Oklahoma Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps
In 2015, bounty hunting, also known as bail enforcement in Oklahoma, became a licensed profession in the state. Bounty hunters find and retrieve individuals who fail to show up in court on behalf of bail bond agents, earning a commission based on the amount of bail posted for the individual. This page highlights the steps to take to become a bounty hunter in Oklahoma and provides information on other related professions in the area of fugitive recovery, such as private investigators and detectives.
Requirements for Prospective Bounty Hunters in Oklahoma
Bounty hunters, or bail enforcers, are regulated by the Oklahoma Bail Enforcement and Licensing Act and must be certified by the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET). Working as a bail enforcer without certification could leave you at risk of hefty fines or imprisonment in Oklahoma so it is advisable to follow the procedures to obtain a license. To be eligible for bounty hunter licensing in Oklahoma, you must show you have been a legal resident of the state for at least six months, be at least 21 years old, have a high school diploma or GED, and have no violent felony convictions.
Steps to a Career as a Bail Fugitive Recovery Agent in Oklahoma
In addition to the qualifications above, you will also need to pass the CLEET certification process to obtain either an unarmed Bail Enforcer license or an armed Bail Enforcer license. Here are the steps to take to successfully obtain either license.
1. Complete your high school diploma or GED.
This is a minimum requirement necessary to proceed with CLEET certification and should be completed as soon as possible.
2. Complete training from a CLEET-approved school.
CLEET training includes five phases, or courses, that educate prospective bail enforcers about the tasks related to bail enforcement, private investigation, and security guarding. Additional training in firearms and weapons is required for an armed Bail Enforcer license.
3. Obtain liability insurance.
To obtain a license, you must show proof of at least $10,000 of liability insurance that protects you from injury, loss, or any other damage while working as a bail enforcer.
4. If you are applying for an armed Bail Enforcer license, obtain a psychological evaluation by a state-licensed psychologist.
This is a necessary step for any applicant wishing to carry firearms while working as a bail enforcer in Oklahoma and must be done at your own cost.
5. Have your fingerprints taken by an approved office.
Fingerprint cards must be sent with your application and must be taken by an approved individual at a police department or sheriff’s office. Appointment times and costs vary and are the responsibility of the applicant.
6. Send your application to CLEET.
Send the application form provided by the Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement, Education & Training, two passport-sized photographs, city and county record checks, a certificate of insurance, proof of CLEET-approved training, and the application fee. The initial fee for a Bail Enforcer license is $300 for an unarmed bail enforcer license and $400 for an armed bail enforcer license.
7. Receive your license card and carry it with you while working.
You must carry your license card with you at all times while working as a bail enforcer. The license will be valid for three years and then must be renewed.
In addition to bail enforcement, there are other criminal justice and fugitive recovery professions that you might be interested in pursuing, such as a private investigator or process server. Information on these options is provided below.
Private Investigator/ Private Detective
CLEET also issues Private Investigator licenses, which are issued subject to similar application and education requirements as Bail Enforcement licenses. Private investigators uncover information for legal cases either on a freelance or permanent basis. You must be at least 18 years old with no felony convictions. You will be required to complete CLEET training or have comparable experience from previous work as a military officer, out-of-state officer, or security guard.
Process servers deliver legal documents for civil court and in Oklahoma they can be licensed at either the county or state level. Exact application procedures vary for county licenses but the state-wide application can be completed by any individual who has resided in Oklahoma for at least the previous six months, is at least 18 years old, and has no felony convictions.
Training and Education Options in Oklahoma
Bail enforcers in Oklahoma do not need a college degree; however, additional education and training in criminal justice or law enforcement may help you build confidence and learn skills and knowledge that will benefit you over time.It is possible to complete a two- or four-year degree in a related area depending on your motivation. CLEET also offers Basic Law Enforcement Training and many colleges will award transfer credit for the program towards criminal justice degree programs. Listed below are two such programs in Oklahoma.
CLEET K.O. Rayburn Training Center
2401 Egypt Rd
Ada, OK 74820
Redlands Community College
1300 S Country Club Rd
El Reno, OK 73036
Many bail enforcers work for bail bond companies, although you can also work for yourself. According to the Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS), there are 16 bail bonds agents in Oklahoma.If you have limited relevant experience, you may consider approaching an experienced bail enforcement professional to mentor you, which will help you gain hands-on experience and develop your reputation. Networking with local associations may also help you find contacts and work opportunities.
Featured Bail Agents in Oklahoma
Bail bond agents post surety or bail on behalf of individuals accused of crimes. There are 16 bail bond agents registered with the Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS). Below is a list of some featured agents, selected because they are in larger cities, have a website, and/or have positive customer reviews featured in search results.
Alameda Bail Bonds in Tulsa
308 N Xenophon Ave
Tulsa, OK 74127
Clint Pletcher Bail Bonds
320 N Broadway Ave
Shawnee, OK 74801
Rhino Bail Bonds
217 N Harvey, 103A
Oklahoma City, OK 73102
Shiplet Bail Bonding Service
13110 County Rd 1552
Ada, OK 74820
Signature Bail Bonds
201 W 5th Ave
Tulsa, OK 72103
Thunder Bail Bonds
810 NW 6th St
Oklahoma, OK 73106
To find even more bail agents and bondsmen in your area, use the Find a Bail Agent tool on the PBUS website.
Bounty Hunter Salary and Outlook in Oklahoma
Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not collect data on bail enforcers, we use data on private investigators as a proxy, since it is the most closely-related profession to bounty hunting. There are currently 280 reported private investigators working in Oklahoma, although this data is not available for the Oklahoma City area.1 Private investigators in Oklahoma City earn the highest average salary in the state; however, the Northeast Oklahoma nonmetropolitan area has the highest employment in this area among all nonmetropolitan areas in the country.2 Career opportunities for private investigators are projected to grow by 10.6% from 2012-2022.3
|City or Metropolitan Area||Number Employed||Average Annual Salary|
|Northeast Oklahoma Nonmetropolitan Area||40||$40,370|
Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.
*Estimate not available from the BLS.2
Contact state and local organizations for help finding work as a bail enforcer or private investigator once you are certified.
- Oklahoma Bondsman Association – Provides information on bail bonds companies in Oklahoma and a newsletter on bail bonds issues.
- Oklahoma Private Investigators Association – Has information on state and local private investigation issues and standards.
1. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wages, Oklahoma: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ok.htm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment and Wages, May 2015, Private Detectives and Investigators: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes339021.htm
3. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm