Minnesota Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

    Minnesota has a population of 5.7 million people and allows the bounty hunting profession, but has few laws governing bounty hunters.1 Bounty hunters, known as surety recovery agents in Minnesota, are guided by Minnesota Statute Section 629.63, which gives arresting authority to surety agents or a person working under the direction of the surety. Although there are no licensing requirements for surety recovery agents in the state, there are still recommended steps you should follow in order to become a successful surety recovery agent. If you’re interested in finding and returning fugitives in the state of Minnesota, continue reading this guide to learn more about the profession and general requirements.

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    Requirements for Surety Recovery Agents in Minnesota

    Surety recovery agents locate and return fugitives who have “skipped” bail, working under the direction of a licensed bail bondsmen. To act as a surety recovery agent in Minnesota, you must:

    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Be a US citizen or resident alien
    • Have no felony convictions

    Steps to a Career as a Surety Recovery Agent in Minnesota

    If you meet the three requirements for surety recovery agents listed above, you can begin the process of becoming one. Prior to working as a surety recovery agent, you should:

    1. Gain the required training.

    Surety recovery agents must understand laws relating to bail and arrest in Minnesota. To gain this knowledge, you should look for training on basic laws in the state. You can contact the Minnesota Department of Public Safety (MNDPS) for leads on training classes for civilians. If no local bail agency training classes are available, look for online courses that teach general surety recovery agent methods such as interviewing techniques and skip tracing. It may also be helpful to obtain a two- or four-year degree in criminal justice. You can find more information on formal training further in this guide.

    2. Identify a mentor.

    Getting into the surety recovery agent business can be difficult if you don’t have existing connections. One way to increase your success in the field is to find an experienced bounty hunter who is willing to be your mentor and show you the ropes. Mentors may offer job-shadowing opportunities and can introduce you to bail bondsmen who are hiring.

    3. Begin working as a surety recovery agent.

    After familiarizing yourself with the ins and outs of the fugitive recovery business, you can begin working as a surety recovery agent in Minnesota. Under Minnesota state law, you can request the assistance of the sheriff’s department when arresting a fugitive. You may want to inform your local sheriff’s office of your new job and maintain regular contact with them. As a surety recovery agent, be sure to stay up-to-date on laws relating to surety and bail bonds.

    Related Careers

    Bounty hunters sometimes work in similar jobs in order to supplement their income. Two of those jobs include working as a private investigator and a process server. A brief summary of the requirements for both professions in Minnesota can be found below.

    Private Investigator/ Private Detective

    Private detectives (PDs), also known as private investigators (PIs), research legal, financial, and personal matters for their client. In Minnesota, private investigators are licensed by the State of Minnesota Board of Private Detective and Protective Agent Services. The Board requires that PDs:

    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Have no felony convictions
    • Have a $10,000 surety bond
    • Have at least 6,000 hours of full-time investigation experience

    To apply for licensure as a PD, submit the application request packet along with the required $25 application request fee (as of July 2022).

    Process Server

    A process server works for the court system to file legal papers and serve legal documents to parties involved in a lawsuit. Process servers do not have to be licensed to work in Minnesota. They must, however, be at least 18 years of age. For more information or to start a process server career, visit your county clerk’s office.

    Training and Education Options in Minnesota

    Surety recovery agents should be well-versed in criminal justice and the legal system. To enhance your legal knowledge and to show future employers that you are serious about your career, you should consider obtaining a two-year degree or certificate in criminal justice. Criminal justice degrees use an interdisciplinary approach to help you identify criminal behavior patterns and explain how society can control crime and unwanted behavior. There are several school options for earning an associate degree in criminal justice and related fields in Minnesota.

    Hibbing Community College
    1515 E 25th St
    Hibbing, MN 55746

    Leech Lake Tribal College
    6945 Little Wolf Rd NW
    Cass Lake, MN 56633

    Minneapolis Community and Technical College
    1501 Hennepin Ave
    Minneapolis, MN 55403

    Rochester Community and Technical College
    851 30th Ave SE
    Rochester, MN 55904

    Finding Work

    Without the right networks in place, finding work as a surety recovery agent can be difficult. Surety recovery agents in Minneapolis will have to identify bail bondsmen who need assistance and convince them that their skills and experience make them the best fit for the job. To make your job search easier, consider joining related professional associations and try to find an apprenticeship with an experienced surety recovery agent or bail bondsmen.

    Featured Bail Bondsmen Agencies in Minnesota

    The following are some of the most highly-rated bail bond agencies in Minnesota.

    AAA Bail Bonds
    12 2nd St NE
    Buffalo, MN 55313

    Absolute Bail Bonds
    322 S 3rd St
    Minneapolis, MN 55415

    AnyTime Bail Bonds
    1041 Grand Ave
    St. Paul, MN 55105

    Bail Bonds Doctor
    415 S 5th St
    Minneapolis, MN 55415

    Banks Bail Bonds LLC
    4455 Village Lake Dr SE
    Prior Lake, MN 55372

    Foster Bail Bonds
    PO Box 107
    Owatanna, MN 55060

    Goldberg Bail Bonds
    400 S 4th St
    Minneapolis, MN 55415

    Metro Bail Bonds
    7900 International Dr
    Ste 300
    Bloomington, MN 55425

    Midwest Bonding
    316 E Main St
    Anoka, MN 55303

    Surety Recovery Agent Salary and Outlook in Minnesota

    The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not provide salary data for bounty hunters, so we use data for private investigators as a proxy because this career is most closely related to that of surety recovery agents. An estimated 340 private investigators were employed in Minnesota as of 2021, with an average salary of $66,810 per year.2 On average, private detectives and investigators earn $60,970 nationally.2 Jobs for PIs in Minnesota are projected to increase by 10% between 2020 and 2030, according to Projections Central.4

    City or Metropolitan AreaNumber Employed2Average Annual Salary2
    Minneapolis-St. Paul-Bloomington310N.Av.

    Additional Resources

    Joining a professional association is a great way to expand your network and keep your skills and knowledge up-to-date with best practices.

    1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Minnesota: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/MN/PST045221
    2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Minnesota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.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