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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, bail enforcement agents, or bail bondsmen in the state and are licensed through the New Hampshire State Police Permits and Licensing Unit (or “the Licensing Unit”). Continue reading to find out how to become a bail recovery agent in New Hampshire.

Requirements for Prospective Bail Recovery Agents in New Hampshire

Although there is no license issued to bail recovery agents, agents are required to meet certain guidelines and register with the New Hampshire Licensing Unit. To qualify for registration, you must be at least 18 years of age and a US resident. They must also have no felonies or misdemeanors associated with theft, fraud, controlled a substance use or sale, or violence. Additional requirements that comprise the process to 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 New Hampshire Licensing Unit. 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 this application.

3. Provide documentation that you meet the minimum requirements to become a bail recovery agent in New Hampshire.

Applicants 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 or Bachelor of Science 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.

4. Keep your registration in good standing.

Once confirmed, a bail recovery agent’s registration is valid for two years. To keep your registration 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 bondsmen (individuals), $5 for bail bondsmen employees, and $500 for bail bondsman agencies. All renewal applications must include an additional check for $25 for a criminal record investigation.

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 New Hampshire State Police Permits and Licensing Unit. 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 New Hampshire Licensing Unit 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, 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
http://greatbay.edu

NHTI, Concord’s Community College
31 College Dr
Concord, NH 03301
https://www.nhti.edu

River Valley Community College
1 College Pl
Claremont, NH 03743
http://www.rivervalley.edu

Southern New Hampshire University
2500 N River Rd
Manchester, NH 03106
http://www.snhu.edu/

White Mountains Community College
2020 Riverside Dr
Berlin, NH 03570
http://www.wmcc.edu

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 lists only 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

A Amherst Bail Bonds Inc.
14 Steeple Ln
Amherst, NH 03031
http://www.amherstbb.com

Bailn-U Bail Bonds
PO Box 13
Plaistow, NH 03865
http://www.bailn-u.com

Dennis Bail Bonds Inc.
PO Box 1075
Raymond, NH 03077
http://www.bailbondsnh.com

Gilberti Bail Bonds
203 Seames Dr
Manchester, NH 03103

Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in New Hampshire

Although the US Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track employment information for 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 2015, there were 190 private detectives and investigators working in New Hampshire.2 The average salary for private detectives and investigators in the state was $44,690 as of 2015.3 According to Projections Central, professionals in this line of work in New Hampshire should see job growth of 12.4% through 2022.4

City or Metropolitan Area Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Boston-Cambridge-Nashua, MA-NH 1,630 $47,810
Lawrence-Methuen Town-Salem, MA-NH 50 $48,240
Manchester 30 $37,760

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.2

Additional Resources

  • New Hampshire League of Investigators (NHLI) – The NHLI is a professional organization that prides itself on holding strict criteria for membership. Accepted members have access to education and training as well as professional resources and networking opportunities.

References:
1. US Census Bureau Quick Facts, New Hampshire: https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/table/PST045216/33,00
2. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, New Hampshire: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_nh.htm
3. US Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Private Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
4. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm