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 Bail Enforcement Agent

The Division of Regulatory Affairs regulates individuals that engage in the business of providing bail recovery services.


Customer Service:804-786-4700
Fax:804-786-6344
E-mail:BEA@dcjs.virginia.gov



Applications may be submitted to the Department using one of the following options:
  • In-person at the Washington Building, 1100 Bank St., Richmond, VA 23219 (you may use the secure drop box located inside the main entrance)
  • Regular mail to this address: Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, P.O. Box 1300, Richmond, VA 23218
  • Fax at 804-786-6344 (applications must have the Credit Card Authorization Form attached for processing)

Minimum Eligibility Requirements

  • Be a minimum of 21 years of age;
  • Be a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States; and
  • Have received a high school diploma or GED.
  • Have successfully completed Bail Enforcement Agent Entry-Level Training (44E).
  • Submit to the Department

    Initial Training Requirements

    40 Hours, Consisting of:

    Renewal Training Requirements

    8 Hours, Consisting of:

    Applications may be submitted to the Department using one of the following options:
    • In-person at the Washington Building, 1100 Bank St., Richmond, VA 23219 (you may use the secure drop box located inside the main entrance)
    • Regular mail to this address: Virginia Department of Criminal Justice Services, P.O. Box 1300, Richmond, VA 23218
    • Fax at 804-786-6344 (applications must have the Credit Card Authorization Form attached for processing)

    Submit to the Department

    Bail Enforcement Agent

    Bail Enforcement Agent - Initial License Application

    PDF   DOC  

    Bail Enforcement Agent - Renewal License Application

    PDF   DOC  

    Bail Enforcement Agent - Firearms Endorsement Application

    PDF   DOC  

    Bail Enforcement Agent - Duplicate/Replacement Photo ID Application

    PDF   DOC  

    1. What is a Bail Enforcement Agent?
      A bail enforcement agent also known as a “bounty hunter” means any individual engaged in bail recovery.

    2. What is bail recovery?
      Bail recovery means an act whereby a person arrests a bailee with the object of surrendering the bailee to the appropriate court, jail, or police department, for the purpose of discharging the bailee’s surety from liability on his bond. “Bail recovery” shall include investigating, surveilling or locating a bailee in preparation for an imminent arrest, with such object and for such purpose.

    3. Who is exempted from this law?
      This law shall not apply to a licensed bail bondsman or law enforcement officer.

    4. What are the Licensure Requirements for a Bail Enforcement Agent?
      • Initial Bail Enforcement Agent application and $200.00 nonrefundable licensure fee.
      • Complete the 40-hour entry-level training at a DCJS certified training school.
      • Fingerprint card, Fingerprint Processing Application and applicable non-refundable fee. For more information, view the Fingerprints page.
      For those who will have access to a firearm, they must complete the requirements for a Firearms Endorsement. For more information, view the Firearms Endorsement page.

    5. What are the minimum requirements for eligibility as a Bail Enforcement Agent?
      • Be a minimum of 21 years of age;
      • Be a United States citizen or legal resident alien of the United States;
      • Have received a high school diploma or GED; and
      • Have successfully completed the Bail Enforcement Agent Entry-Level Training (44E)


    6. What would make a person ineligible to be a Bail Enforcement Agent?
      • Persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last five years; a misdemeanor that is similar to brandishing a firearm or stalking, or any felony within the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States, who have not been pardoned, or whose civil rights have not been restored, or persons currently the subject of a protective order
      • Employee of a local or regional jail; sheriff's office; state or local police department; an office of an attorney for the Commonwealth; Department of Corrections, Department of Criminal Justice Services, or a local community corrections agency.


    7. If I have a misdemeanor conviction can it be waived by the department in order for me to obtain a license?
      A misdemeanor conviction may be waived for good cause shown, so long as the conviction was not for one of the following or a substantially similar misdemeanor: carrying a concealed weapon, assault and battery, sexual battery, a drug offense, driving under the influence, discharging a firearm, a sex offense, or larceny.

    8. Will existing Bail Enforcement Agent be "grandfathered" from licensure requirements?
      No provision was included in the law to exempt current bail enforcement agents from the new licensure requirements.

    9. What training is required in order to obtain a license?
      The compulsory minimum entry-level training hour requirement excluding examinations and practical exercises is 40 hours. The course code for DCJS is SC44. To see the topical outline or find a certified school, check the following links:

    10. Will there be any exemption of training standards for previous training and/or experience as a bail enforcement agent?
      1. Persons previously employed as law-enforcement officers for a local, state or federal government who have not terminated or been terminated from said employment more than five years prior to the application date must submit official documentation of the following with the application for partial exemption of the entry-level training requirements.
        1. Completion of law-enforcement entry level training; and
        2. Five continuous years of law-enforcement employment provided such employment as a law-enforcement officer was not terminated due to misconduct or incompetence.
      2. Persons having previous bail enforcement agent training and five years continuous experience must submit official documentation of the following with the application for partial exemption:
        1. Completion of previous bail enforcement agent training, which has been approved by the department and which meets or exceeds the compulsory minimum training standards promulgated by the board; and
        2. Five years continuous experience in bail recovery provided such experience did not end more than twelve months prior to submittal of licensure application.


    11. Where will the approved training be taught?
      For a searchable directory of training schools click the following link: www.dcjs.virginia.gov/ps/directory/schoolSearch.cfm and search under Category Code SC44

    12. What criminal history would be a basis for denial as a bail enforcement agent?
      Persons who have been convicted of a misdemeanor within the last five year; a misdemeanor that is similar to brandishing a firearm or stalking, or any felony within the Commonwealth, any other state, or the United States, who have not been pardoned, or whose civil rights have not been restored, or persons currently the subject of a protective order.

    13. Does being a Bail Enforcement Agent allow me to carry a concealed weapon?
      No, persons who carry or have access to a firearm while on duty must have a firearm endorsement as described under 6 VAC 20-260-80 of the state regulations. If carrying a handgun concealed, the person must also have a valid concealed handgun permit, and the written permission of his employer pursuant to 18.2-308 of the Code of Virginia.

    14. How long is a Bail Enforcement Agent license valid?
      The license is valid for 24 months. Licenses must be renewed prior to licensure expiration to include completion of in-service training.

    15. I am former law enforcement. Do I need to take training?
      You may be approved for partial exemption of training if you meet the exemption requirements pursuant to 6 VAC 20-260-140. Some training requirements will still apply.

    16. Do I have to be a current bail enforcement agent in order to begin the licensure process?
      No. You can begin the licensure process and take training without previously being a bail enforcement agent

    Return to the FAQ index.

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