or criminal matters. Private investigators in Arkansas are licensed by the Arkansas State Police. In Arkansas, private investigators must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have no felony convictions, convictions of class A misdemeanors, or convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude
  • Be a US citizen or resident alien
  • Have a bachelor’s degree and have at least five years of law enforcement experience
  • Take and pass the exam
  • Pay the required fees $487.75 (May 2016)

For consideration to become a private investigator, submit an application to Arkansas State Police Department.

Process Server

Another way bail agents may supplement their income is by working as process servers. As a process server, individuals work for the court system to file legal papers, serve documents to parties involved in a lawsuit, and retrieve documents when needed. Process servers in Arkansas must be appointed by the Arkansas Judicial Court. To be appointed, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years of age
  • Have a high school diploma or GED
  • Possess a valid driver’s license
  • Be a US citizen or resident alien

For an application or more information, visit the Arkansas Judiciary website.

Training and Education Options in Arkansas

To supplement your bail bond agent training, you should look into obtaining an associate degree or certificate in criminal justice. A degree in criminal justice will enhance your understanding of the criminal justice system, improve your interviewing skills, and help you understand and help to resolve social problems. Having a formal education will also show your potential employer that you take your career seriously. Below we have identified some schools in Arkansas that offer an associate degree in criminal justice or a related field.

Arkansas State University-Beebe
1000 W Iowa St
Beebe, AR 72012
http://www.asub.edu

National Park Community College
101 College Dr
Hot Springs, AR 71913
http://www.npcc.edu

University of Arkansas-Fort Smith
5210 Grand Ave
Fort Smith, AR 72904
http://uafs.edu

Finding Work

Bounty hunters should have a plan to secure work. Finding an apprenticeship program as a bail bondsman can help you learn more about the job and find a bail bond company that may hire you. If you don’t already have one, consider finding a mentor who can provide you with advice on searching for work as a bail bond agent. By joining a bail bond association, you can grow your network and find new leads on jobs. Thirteen bail bond agents in Arkansas are members of the Professional Bail Agents of the US.

Featured Bail Agents in Arkansas

Below is a listing of well-known, large, or highly-rated bail bond agencies in Arkansas to help you find job opportunities.

1st Arkansas Bail Bonds
2650 S School Ave
Fayetteville, AR 72701
http://www.firstarkansasbailbonds.com

Chism John Bail Bonds
215 E 3rd St
Lonoke, Ar 72086
http://www.johnchismbailbonds.com

City Bail Bonds, Inc
3318 W Roosevelt Rd
Little Rock, AR 72205
http://www.littlerockbailagent.com

First Step Bail Bonds
3600 W Roosevelt Rd
Little Rock, AR 72204
http://www.firststepbailbonds.com

Ford Milton D Bail Bonds Inc.
807 W Markham St
Little Rock, AR 72201
http://www.willoliverbailbondsman.com

Lockhart Bail Bonding
1645 S School Ave
Fayetteville, AR 72701
http://www.lockhartbailbonding.com

Mitchell’s Bail Bonds
300 S Spring St
Ste 620
Little Rock, AR 72201
http://www.mitchellbailbonds.com

Mountain Man Bail Bonding
2856 S School Ave
Fayetteville, AR 72701

For even more bail bond agenst in Arkansas, use the Find a Bail Agent tool on the PBUS website.

Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Arkansas

Salary data is not provided for bounty hunters or bail bond agents from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). Because the career of a bounty hunter and private investigator are similar, we use the private investigator data as a proxy. There were 140 private investigators employed in Arkansas in 2015 and they earned an average annual salary of $50,050.2 The BLS projects that nationally, jobs for private investigators will increase by 5% between 2014 and 2024.3

City or Metropolitan Area Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Fayetteville-Springdale-Rogers, AR-MO 50 $56,870

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.2

Additional Resources

Below is a membership based association that may be beneficial to your bail agent career.

References:
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Arkansas: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/AR,US/PST045216
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Arkansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ar.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Outlook Handbook, Private Detectives and Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/ooh/Protective-Service/Private-detectives-and-investigators.htm