Indiana Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps
In Indiana, which has a population of 6.6 million, bounty hunting is a legal profession.1 The Indiana Department of Insurance licenses bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, or bail recovery agents. Bail recovery agents use investigative skills to find and return fugitives who have “skipped” bail. If you’re interested in learning more about becoming a bail recovery agent in Indiana, continue reading.
Requirements for Prospective Bail Recovery Agents in Indiana
The Department of Insurance has standards that bail recovery agents must meet before becoming licensed. If you wish to work as a bail recovery agent in Indiana, you must:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Have no felony convictions within the past 10 years and have no misdemeanor convictions within the past five years
Steps to a Career as a Bail Recovery Agent in Indiana
To become a bail recovery agent, you must go through a process developed by the Indiana Department of Insurance. Listed below are the four primary steps required to become a bail recovery agent in the state, along with some tips that will aid you in leading a successful career.
1. Complete the required training.
The Indiana Department of Insurance requires that bail recovery agents complete 12 hours of pre-licensing education (PLE). Bail bond training will focus on surveillance techniques, interviewing skills, investigative methods, and laws and rules relating to bail recovery in Indiana. You will need to schedule your PLE training and will receive a certificate upon completion of the class. Prices for PLE will vary. While it is not required, you should also consider obtaining a certificate or two-year degree in criminal justice to have a better understanding of laws and the criminal justice system as you enter this career.
2. Take the examination.
After obtaining the PLE training, you must take and pass the bail recovery agent examination. The exam consists of 60 questions, costs $100 (as of March 2016), and must be scheduled online. You will receive the score report after completing the exam and you must submit it with your license application. If you fail the exam, you may pay the examination fee again and retake it an unlimited number of times.
3. Submit your application.
To become licensed as a bail recovery agent, you must apply to the Department of Insurance. As of March 2016, the application fee was $300. Along with your application, you must include:
- A recent photograph of your face
- A fingerprint card (from your local law enforcement agency) or a receipt from L-1 Identity Solutions verifying that you’ve been fingerprinted
- A recent credit report
- A criminal history check via Indiana State Police (ISP)
- The examination score report
If you have any other professional licenses, you must submit copies of those with your application.
4. Receive your license.
Once you submit your application and pass your examination, you will become licensed as a bail recovery agent in Indiana. Bail recovery agent licenses must be renewed every year. To renew, you must complete six hours of continuing education, pay the $300 application fee, and submit a full face photograph with your application.
Most bail recovery agents supplement their income by working in similar jobs. In addition to providing additional income, these jobs also provide helpful experience to bail recovery agents. Some jobs that bail recovery agents consider are private investigators or a process servers. Following is a summary of the requirements of both professions in the state of Indiana.
Private Investigator/ Private Detective
Private investigators (PIs) and private detectives (PDs) work for clients to investigate legal, financial, and personal data. Investigators in Indiana are licensed by the Indiana Professional Licensing Agency. The Agency requires that licensed private detectives:
- Have 4,000 hours of private investigative work
- Have a four-year degree in criminal justice from an accredited university
- Submit to a criminal background check
As of March 2016, the license fee was $300. To apply, visit the Indiana Licensing Agency’s website.
A process server works independently for the court system to file legal papers and serve documents to parties involved in a lawsuit. Process servers in Indiana are not required to be licensed. If you’re interested in becoming a process server, you must be at least 18 years of age. Contact your local county clerk’s office for more information or to start working as a process server.
Training and Education Options in Indiana
When becoming a bail recovery agent, you must thoroughly understand the criminal justice system and laws and legislation in Indiana. You should consider obtaining a two- or four-year degree in criminal justice or a certificate program. With a formal education, you will have more knowledge about the justice system and you will show potential employers that you are serious about your career. Listed below are some schools in Indiana that offer associate degrees or certificates in criminal justice.
Indiana University Bloomington
107 S Indiana Ave
Bloomington, IN 47405
Oakland City University
138 N Lucretia St
Oakland City, IN 47660
Saint Mary-of-the-Woods College
3301 St Marys Rd
West Haute, IN 47885
To find work as a bail recovery agent, you must know where to begin looking. The Professional Bail Agents of the US association lists 18 bail bondsmen working in Indiana. You should consider joining local bail bond associations to identify experienced mentors to work with and possibly to find an apprenticeship with a local agent.
Featured Bail Agents in Indiana
Below is a listing of top-rated or well-known bail bond agencies in Indiana that you can use to begin developing your professional network.
American Bonding Co.
1515 Laverne Ave
Fort Wayne, IN 46805
Associated Bail Bonds Inc.
690 W Morgan St
Martinsville, IN 46151
Blue Streak Bail Bonds
80 Old Farm Rd
Danville, IN 46122
Frazier Bail Bonds
85 East Main St
Greenwood, IN 46143
Hoosier Bail Bonds
861 S Fillmore Rd
Greencastle, IN 46135
Indy Bail Bonds
16 N Delaware St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
JP Bail Bonding
114 N Delaware St
Indianapolis, IN 46204
Liberty Bail Bonds
410 N Morton St
Bloomington, IN 47404
Randy Hughey Bail Bonds
154 ½ N Morton
Franklin, IN 46131
Woods Bail Bonds
38 N Delaware St
Indianapolis, IN 46268
To find additional bail agents and bondsmen in your area, use the Find a Bail Agent tool on the PBUS website.
Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Indiana
In an effort to provide salary estimates for bounty hunters, we use data for private detectives and investigators as a proxy because the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide any data for bail recovery agents at this time. In Indiana in 2015, there were 210 private investigators employed, but their average salary was not reported.2 Nationwide, however, the average annual salary for PIs was $52,840 in 2015.3
|City or Metropolitan Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary||Cincinnati, OH-KY-IN||N/A*||$47,690||Indianapolis-Carmel-Anderson||N/A*||$34,680|
Data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.2
*Estimate not available from the BLS.
Here are two associations in Indiana to help you network with bail bondsmen, bail agents, and private investigators.
- Indiana Surety Bail Agents Association, Inc. – An association of professional bail agents in Indiana that provides networking and continuing education opportunities for bail recovery agents in the state.
- Indiana Association of Professional Investigators – An association of private investigators in Indiana that provides legal resources, updated code of ethics, and networking opportunities for PIs in Indiana.
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Indiana: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/IN/PST045219
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Indiana: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_in.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Private Investigator: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm