How to Become a Bounty Hunter in Illinois


Illinois is one of only a handful of states in the U.S. that doesn’t use bonds and bail for people in jail. Since they don’t use that program, many think that there’s no need for bounty hunters in the state. In actuality, these recovery agents are needed to track skips from other states and to help the state cut down on the number of convicts fleeing other neighboring areas.

  • Get licensed in a state other than Illinois, but one nearby such as Indiana or Iowa. The state of Illinois is a “non-bail” state, meaning that they don’t allow people to bond themselves out of jail. That also means that the state doesn’t use bounty hunters so individuals working in the state are actually tracking people from other states. That means you’ll need to get licensed elsewhere.

  • Practice your skills in those states first before ever attempting to capture someone in Illinois. If you’re caught acting as a bounty hunter in Illinois you can be arrested for kidnapping. Make sure you know how to capture people easily before heading to the state.

  • Adhere to the laws of the state very closely. You should always follow the rules of any state you’re working in, regardless of where you’re licensed. This ensures that you’re not breaking any laws and that you’re doing your job properly.

  • Lure your skips to another state while still paying attention to the rules of the Illinois. The state actually allows residents that are wanted in another state to be lured into another state for arrest. You can actually convince a skip to arrive in another state where you can capture them for reward.

  • Prepare yourself for a quiet life that doesn’t make a lot of money. Many bounty hunters actually work a full-time or part-time job since they can’t survive on bounty hunting alone. This is especially true in Illinois. You should prepare yourself to only work a few weeks a year and realize that you won’t make much money.

Tips & Warnings

  • Be wary of any company operating in the state of Illinois that claims to offer classes in bounty hunting or becoming a bounty hunter. Since this profession isn’t used in the state, those classes are worthless and often not licensed.
  • Remember that if you’re caught acting as a bail enforcement agent in the state of Illinois, these charges can often stick.

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