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Delaware Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

With a population of nearly 1 million people, the state of Delaware has a private bail system in place and allows for the bounty hunting profession.1 In Delaware, bounty hunters are known as bail enforcement agents and they work to find and return fugitives who have skipped bail. The Delaware State Police licenses bail enforcement agents in the state. To learn more about the licensing requirements for bail enforcement agents in Delaware, continue reading this guide.

Requirements for Prospective Bail Enforcement Agents in Delaware

The State Police has detailed requirements that you must meet if you wish to become a bail enforcement agent. You must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Have no felony convictions
  • Not have been convicted of any crimes involving moral turpitude
  • Not have been convicted of any misdemeanors relating to theft or drug offenses within the past seven years
  • Not have been tried for any offense as a juvenile that would have been a felony if you were an adult (if you are under the age of 25)
  • Not have been convicted of any organized gang activity

Steps to a Career as a Bail Enforcement Agent in Delaware

Bail enforcement agents must follow certain steps in Delaware in order to become licensed. They must be trained, complete an application, and pay the required fees. For more detail on each step in the licensure process, see the information provided below.

1. Complete the required training.

Bail enforcement agents in Delaware are required to complete eight hours of initial training prior to becoming licensed. The initial training will cost $129 (as of June 2016) and will focus on topics such as the constitution and bill of rights, laws of arrest, laws of search and seizure, police jurisdiction, and the use of deadly force. You may wish to supplement your bail enforcement training with formal education in criminal justice.

At the end of your training, you must pass the end of course test with a score of 75% or higher. If you fail, you may retake the test once; if you fail the test a second time, you must retake the classroom instruction. If you plan to carry a firearm, baton, mace, and/or handcuffs, you must complete the training for each item from an approved instructor.

2. Submit an application.

After completing your training, you may apply for bail enforcement licensure to the State Police. As a part of the application process, you must complete a background check. As of June 2016, the state and federal background check is $69. You must also provide a photo ID with your application and submit the $75 licensure fee to the State Police.

3. Begin working as a bail enforcement agent.

Once your application has been approved, you will become a licensed bail enforcement agent in Delaware. Bail enforcement agents must renew their license every year. To renew your license, you must complete the online modular and test via Delaware Technical Community College on the odd years and complete eight hours of continuing education every even year. As of June 2016, the fee to renew your bail enforcement agent license is $50.

Related Careers

As a bail enforcement agent, you may wish to increase your experience and income by working in similar professions. Bail enforcement agents may choose to work as private investigators or process servers during their time away from bounty hunting. Listed below are the requirements in Delaware for both professions.

Private Investigator/ Private Detective

A private investigator (PI) will find and gather information for their client regarding personal, financial, or criminal matters. Like bail enforcement agents, private investigators in Delaware are licensed by the Delaware State Police. To become a licensed private investigator, you must:

  • Be at least 21 years of age
  • Be a US citizen or resident alien
  • Have no felony convictions or misdemeanors involving theft, drug offenses, or crimes of moral turpitude
  • Take a training class and pass the examination
  • Submit to a background check

To apply to be a private investigator, submit an application to Delaware State Police. As of June 2016, the license fee was $89.

Process Server

Process servers work on behalf of the court to file legal papers and serve documents to parties involved in a lawsuit. Process servers in Delaware must be at least 18 years of age. If you are a process server for family court, you must complete the affidavit of process server. To get started working as a process server, contact your local court.

Training and Education Options in Delaware

Bail enforcement agents should have a working knowledge of the criminal justice system if they hope to be successful in their job. You should consider obtaining a two- or four-year degree in criminal justice to understand the legal system and social problems and solutions. An associate degree or certificate in criminal justice will complement the required bail enforcement agent training. This degree program can help improve your critical thinking and decision making skills and provide an understand of the judicial system. It may also show potential employers that you are serious about your career. Here are a few schools in Delaware with an associate degree program in Delaware.

Dawn Training Center
3700 Lancaster Pike
Wilmington, DE 19805
https://www.dawncareerinstitute.edu

Delaware Technical Community College
100 Campus Dr
Dover, DE 19904
http://www.dtcc.edu

Widener University
4601 Concord Pike
Wilmington, DE 19803
http://www.widener.edu

Finding Work

Bail enforcement agents will need a plan to secure work upon becoming licensed. Because working as a bail enforcement agent isn’t a “typical” job, most opportunities will be found via word-of-mouth. You should try to find a mentor to help you navigate through your new career. You may also consider joining professional networks of bail agents to increase your access to professional resources. There are two member bail bond agencies listed with the Professional Bail Agents of the US on their website.

Featured Bail Agents in Delaware

Below we have identified some well known or highly rated bail bond agencies in Delaware; you can use this list to find potential employers.

A Bail Bonds By Resto and Company Inc
1200 Northeast Blvd, Ste B
Wilmington, DE 19802
http://www.gotbailonline.com

A and R Bail Bonds
1710 Philadelphia Pike
Wilmington, DE 19809
http://www.aandrbailbonds.net

Axe Bail Bonds
311 S State St
Dover, DE 19901
http://www.axebailbonds.com

Bovell Bail Bonds
1900 W 4th St
Wilmington, DE 19805
http://www.bovellbail.com

Dale’s Bail Bonds
304 S State St
Dover, DE 19901
http://www.dalesbails.com

Delaware Bail Bonds
102 Larch Cir
Wilmington, DE 19804
http://www.delawarebailbonds.com

Discount Bail Bonds
4 W 4th St
Wilmington, DE 19801

Hi-Tech Bail Bonds
40 E Main S, Ste 581
Newark, DE 19211

Step by Step Bail Bonds
1224 N King St
Wilmington, DE 19801
http://www.sbsbailbonds.com

To identify even more bail agents in Delaware, use the Find a Bail Agent tool on the PBUS website.

Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Delaware

Salary data is not provided for bail enforcement agents from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) so we use data for private investigators as a proxy. There are 90 private investigators in Delaware and they earn an average annual salary of $53,400.2 Projections show that between now and the year 2022, jobs for private investigators will increase by 8.1% in Delaware.3

City or Metropolitan Area Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD 540 $52,470
Salisbury, MD-DE N/A* $51,770
Wilmington, DE-MD-NJ 60 $50,870

*Estimate not available.
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.2

Additional Resources

To grow your professional network, consider joining the bail bond association listed below.

  • Delaware Bail Association, Inc. – An association of bail agents in Delaware that provides information to its members of changing rules and regulations about the profession./li>

References:
1. US Census Bureau, Delaware: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045215/10
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Delaware: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_de.htm
3. Projections Central, Longterm Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com