Mississippi Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps
Mississippi is home to an estimated 2.9 million people.1 Bail is an important part of the state’s criminal justice system, and the practice of bounty hunting is allowed. Bounty hunters in Mississippi are known as bail enforcement agents, and they work for licensed bail bond agents to return fugitives who have “skipped” bail. If you are interested in learning about jobs in the fugitive recovery field in Mississippi, this page provides information on licensing for bounty hunting and private investigation and outlines the job outlook and useful professional organizations in the state to help you succeed.
Table of Contents
- Bail Enforcement Agent Requirements
- Steps to a Career
- Related Careers
- Training and Education Options
- Finding Work
- Salary and Job Outlook
- Bail Enforcement Agent Resources
Requirements for Prospective Bail Enforcement Agents in Mississippi
To work as a bail enforcement agent in Mississippi you must have a license issued by the Mississippi Insurance Department (MID). Once licensed, you may find employment with a bail bond agency to retrieve individuals who fail to show up for court appearances while out on bail or work as a freelance agent for many bail bond agencies. To qualify for the license you must:
- Be at least 21 years old
- Be legally able to work in the United States
- Have no felony convictions
- Not be licensed to practice law in Mississippi or any other state
Steps to a Career as a Bail Enforcement Agent in Mississippi
Mississippi’s bail bond licensing laws are designed to protect all parties involved in the transaction, as well as the public, by ensuring that licensed agents know and follow the law. The following steps explain how to apply for a bail enforcement agent license in Mississippi.
1. Complete 40 hours of required training.
The Mississippi Bail Agents Association (MBAA) oversees the required 40-hour pre-licensing curriculum that you must complete before applying for your license. The training is offered at locations across the state.
2. Pass the bail enforcement agent exam.
Prospective bail enforcement agents must take and pass the state’s bail exam. This exam, which consists of 60 questions regarding Mississippi bail law, is arranged through Pearson Vue.
3. Obtain an employment offer.
In order to work as a bail enforcement agent in Mississippi, you must be employed by a licensed bail bond agent. Your work will be authorized and supervised by the employing agent. The employing agent’s signature and affidavit of employment are required for the license application.
4. Submit your application.
Once you have completed the required training and have a job offer, you can submit your application form, a passport-style photograph, and the $40 license fee (also known as a “privilege tax”). Proof of completed bail agent training must be sent directly to the MID office by your instructor. You must also have your fingerprints taken either before or at the same time you submit your application package at the MDI Office. Fingerprinting costs $50 and sets taken at other offices are not accepted. Fees are current as of July 2022.
5. Receive your license.
Once you have received your license, you may begin working for your employing bail agent. Licenses must be renewed every two years by September 30th of odd-numbered years. You must complete eight hours per year (16 hours in total) of continuing education (CE). The renewal fee is $40 (as of July 2022).
Besides working as a bail enforcement agent, you might also find work in a related area of criminal justice, such as private investigation or process serving. Details on both of these career options are listed below.
Private Investigator/ Private Detective
Working as a private investigator (PI) or private detective (PD) requires the ability to think on your feet and track down information and people in diverse circumstances. Mississippi is one of the few states that does not require you to have a license to work as a private investigator or detective; however, training or relevant experience will likely help you succeed if you decide to pursue this career path. In addition, if you are working as a PI, you must likely register yourself as a business in the city or county in which you reside.
Process servers locate individuals who are involved in court cases and deliver documents informing them of court actions. Similar to private investigators, Mississippi does not license process servers; you can work in this field as long as you are over 18 years old. This may be a good career option to gain experience in the fugitive recovery field as it requires similar skills.
Training and Education Options in Mississippi
It is not necessary to complete any specific college education to obtain your bail enforcement agent license, but higher education can be useful. For example, you might consider attending a criminal justice or forensics degree program to learn more about the laws and legal systems impacting bail enforcement. Two- and four-year degree programs are offered at colleges and universities across the state. Several examples of these programs are provided below.
Coahoma Community College
3240 Friars Point Rd
Clarksdale, MS 38614
The University of Mississippi
University, MS 38677
The University of Southern Mississippi
118 College Dr
Hattiesburg, MS 39406
Bail enforcement agents find work with bail bond agencies across Mississippi. These agencies post bail on behalf of clients with a contractual agreement that the client will appear in court; however, if the client does not appear, the bail bond agency may hire a bail enforcement agent to locate the individual and prevent the loss of the bail bond to the court. This work may be physically demanding and require working non-traditional hours. To gain experience, you might consider working with an experienced bail enforcement agent willing to train you and evaluate your performance. Contacting bail bond agents is one way to find your first job. There are eight member bail bond agents registered in the state according to the Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS) website.
Featured Bail Agents in Mississippi
Here are some bail bond agents from various areas of Mississippi that have received high customer reviews and/or are well-known.
AFAB Bail Bonds
1701 24th Ave
Gulfport, MS 39501
All American Bail Bonds
419 S State St
Jackson, MS 39201
Aw Shucks Bail Bonds
1223 Pass Rd
Gulfport, MS 39501
Big Mama’s Bail Bonding
1000 Highland Colony Pkwy
Ridgeland, MS 39157
The Hampton Company National Surety
156 W Broad St
Decatur, MS 39327
Mississippi Bonding Company
2531 Old Brandon Rd
Pearl, MS 39208
Find even more bail agents and bondsmen in your area using the Member Search tool on the PBUS website.
Bail Enforcement Agent Salary and Outlook in Mississippi
Job outlook is an important factor when considering any career; however, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not report data on bail enforcement agents. Instead, we provide statistics and data on private investigators and detectives as these are closely related professions. As of 2021, there were an estimated 140 private investigators and detectives working in Mississippi, with an average salary of $44,270.2 This was below the national average of $60,970 for this profession.3 Through 2030, jobs for private investigators in Mississippi are expected to increase by 7.1%, with an annual average of 10 job openings including replacements.4
|City or Metropolitan Area||Number Employed2||Average Annual Salary2|
- Mississippi Bail Agents Association (MBAA): Provides information on relevant issues to licensed bail agents and bail enforcement agents in the state.
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, Mississippi: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/MS/PST045221
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, May 2021, Mississippi: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ms.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2021, Private Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm