Delaware Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

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

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    Requirements for Prospective Bail Enforcement Agents in Delaware

    The DSP 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
    • Not be employed by any law enforcement organization

    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 training is offered by Delaware Technical Community College (DTCC) and costs $129 (as of August 2022). The course focuses 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 additional formal education in criminal justice, such as an associate’s degree.

    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. As a part of the application process, you must complete a background check. As of August 2022, the state and federal background check fee was $65. You must provide a photo ID with your application and submit the additional $75 licensure fee to the DSP.

    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 course and test via DTCC every odd year and complete eight hours of continuing education every even year. As of August 2022, the fee to renew your bail enforcement agent license was $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 often choose to work as private investigators or process servers. Listed below are the requirements in Delaware for both professions.

    Private Investigator/ Private Detective

    A private investigator (PI), also known as a private detective (PD), will find information for their clients regarding personal, financial, or criminal matters. Like bail enforcement agents, private investigators in Delaware are licensed by the DSP. 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, complete an application and appear in-person at the DSP offices in Dover or Newark (by appointment only) for fingerprinting and review. As of August 2022, the license fee was $85.

    Process Server

    Process servers work on behalf of the courts 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 work on cases through family court, you must complete the affidavit of process server for each document delivery (or attempt) you process. 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 understanding of the judicial system. It can also show potential employers that you are serious about your career. Here are a few schools in Delaware with criminal justice degree programs in Delaware.

    Delaware Technical Community College
    100 Campus Dr
    Dover, DE 19904

    University of Delaware
    Newark, DE 19716

    Widener University
    4601 Concord Pike
    Wilmington, DE 19803

    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 is one member bail bond agency in Delaware listed with the Professional Bail Agents of the US (PBUS) 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.

    1st Choice Bail Bonds
    1224 N King St
    Wilmington, DE 19801

    Bruny’s Bail Bonds
    1831 W 8th St
    Wilmington, DE 19805

    Dale’s Bail Bonds
    304 S State St
    Dover, DE 19901

    Free Delaware Bail Bonds
    3422 Old Capitol Trl
    Wilmington, DE 19808

    Lyons Bail Bonds
    178 North Dupont Hwy
    Dover, DE 19901

    T&H Bail Bond Agency LLC
    625 N King St
    Wilmington, DE 19801

    To identify even more bail agents in Delaware and neighboring states, use the Member Search tool on the PBUS website.

    Bail Enforcement Agent Salary and Outlook in Delaware

    Salary data is not provided for bail enforcement agents or bounty hunters from the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) so we use data for private investigators as a proxy. There were an estimated 40 private investigators in Delaware as of 2021, and they earned an average annual salary of $55,060.2 This was below the national average of $60,970 for the same time period.3 Projections show that between now and the year 2030, jobs for private investigators should increase by 3% in Delaware.4

    City or Metropolitan AreaNumber Employed2Average Annual Salary2
    Philadelphia-Camden-Wilmington, PA-NJ-DE-MD630$50,800

    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.

    1. US Census Bureau, Delaware: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/DE/PST045221
    2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Delaware: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_de.htm
    3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Private Detectives and Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
    4. Projections Central Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm