Kansas Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps
In Kansas, bounty hunting is a legal profession but the state of 2.9 million people does not require bounty hunters to hold a license. A bounty hunter, or an “agent of a surety” or “surety agent” (as identified in the Kansas administrative code), is not required to be licensed in Kansas, but they must meet certain qualifications and should follow the recommended process below in order to be able to locate and capture fugitives. Chapter 22, Sections 2809 and 2809a of the Kansas Statute gives authority for individuals to act as surety agents. Surety agents act as a part of the bail system to locate and return defendants who have “skipped” bail. Upon the defendant’s return, bounty hunters and are paid a fee (a percentage of the bond) by a bail bondsman or surety. If you’re interested in pursuing a career as a bounty hunter in Kansas, continue reading for information on licensing rules and requirements.
Requirements for Prospective Bounty Hunters in Kansas
Surety agents in Kansas must be at least 18 years of age, have no felony convictions within the past 10 years, and be a US citizen or resident alien. It will be helpful for you to have some bail enforcement training and an understanding of the law.
Steps to a Career as a Surety Agent in Kansas
Surety agents in Kansas should gain some general training in the field, find an experienced mentor, and inform law enforcement of their actions. To begin working, we recommend that you:
1. Acquire some bounty hunting experience.
Although not required, most surety agents enter the field with some law enforcement or investigative experience. Surety agents should also be trained specifically in bail enforcement. Before starting your career, you should attend a bail agent training course that covers topics such as Kansas laws relating to bail, interviewing techniques, research methods, and skip tracing. Prices for classes will vary, but they usually cost between $200 and $500. In addition to bail enforcement training, you should consider obtaining a formal education in criminal justice like an associate degree or certificate to help with your career.
2. Identify a mentor.
Because there are no licensing requirements for surety agents in Kansas, it is imperative that you find a mentor who can help you identify leads and potential employers. A mentor can help you avoid common mistakes that new surety agents tend to make. He or she may be able to assist you with developing plans to find a “skip.” You can also join a local surety association or attend public meetings (in lieu of joining) to find a mentor.
3. Begin working as a surety agent.
After you have attained some bounty hunting training and identified a mentor, you are ready to begin working as a surety agent in Kansas. According to state law, surety agents are required to inform local law enforcement before they apprehend a fugitive. Prior to “arresting” a skip, you must provide your local sheriff’s or police department with:
- A certified copy of the bond
- A copy of your driver’s license or state ID
- Documentation that you are working on behalf of a surety
- Documentation that the person you are apprehending is the principal on the bond
Once you provide this information to your local law enforcement agency, you may apprehend the fugitive. If you desire, law enforcement can accompany you when apprehending defendants.
Because there is no licensing in Kansas, there is no required continuing education for surety agents. You should still stay up to date on laws relating to the profession and changes in the field.
Individuals who work as surety agents may work in related jobs such as a private investigator or process server to gain experience and supplement their income during employment lulls. Some surety agents start off as process servers and continue to “serve” legal papers when it fits their schedule.
Private Investigator/ Private Detective
A private investigator works to find legal, personal, or financial data for their client. In Kansas, private investigators are licensed by the Office of Attorney General (AG). To work as a private investigator in Kansas, you must:
- Be at least 21 years of age
- Be a US citizen
- Have no felony convictions within the past 10 years, nor have committed any crime that involves fraud
- Submit two sets of fingerprints
- Submit five certificates of reference from unrelated persons who have known you for at least five years
- Possess a valid driver’s license
- Show proof of a surety bond for $100,000 or a certificate of general liability insurance for $100,000
- Have one year of law enforcement or investigative experience
- Take and pass the examination
If you meet these qualifications, you may apply to the Kansas AG for licensure. As of May 2016, a private investigator license cost $250.
A process server files legal papers and serves legal documents to parties involved in a lawsuit. In Kansas, process servers are not required to be licensed but they must be at least 18 years of age. Contact your local court for more information or to start serving papers.
Training and Education Options in Kansas
Bounty hunters should obtain formal education in criminal justice or a related field to help them understand the legal system. A two-year degree or certificate in criminal justice can enhance your career by improving your decision-making and critical thinking skills. By having a formal education, you will show potential employers that you are willing to invest in your own career and that you take your career seriously. Listed below are some schools that offer associate degrees in criminal justice or a related field.
Allen County Community College
1801 N Cottonwood St
Iola, KS 66749
Garden City Community College
801 Campus Dr
Garden City, KS 67846
1700 SW College Ave
Topeka, KS 66621
Before looking for a job, you will need a plan and professional network in place. Most jobs for bounty hunters are found via word-of-mouth. To aid you in your job search, you should look for a mentor who is an experienced bounty hunter or private investigator. An apprenticeship program could be a helpful way for you to gain experience while building professional relationships. You could join a local bail bond association to find a mentor or identify an apprenticeship program. The Professional Bail Agents of the US has 24 member bail bond agencies in their directory for the state of Kansas.
Featured Bail Agents in Kansas
Here are some well-known and/or highly-rated surety agencies or bail agents in Kansas.
24/7 Bail Bonds
635 SE Quincy St
Topeka, KS 66603
A Second Chance Bail Bonds
705 N Broadway
Wichita, KS 67202
Ace Bail Bonds
635 SE Quincy St
Topeka, KS 66603
Big Mike’s Bail Bonds
708 N Broadway St
Wichita, KS 67214
Big Time Bail Bonds
1005 NW Topeka Blvd
Topeka, KS 66608
Freedom Bonding LLC
1132 Oak St
Kansas City, MO 64106
Moose Bail Bonds
112 SE 7th St
Topeka, KS 66603
Pat Hiebert Bail Bonds
705 N Broadway
Wichita, KS 67214
Shane’s Bail Bonds
405 E Santa Fe St
Olathe, KS 66061
Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Kansas
The Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide salary data for bounty hunters, so we use the data provided for private investigators as a proxy. In 2015, there were 70 private investigators employed in Kansas earning an annual average salary of $45,300.2 Projections show that between 2012 and the year 2022, jobs for private investigators will increase by 8.3%.3
|City or Metropolitan Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.2
The resource listed below should help you in your search to find work as a bounty hunter in Kansas.
- Kansas Bail Agents Association – An association of licensed bail bond agents in Kansas that provides networking opportunities and other resources for investigators in the state.
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Kansas: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/ks
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Kansas: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ks.htm
3. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm