New Hampshire Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

    New Hampshire has a population of just over 1.3 million people and recognizes bounty hunting as a legal profession.1 Bounty hunters, who work to locate and return fugitives who have skipped bail, are known as bail recovery agents in the state and are licensed through the New Hampshire State Police Permits and Licensing Unit (NHSP). However, because the state has a state-run pretrial services program that reduces the need for private bail, demand for bail bond services is low. Continue reading to find out how to become a bail recovery agent in New Hampshire.

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    Requirements for Prospective Bail Recovery Agents in New Hampshire

    Bail recovery agents are required to meet certain guidelines to qualify for licensure.You must:

    • Be at least 18 years of age
    • Be a US resident
    • Have no felonies or misdemeanors associated with theft, fraud, controlled a substance use or sale, or violence

    Additional requirements for becoming a bail recovery agent in New Hampshire are outlined below.

    Steps to a Career as a Bail Recovery Agent in New Hampshire

    To become a bail recovery agent in New Hampshire you must follow the process set by the NHSP. Follow the steps below to register as a bail recovery agent and begin building your career.

    1. Purchase a two-year, $50,000 surety bond dated to run with your license.

    Bail recovery agents in New Hampshire may work for a licensed bail agency as employees or as independent contractors. Both licensed bail agencies and licensed individuals must carry liability insurance of at least $50,000 to cover the activities of their recovery agents and themselves.

    2. Complete the application.

    In New Hampshire, prospective individual bail recovery agents are required to submit a fee of $150 (plus $25 for a background check) along with an application. Those interested in applying as an agency must pay a fee of $500 (plus $25) and complete the application form. If you wish to have Armed Status to carry a firearm, you must pay an additional fee of $26.50 and schedule fingerprinting with the NHSP in advance. Note that all applications and supporting documents must be delivered in person to the NHSP office in Concord.

    3. Provide documentation that you meet the minimum education requirements.

    Applicants who wish to work independently or own their own bail bond business must possess one of the following and be able to provide proof of it along with their application:

    • At least four years of experience in law enforcement with a federal, state, county, college, police, or security company; OR
    • An Associate of Science (AS) or Bachelor of Science (BS) in Criminal Justice or Fire Service from an accredited college/university OR professional investigator certification from the American Society for Industrial Security OR National Association of Legal Investigators certification as a legal investigator and full-time employment as an investigator for a private investigative agency for at least two years; OR
    • At least four years of experience as a full-time investigator for a private investigative agency; OR
    • At least four years of experience as a full-time firefighter with International Association of Arson Investigators certification; OR
    • American Society for Industrial Security certification in security operations with two years of experience; OR
    • American Society for Industrial Security certification in executive protection with two years of experience.

    If you will be working as an employee of a licensed bail bond agency, the education requirement does not apply.

    4. Keep your registration in good standing.

    Once confirmed, a bail recovery agent’s license is valid for two years. To keep your license active and in good standing, you must submit a renewal application at least 15 days before the expiration of your license. Renewal fees are $150 for bail recovery agents (individuals), $5 for bail bondsmen employees, and $500 for bail bondsman agencies. All renewal applications must include an additional check for $35 for a criminal record investigation. Note that bail recovery agents with Armed Status must be re-fingerprinted.

    Related Careers

    Most bail recovery agents supplement their income by working in related fields. In addition to providing steadier work than fugitive recovery, working in related fields can help you strengthen your skills and qualifications while building your professional network. The most common jobs that bail recovery agents seek are in private investigation and process serving.

    Private Investigator/ Private Detective

    Private investigators (PIs) and private detectives (PDs) work to find information on behalf of their clients. Private investigators can work for individuals, businesses, and law firms; in some cases, private investigators can also find work with law enforcement agencies. In New Hampshire, private investigators are licensed by the NHSP. To become licensed as an independent private investigator in the state, you must:

    • Be at least 18 years of age and a US resident
    • Have no criminal convictions
    • Meet the state’s experience and education requirements
    • Provide a surety bond of $50,000 valid for the term of the license
    • Provide certification of proficiency from a qualified firearms instructor, if requesting an armed PI license

    Note that the application form and supporting documents must be delivered in person to the NHSP in Concord. Mailed forms will not be accepted.

    Process Server

    Process servers work for local, state, and federal court systems to deliver legal documents that must be served in person. In New Hampshire, process servers are not required to be licensed but must be at least 18 years of age. To find more information on process serving careers and opportunities, contact your local court system.

    Training and Education Options in New Hampshire

    Although bail recovery agents in New Hampshire are not required to earn a two- or four-year degree unless they wish to work independently, doing so can help you show prospective clients that you are serious about your career. Additionally, if you are seeking an independent private investigator’s license, you can meet the education and experience requirements by earning an associate degree in criminal justice or fire service. Listed below are New Hampshire schools offering associate degree programs in criminal justice that can help you start your career.

    Great Bay Community College
    320 Corporate Dr
    Portsmouth, NH 03801

    NHTI, Concord’s Community College
    31 College Dr
    Concord, NH 03301

    Southern New Hampshire University
    2500 N River Rd
    Manchester, NH 03106

    White Mountains Community College
    2020 Riverside Dr
    Berlin, NH 03570

    Finding Work

    To find work as a bail recovery agent, you must secure a network of professional contacts in the bail insurance and law enforcement community. The Professional Bail Agents of the US (PBUS) lists one association member in New Hampshire. Below we have listed some well-known and highly rated bail bond agencies to help you find experienced mentors and career opportunities.

    Featured Bail Agents in New Hampshire

    To work as a bail recovery agent, you will need a strong professional network. As noted above, New Hampshire has a state-run diversion program that reduces the need for private bail. In addition to seeking relationships with New Hampshire bail bondsman, you might consider networking with bondsmen in nearby states that have reciprocity or similar licensing laws.

    2nd Chance Bail Bonds
    PO Box 483
    Londonderry, NH 03053

    Bail Recovery Agent Salary and Outlook in New Hampshire

    Although the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) does not track employment information for bail recovery agents or bounty hunters, to provide you with salary and job growth estimates we have used data for private detectives and investigators as a proxy. As of 2021, there were 200 private detectives and investigators working in New Hampshire.2 The average salary for private detectives and investigators in the state was $72,530 as of 2021, higher than the national average of $60,970.2,3 According to Projections Central, professionals in this line of work in New Hampshire should see job growth of 13.3% through 2030.4

    City or Metropolitan AreaNumber Employed2Average Annual Salary2
    Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH280$70,160

    Additional Resources

    1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, New Hampshire: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/fact/table/NH/PST045222
    2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Hampshire: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nh.htm
    3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2021 Occupational Employment and Wages, Private Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
    4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: https://projectionscentral.org/Projections/LongTerm