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Utah Bounty Hunter Guide: Requirements and Steps

Bounty hunters locate and arrest individuals released on bail who fail to appear for their required court appearances; therefore, the job requires the physical ability and the skills to track individuals that may be eluding law enforcement. If you want to work as a bounty hunter in Utah, you will need a license. This page covers how to obtain a license for bounty hunting, private investigators and detectives, and related professions in the fugitive recovery field.

Requirements for Prospective Bounty Hunters in Utah

There are three types of bounty hunter licenses available in Utah through the Utah Department of Public Safety: Bail Recovery Apprentice, Bail Recovery Agent, and Bail Enforcement Agent. You can also apply for an agency license when you apply as a bail enforcement agent that allows your to employ other fugitive recovery staff. Each license type allows you to complete different types of fugitive recovery work with increasing responsibility. To be eligible for any license, you must be a US citizen, at least 21 years old, and be of good moral character with no felony or fraud convictions.

Steps to a Career as a Bail Fugitive Recovery Agent in Utah

The process to obtain any of the bounty hunter licenses in Utah is similar. We have outlined the steps and any relevant differences between licenses below.

Bail Recovery Apprentice

If you do not have any previous experience working in the fugitive recovery or law enforcement fields, you will need to begin your career as a bail recovery apprentice. With this license, you must work under the supervision of either a bail enforcement agent or a bail recovery agent. Here are the steps to follow for this license.

1. Attend approved bail enforcement agent training and firearms training, if applicable.

All applicants must attend at least 16 hours of bail enforcement training at one of the many training locations in the state. If you plan to carry a firearm while working, you will also need to complete at least 16 hours of approved firearms training.

2. Secure a $10,000 surety bond.

A surety bond can be acquired from a surety agent and acts as collateral in case the bail recovery apprentice fails to follow legal protocols while on the job. You must include proof of this bond in your application.

3. Send your application package to the Department of Public Safety.

Once you have located a bail bond agency willing to offer you an apprenticeship position, you can submit your application package. You must also include fingerprints taken by an approved office. The application package should include the application form, the $150 application fee, a copy of your driver’s license, a passport-style photo, proof of completion of the bail enforcement training course, proof of the surety bond, and your fingerprint card.

4. Attend an approval meeting and receive your license.

It can take up to 90 days for your application to be processed. If your application is approved, you must attend an application approval meeting in person at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Taylorsville to receive your license. Licenses must be renewed every year and cost $100 to renew.

Bail Recovery Agent

Bail recovery agents have previous significant experience working in either fugitive recovery or law enforcement and can work for bail bond agencies. They cannot employ other agents or work freelance for the general public. Follow these steps to obtain this type of license.

1. Attend approved bail enforcement agent training and firearms training, if applicable.

All applicants must attend at least 16 hours of bail enforcement training. There are several training locations throughout the state. If you plan to carry a firearm while on the job, you will need to complete firearms training of at least 16 hours as well.

2. Gain the necessary bail enforcement experience.

You need either 1,000 hours of related fugitive recovery or law enforcement experience to apply for this license. This experience must be documented and verified by your employer using the Verification of Bail Bond Recover Work form provided.

3. Obtain a $10,000 surety bond.

Surety bonds must be acquired from surety agents to act as collateral in case the bail recovery agent fails to follow legal protocols while on the job. Proof of the bond must be included with your application.

4. Submit your application package to the Department of Public Safety.

Once you have completed the necessary experience hours, you can mail your application package for your license. The package should include the application form, the $150 application fee, a copy of your driver’s license, a passport-style photo, proof of completion of the bail enforcement training course, and proof of the surety bond. You must also have your fingerprints taken by an approved office and include them with your application package.

5. Attend an approval meeting and receive your license.

It can take up to 90 days for your application to be processed. If your application is approved, you must attend an application approval meeting in person at the Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Taylorsville to receive your license. Licenses must be renewed every year and cost $100 to renew.

Bail Enforcement Agent or Bail Bond Recovery Agency

The bail enforcement agent license allows you to work independently, for a bail bond agency, or as a freelance agent for the general public. You may also apply to operate a bail bond recovery agency that employs other bail recovery professionals at the same time. Here are the steps to obtaining either type of license.

1. Attend the required bail enforcement agent training and firearms training, if applicable.

You must attend at least 16 hours of bail enforcement training before applying for this license. There are several training locations throughout the state that are authorized to provide the training. You will also need to complete at least 16 hours of firearms training If you plan to carry a firearm while on the job.

2. Gain the necessary bail enforcement experience.

You need 2,000 hours of related fugitive recovery or law enforcement experience to apply for this license. This experience must be documented using the Verification of Bail Bond Recover Work form and verified by your employer.

3. Obtain a $10,000 surety bond.

A surety bond shows legal proof of worker’s compensation insurance if you plan to hire other bail recovery staff. Proof of the bond must be included with your application.

4. Submit your application package to the Department of Public Safety.

Submit the application package, including the application form, the $150 application fee, a copy of your driver’s license, a passport-style photo, proof of completion of the bail enforcement training course, and proof of the surety bond. You must also have your fingerprints taken by an approved office and include them with your application package. If you are applying for the agency license, you must include the business name on the form as well.

5. Receive your license.

It can take up to 90 days for your application to be processed. If your application is approved, you must pick it up in person at the Utah Bureau of Criminal Investigation in Taylorsville during an approval meeting. Licenses must be renewed every year for $150.

Related Careers

Besides working as a bail enforcement agent, there are other career options in the fugitive recovery field, such as working as a private investigator or a process server. These two options are described below.

Private Investigator/ Private Detective

Private investigators find information on court proceedings, witnesses, and other issues related to ongoing legal matters. Similar to the bail enforcement license, private investigator licenses are issued by the Utah Department of Public Safety and you must be at least 21 years old, a US Citizen, and of good moral character to be eligible for this profession. You will need to show proof of at least 10,000 hours of investigative experience as part of your application package.

Process Server

Process servers deliver documents related to ongoing court proceedings, such as subpoenas and divorce papers. You do not need a license to work as a process server in Utah, but you must be at least 18 years old and cannot be involved in the court proceedings related to the documents. There are many process server agencies in the state and you may be able to find employment in urban and rural areas.

Training and Education Options in Utah

You do not need any specific college education to obtain a bail enforcement agent license in Utah; however, you might find some type of related training useful while you are on the job. Although it is not possible to complete basic Peace Officer and Standards Training (POST) offered by the Department of Public Safety at the main office in Sandy without already being hired as a police officer, you can complete the basic POST training as a self-sponsored candidate at many satellite locations throughout the state. Other options would be to complete either a two-year associate degree or a four-year bachelor degree in a related subject, such as criminal justice, depending on your goals. Several schools offering such programs are listed below.

Dixie State University
North Plaza Building
225 S University Ave
St. George, UT 84770
http://post.dixie.edu

Utah Valley State University
800 W University Pkwy
Orem, UT 84058
http://www.uvu.edu

Finding Work

Bail enforcement agents are often hired to retrieve individuals who have borrowed money to pay for bail but subsequently fail to show up for court appearances, from the bail bond agencies that lend money for these purposes. You may find permanent employment with one agency or work as a freelance agent for multiple agencies. It is also possible to apply to start your own agency. To start, you might consider working with an experienced bail enforcement agent to gain the necessary experience to obtain the 2,000 hours required for licensing. The Professional Bail Agents of the United States (PBUS) does not list any bail agents in Utah but may be useful for finding other information about the profession and field.

Featured Bail Agents in Utah

Here are some bail agents in Utah that have top reviews, are well-known, or have a website with contact information.

Aladdin Bail Bonds (multiple locations)
141 W 3500 S
West Valley City, UT 84119
https://www.aladdinbailbonds.com

Beehive Bail Bonds (multiple locations)
3570 Bountiful Blvd
Bountiful, UT 84010
http://www.beehivebailbonds.com

Best Bail Bonds (multiple locations)
3555 S 700 W
Suite A
Salt Lake City, UT 84119
http://www.bestbailbondsutah.com

Breaking Bad Bail Bonds
1350 N Main St
Spanish Forks, UT 84660
https://www.breakingbadbonds.com

Massey’s Bail Bonds (multiple locations)
2159 S 700 E #204
Salt Lake City, UT 84106
https://masseysbailbonds.com/salt-lake-city-utah-bail-bonds

Payless Bail Bonds
800 W State St
Farmington, UT 84025
http://www.paylessbailut.com

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 Utah

Because the Bureau of Labor Statistics does not provide information on bounty hunting, we use the data on private investigators and detectives because it is the most similar profession. In 2012, there were 140 individuals working as private detectives and investigators and this number is projected to increase by 25% to 180 individuals by 2022.1 The average reported salary across the state was $52,330, which is significantly higher than the average salary in the Provo-Orem area; however, data on other regions was not available for comparison.2,3

City or Metropolitan Area Number Employed Average Annual Salary
Provo-Orem N/A* $44,890

Data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics as of May 2015.
*Estimate not available from the BLS.2

Additional Resources

References:
1. Projections Central, Long Term Occupational Projections: http://www.projectionscentral.com/Projections/LongTerm
2. Bureau of Labor Statistics, May 2015 Occupational Employment and Wage Estimates, Utah: https://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes_ut.htm
3. Bureau of Labor Statistics, Occupational Employment Statistics Query System: https://www.bls.gov/oes/