North Dakota contains the area that is geographically the exact center of North America. It’s marked by a 15-foot-high rock obelisk, at each side of which flies both the U.S. and Canadian flags. It’s also a major port of entry into Canada, where over 72,000 vehicles cross every year. Many fugitives from justice think they can escape the law in this broad state, but the bounty hunters who track them down do their level best to make sure this doesn’t happen. Discover what it takes to become a bounty hunter in North Dakota.
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Becoming a Bounty Hunter in North Dakota
In North Dakota, there are no specific laws regulating skip tracers, fugitive recovery agents or bounty hunters, though bail bondsmen are regulated by the Insurance Department’s Agent Licensing Division and have the authority to make arrests. As such, bounty hunters find it in their best interests to abide by these laws.
Basic State Requirements
- Education: There are no strict educational requirements to become a fugitive retrieval agent in North Dakota. Bail bondsmen complete 24 hours of education with 3 hours of ethics.
- Age: Bail bond agents should be at least 18 years old.
- Degree: Many bounty hunters pursue a higher degree in law enforcement or criminal justice.
- Experience: There is no experience requirement to act as a North Dakota bounty hunter.
- Citizenship: You must be a resident of North Dakota.
- Background Screening: Bail bondsmen must have no felony convictions, and thus a fingerprint background check is required, which carries two fees: $44.50 for BCI processing and $28 for PSI processing.
- No Officer Affiliation: Agents in North Dakota cannot be affiliated with any legal office or department that has arrest powers, including police, jailers, magistrates, or similar.
- Exam: Bail bondsmen take a licensing exam, which carries an $87 fee.
Application Process in North Dakota
- License Application: While bounty hunters specifically aren’t licensed, bail bondsmen apply for licensure through the state’s online portal, which carries a $100 fee.
- Licensure: Renewals are conducted every two years, and cost $30 between renewal and transaction fees.
Degrees related to Bounty Hunters
Bounty hunters often pursue secondary education in fields like law enforcement, criminal justice or criminal psychology to enhance their fugitive tracking skills.
Major Cities in North Dakota
Major cities in North Dakota where bounty hunters can be found include Fargo, Bismarck, and Grand Forks, among others.
Specific Duties of Bounty Hunters in North Dakota
Bounty Hunters have to work very closely with local law enforcement and obey all applicable laws when performing skip tracing and pursuing fugitives. This means keeping abreast of all laws involving search and seizure.
Careers most closely associated with bounty hunters include private detectives and process servers who serve, file and retrieve court documents related to ongoing cases.
Employment Numbers in North Dakota
Employment numbers aren’t tracked by the BLS for bounty hunters. However, using private investigators as a proxy gives a very close window. Recent figures from 2015 indicate that there were nearly 300 current jobs in the field across the state.
Salary Ranges in North Dakota
Salary ranges vary by area. Again, based on those for PIs, a bounty hunter in North Dakota can make between $64,000 and $94,000 per year, with an average of around $78,000 statewide.