The Oklahoma Council on Law Enforcement Education and Training (CLEET) has formally adopted a law establishing licensing requirements for bail enforcers (colloquially known as bounty hunters). Oklahoma Administrative Code Title 390, Chapter 60 was adopted as emergency regulations on April 1, 2014. The permanent rules became effective on September 11, 2015, as announced in the Oklahoma Register Volume 32, Issue 24.
Previously, bail enforcers in the state were not required to be licensed and were largely unregulated. The new law stipulates requirements for bail enforcer applicants, which include the following:
- Must be at least 21 years old and of good moral character
- Must be a U.S. citizen or legal alien living in Oklahoma for at least 6 months
- Provide proof of high school diploma, GED or equivalent and proof of successful completion of any testing required by CLEET
The new law also includes a surety bond requirement, detailed in Okla. Admin. Code 390:60-9-1. Bail enforcers must purchase a minimum $10,000 surety bond, which can be cancelled with 10 days’ written notice to CLEET. The bond is in place to ensure the bail enforcer complies with all applicable laws. The enforcer also has the option of purchasing liability insurance with $10,000 minimum coverage instead of the surety bond.
The full list of licensing requirements can be found in section 390:60-5-1 of the Okla. Admin. Code and in the bail enforcer licensing application, where you can also find the required bond form.
The new law requires bail enforcers to identify themselves by wearing a badge, examples of which can be found on the last page of the emergency rules. Enforcers must not misrepresent themselves as law enforcement through their clothing or markings on their vehicles.
Bail enforcers can also choose to be licensed as an armed enforcer. Applicants for armed bail enforcers must provide additional information during licensing:
- Proof of successful completion of the firearms phase of training
- Original document showing completion of certified Taser training
- Original document showing completion of certified stun gun training
- Original document showing completion of certified noxious substance training
Armed bail enforcer applicants must provide a current psychological evaluation from a psychologist certified to practice in Oklahoma. The applicant is responsible for arranging and paying for the evaluation. Applicants who have been convicted of a violent felony are not eligible to apply for an armed enforcer license.