Nevada Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

    With a population of 3.1 million people and a private bail system in place, Nevada offers a licensing structure for fugitive recovery professionals to work legally in the state.1 The state allows bail enforcement but prohibits the use of the word “bounty hunter.” Bail enforcement agents in Nevada must be licensed by the Nevada Division of Insurance (DOI). Bail enforcement agents work for bail bondsmen to locate and return defendants who have skipped bail. If you are interested in becoming a bail enforcement agent in Nevada, you’ll need to understand the licensure requirements and steps to follow before beginning work. This information can be found below.

    Table of Contents

    Requirements for Prospective Bail Enforcement Agents in Nevada

    Working as a bail enforcement agent can be a dangerous job. To ensure the safety of the agent as well as the fugitive, you must meet the following criteria to qualify for a license as a bail enforcement agent in Nevada:

    • Be a US or naturalized citizen
    • Be at least 21 years of age
    • Possess a high school diploma or GED
    • Be a resident of Nevada for at least one year
    • Have no felony convictions, convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude or any crimes involving a controlled substance

    Steps to a Career as a Bail Enforcement Agent in Nevada

    After meeting the basic requirements, there is a process you must follow in order to receive your license from the DOI. In Nevada, bail enforcement agents must submit an application, attend a training course, and pass an exam to become licensed. For more details on each step in the process, continue reading.

    1. Complete the required training.

    The DOI requires that you complete an approved 80-hour basic bail enforcement course prior to receiving your license. The training will include topics like Nevada law, operational procedures for field work, skills needed to be a bail enforcement agent, and ethics of an agent. If you were trained through a federal, state, or local law enforcement agency as a peace officer or if you received training in the armed forces, that experience may be substituted for the basic training course. You must also complete a first aid and CPR certification course. In addition to this training, you may wish to pursue a formal education in criminal justice to further enhance your bail enforcement training.

    2. Complete the application.

    After you’ve completed the training and the exam, you may apply for licensure as a bail enforcement agent. As of July 2022, the application and license fee in Nevada was $185. Applicants must provide:

    • A finger-print based background criminal history check
    • The results of a psychological examination from a psychiatrist or psychologist licensed in the state of Nevada
    • A certified copy of your high school diploma or GED
    • A copy of your Nevada state driver’s license
    • Certification that you completed the basic training course

    You will also need to submit to a drug test (called the Controlled Substance Exam), to be taken within 30 days of submitting your application. If you are not a US citizen, you must submit a copy of your green card or resident alien identification card.

    4. Receive your license.

    After completing the steps listed above, if your application is approved you will become a licensed bail enforcement agent in the state of Nevada. Bail enforcement agents must renew their license every three years. To renew, you must complete three hours of continuing education from a provider approved by the DOI.

    Related Careers

    Bail enforcement agents will often work other jobs to gain more experience or to supplement their monthly income. Two of those positions include working as a private investigator or working as a process server. Here is some information for both professions in Nevada.

    Private Investigator/ Private Detective

    Private investigators (PIs) and private detectives (PDs) work to find information on personal, financial, or criminal matters for their clients. Private investigators in Nevada are licensed by the Nevada Private Investigator’s Licensing Board (PILB). Private investigators in Nevada must:

    • Be at least 21 years of age
    • Have no convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude or illegal use or possession of a weapon, and no felony convictions
    • Be a US citizen or resident alien
    • Complete a criminal background check
    • Have five years of investigative experience (10,000 hours)
    • Take and pass the exam (included in the application form)
    • Pay an application fee of $85 (as of July 2022)
    • Pay a licensure fee of $750 (as of July 2022)
    • Provide proof of liability insurance and/or other documentation requested to the PILB

    To apply for a private investigator license in Nevada, submit an application to the PILB.

    Process Server

    Some bail enforcement agents may also work as process servers to earn additional income. A process server works for the court system to file legal papers, serve documents to parties involved in a lawsuit, and retrieve documents when needed. Process servers in Nevada must be licensed by the PILB. To be issued a license, you must meet the following criteria:

    • Be at least 21 years of age
    • Have no felony convictions or convictions for crimes involving moral turpitude
    • Be a US citizen or have the right to work in the US
    • Pass the state examination
    • Pass a criminal background check
    • Have at least 4,000 hours of process serving related experience

    For an application to become a process server, visit the PILB website.

    Training and Education Options in Nevada

    You can add to your training by obtaining a two- or four-year degree in criminal justice or a related field. Training in criminal justice can teach you how to interpret the law and help you understand and resolve problems that you may encounter out in the field. Another benefit to having a degree in criminal justice is that it shows potential employers that you take your career seriously. For some licensure categories, the PILB may also waive certain experience requirements if you have a degree. Below we have identified some schools in Nevada that offer an associate degree in criminal justice or a related field.

    College of Southern Nevada
    700 College Dr
    Henderson, NV 89002

    Truckee Meadows Community College
    7000 Dandini Blvd
    Reno, NV 89512

    Western Nevada College
    2201 W College Pkwy
    Carson City, NV 89703

    Finding Work

    As you start your career in bail enforcement, you will need to begin networking and possibly identify an experienced mentor to guide you along your path. Most bail enforcement jobs are found via word-of-mouth so having a professional network in place will be key. Join a local bail bondsmen association to meet other bondsmen and perhaps identify an apprenticeship program. Professional Bail Agents of the US (PBUS) does not list any member bail bond agencies in the state of Nevada but does provide professional resources of potential interest.

    Featured Bail Bond Agencies in Nevada

    This listing provides information on some highly-rated or well-known bail bond agencies in Nevada.

    911 Bail Bonds
    2971 S Sammy Davis Jr Dr
    Las Vegas, NV 89109

    A Hope Bail Bonds
    800 S Casino Center Blvd
    Las Vegas, NV 89101

    Able Bail Bonds
    4430 Bennie Ln
    Reno, NV 89512

    Action Bail Bonds
    1749 Victorian Ave
    Sparks, NV 89431

    Bail Bonds Unlimited
    205 S Sierra St
    Ste 101
    Reno, NV 89501

    Free Bail Bonds
    121 Gass Ave
    Las Vegas, NV 89101

    Goodfellas Bail Bonds
    42 S Water St
    Henderson, NV 89015

    Lightning Bail Bonds
    629 S Casino Center Blvd
    Ste 1
    Las Vegas, NV 89101

    Bail Enforcement Agent Salary and Outlook in Nevada

    Salary data is not provided for bail enforcement agents by the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), so we use data for private investigators as a proxy due to the similarities in the job function. In 2021, an estimated 100 private investigators were employed in Nevada, and they earned an average annual salary of $74,860.2 This was higher than the 2021 national average of $60,970.3 Projections are that employment of private investigators in Nevada will increase by 28.6% through 2030, with an average of 20 annual openings including replacements.4

    City or Metropolitan AreaNumber Employed2Average Annual Salary2

    Additional Resources

    Joining professional associations can be beneficial to your bail enforcement career.

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