How to Become a Bounty Hunter in New Mexico

Perhaps best known for outlaws like Billy the Kid and the Lincoln County War in 1880, New Mexico is a state formed of a pioneer spirit of fierce individuality and legendary outlaws and freedom fighters. It’s also been the home of some of the greatest lawmen in history. When fugitives go on the run in this state, modern-day bounty hunters track them down and return them to justice. Learn how to become a fugitive retrieval agent in New Mexico including training, licensure and job requirements.

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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in New Mexico

With a long history of law enforcement and fugitive recovery, New Mexico has long known the need for regulation of bail bondsmen. Such activities have been regulated since 1978, but there are no specific statutes for bounty hunters. A similar occupation, the limited surety solicitor, is licensed in the state.

Basic State Requirements

  • Education: Licensed bail bondsmen must complete 30 hours of education in the responsibilities and regulations surrounding bounty hunting activities and those of the bail bond business. You must also have a high school education or GED.
  • Age: You must be at minimum 18 years of age.
  • Degree: Degrees aren’t necessary, but many do pursue secondary education in law and government or criminal justice.
  • Experience: 120 hours of training on the job under the employ of a licensed bondsman is required.
  • Citizenship: Solicitors must be United States citizens.

Additional Requirements

  • Background Screening: A background check is necessary to prove that you have no felony convictions on your record. Fingerprinting carries a $44 fee.
  • Exam: After applying for your license and receiving approval to do so, you must take a licensing exam. This carries a $75 fee.

Application Process in New Mexico

  • License Application: Your application includes your fingerprint check, a $30 license fee, a letter of credit in the amount of $25,000, a notarized financial statement, proof of your pre-licensing education, documentation of your on-the-job training, and a $50 filing fee.
  • Licensure: You’ll have to renew your license every year, which carries a fee of $20 and requires 15 hours of continuing education, which must include at least one hour in ethics training.

become a bounty hunter in new mexico

Degrees related to Bounty Hunters

Degrees related to bounty hunters include finance, criminal justice, forensics, and law enforcement, among others.

Major Cities in New Mexico

Major cities in New Mexico include Albuquerque, Santa Fe, Roswell, and Las Cruces, all of which have bail bondsmen and solicitors.

Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in New Mexico

Your daily duties will include tracking down and arresting fugitives who fail to appear in court in violation of their bond agreement. You will aid in surveilling and presenting the fugitive at the proper date and time in court.

Related Careers

People who perform similar duties are the private detective or private investigator, whose skills are essentially the same, and the process server who serves summons and documents in legal matters.

Employment Numbers in New Mexico

Employment figures are generally based off of those for private detectives by proxy. The career is estimated to experience a 7.9% growth by the year 2022.

Salary Ranges in New Mexico

Salary averages, also using private investigators as proxy representation, average around $33,680 in New Mexico.