13 Tips on How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds

How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds: Bail bondsmen arrange for payment of bail for and sometimes the arraignment of a defendant.

Although being a bail bondsman might have its exciting moments, it’s all about helping defendants resolve their legal issues.

In order to do that, you need to follow the laws, requirements, training and testing set out by your state.

Here are some steps to help you get licensed in your state.

The steps may vary somewhat from state to state.

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How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds: BusinessHAB.com
How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds

How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds

1. Read your state’s statutes.

The requirements for licensure and limitations for practice are usually spelled out in each state’s statutes.

These can usually be found in titles that involve insurance or professional licenses.

Each state will have different rules. These are some specific differences between certain states:

  • The following states outlaw commercial bonding or bounty hunting: Wisconsin, Oregon, Illinois and Kentucky.
  • These states have specific rules and definitions about the way bail bondsmen operate in their area: Florida, North Carolina and South Carolina.
  • You must obtain a license to be a bail bondsmen in the following states: Indiana, Nevada, Mississippi, South Dakota, Connecticut, Arizona, Utah, Iowa, Louisiana, California and West Virginia.

2. Ask a government agency.

State government agencies that oversee bail bondsmen can usually provide you with a handout or brochure of the guidelines for that state.

These agencies fall under the Department of Insurance or the Department of Licensure.

3. Ask a current bondsman.

Current bondsmen can let you know the requirements.

Be sure to double check with the administrative agency or statute because often requirements for initial licensing change, though current license holders are given a grace period to comply with changes.

4. Reach the required age.

In most states, you must be at least 18 years old to become a bail bondsman.

Though some states require you to be 21.

How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds

5. Become a resident.

Many states require you to be a resident of the state in which you want to get a bail bonds license.

6. Get fingerprinted.

Most states require a criminal background check.

You may be denied a license if you have a criminal history.

You may obtain your prints and/or criminal history report from a private contractor or through a local law enforcement agency, depending on your state.

7. Schedule and complete your pre-licensing course for the bail bonds license.

Many states require you to have passed a certified education program prior to applying for your license.

How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds

8. Discuss the issue of your property and finances with the Department of Insurance.

Some states require that their Department of Insurance or the local court sponsor you as a bail bondsman.

This means that they support you as a bail bondsman when you need to post large bails.

9. Consider obtaining bail bondsman surety insurance.

This helps to protect you and your family from any risks you may encounter through being a bail bondsman.

How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds

10. Locate the application.

The appropriate agency (Department of Insurance, etc) will usually have a link to the application on their website.

If not, give them a call and ask them to mail it to you.

11. Complete the application.

Be sure the application is completely filled out with no blanks remaining.

Also be sure to properly sign it. Some states require applications to be signed in front of a notary.

Also be sure to attach any required further information, such as:

  • Photographs
  • Fingerprint cards
  • Proof of age
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of education

12. Schedule and pass your test.

Frequently, you cannot take your licensure examination until the state has accepted your application.

You could need to wait to hear back from the agency prior to scheduling your examination.

That time will vary between states.

How to Get State Licensed Bail Bonds

13. Wait for your license.

Once you pass the exam, the agency will send you a copy of your license.

At this point, you may usually begin practicing as a bail bondsman.

The time it takes to receive your application will vary between states.

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