How to Become a Bounty Hunter in Maryland

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Bounty hunters, or bail enforcement agents, are responsible for apprehending fugitives from the law. Unlike most states, Maryland does not have any laws specifically governing the licensing and conduct of bounty hunters. According to, the Maryland legislature has proposed a number of bills that would regulate the profession, but as of November 2010, none have been passed. Accordingly, the only professionals legally allowed to perform their duties in the state are bail bondsmen, who are also responsible for issuing bail bonds. The state does have a number of laws that outline the process for becoming a bail agent.

Get a job with a bail insurer. Before receiving a license to issue bail bonds, all applicants must spend a year working for a bail insurer -- either a bail company or a company that insures bail agents. In addition, the applicant must be of "good character and trustworthy" and be at least 18 years old. According to the state of Maryland, under certain conditions, the state insurance commissioner can waive these requirements.

Submit an application. All potential bail agents must submit an application to the Maryland Insurance Administration, as well as an application fee. The application details the applicant's professional and educational background and their financial resources. Generally, applicants with felonies on their record are prohibited from working as bail agents.

Take the Maryland Insurance Administration exam. To receive a license, all bail agents must take and pass an exam that tests the applicant's knowledge of bail law. The written exam is administered by the state. Contact your local secretary of state's office for information on when the exam is administered.

Get insured. To operate as a bail agent, bail agents must either receive a surety bond from an insurance company or they must put up their own property as collateral. Those who put up their own property are known as "property bondsmen" and are subject to the jurisdiction of the District Court of Maryland, with whom they place the property.

Complete continuing education requirements. Bail agent licenses must be renewed every year. During this time period, bail agents with less than 25 years of experience must take 16 hours of continuing education classes in subjects relevant to their profession that have been approved by the state, to remain current with the law. For those with more than 25 years of experience, only 8 hours per year of continuing education classes are required.


About the Author

Michael Wolfe has been writing and editing since 2005, with a background including both business and creative writing. He has worked as a reporter for a community newspaper in New York City and a federal policy newsletter in Washington, D.C. Wolfe holds a B.A. in art history and is a resident of Brooklyn, N.Y.