Minnesota Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

With a population of 5.5 million people, Minnesota allows the bounty hunting profession, but the state is virtually silent on 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.

Requirements for Surety Recovery Agent in Minnesota

Surety recovery agents locate and return fugitives who have “skipped” bail and they usually work for 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 to 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 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. A mentor can introduce you to bail bondsmen who are hiring and you can shadow him or her in the field.

3. Begin working as a surety recovery agent.

Upon gaining the needed training and finding a mentor to work with, 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 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 PIs:

  • 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 PI, submit $25 to the Board to request an application packet (fees are current as of April 2016).

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 in any state 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 a society can control crime and unwanted behavior. There are several school options for an associate degree in criminal justice (or a related field) 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. Bounty hunters in Minneapolis will have to identify bail bondsmen who need assistance and convince them that their skills and experience make them best fit for the job. To make your job search easier, you should join a bail bondsman association and try to find an apprenticeship with an experienced surety recovery agent or bail bondsmen. The Professional Bail Agents of the US lists 13 member bail bond agencies in Minnesota. Your mentor can also point you in the right direction for finding leads.

Featured Bail Bondsmen Agencies in Minnesota

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

AAA Discount Bail Bonds
1465 Whispering Ct
Hastings, MN 55033

Ability Bonding Company
322 S 3rd St
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Absolute Bail Bonds
444 S 8th St
Minneapolis, MN 55415

Bad Boys Bail Bonds
824 White Bear Ave
Saint Paul, MN 55119

Bail Bonds Doctor
378-½ 8th St
Saint Paul, MN 55101

Banks Bail Bonds LLC
7675 Highway 13 W
Savage, MN 55378

DUI Bail Bonds
8200 Humboldt Ave S
Ste 120
Minneapolis, MN 55431

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

MN Fugitive Recovery, LLC
National Headquarters | Bail Investigations Department
Minneapolis, MN 55431
763-220-2501 (National & Local)

Stew’s Bail Bonds
437 8th St E
St Paul, MN 55106

Vanguard Bail Bonds
1648 Rice St
St. Paul, MN 55117

For even more bail agents and bondsmen in your area, you can use the Find a Bail Agent tool on the PBUS website.

Bounty Hunter 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. Over 500 private investigators are employed in Minnesota, but salary data was not reported for the state in 2015.1 On average, though, private detectives earn $52,840 nationally.2 Jobs for PIs in Minnesota are projected to increase by 5.1% between 2012 and 2022, according to Projections Central.4

1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Minnesota: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/MN/PST045219
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Minnesota: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_mn.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, Private Detectives and Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projects: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm