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How to get your bail bond agent license? 12 quick steps and an explanation

Becoming a bail bondsman is not as easy as you might think. As any agent will tell you, you can’t be somebody today and a bail bondsman tomorrow. It doesn’t even take weeks and most of the time it takes months to complete the entire application process, finish education, pay fees and receive a license. Even at this time, you still will not be legally allowed to post bail on your own. So, let’s get started with “How do you get your bail bondsman license?”.
Here’s a quick list of the essentials:

  1. 18 years old
  2. California resident.
  3. Minimum 12 hours of study in the approved pre-licensing classroom.
  4. Minimum 6 hours of continuous approved classroom study prior to bail bondsman license renewal.
  5. Application for Lease Bonds
  6. A Bond for the criminal sum of $1000 executed by a bond admitted in California and signed.
  7. a notice of bond action; executed by a surety insurer or his representative.
  8. Form submission list; This is a copy of the forms you will use when posting bail for your arrestees.
  9. fingerprints
  10. $272; license fee and examination fee.
  11. Pass the bail bond agent exam administered by the California Department of Insurance.
  12. Clean record. You must be free of serious crimes and if you have minor crimes, the documents and the explanation and result of these minor crimes must be attached.

So, that’s the quick list of essentials. Links will be provided at the end of the article for the necessary forms and applications.

Here is the process as a whole.

Go to the California Department of Insurance. Here you will find all the forms and applications needed to become a bail bondsman. You will also find access to the California Insurance Code that explains your rights and responsibilities as an agent. On this page you must download the following form. LIC 431-1, LIC 431-2, LIC 437-9 and LIC 437-23. These are the essential forms that you will submit to the California Department of Insurance. Now that you have the forms downloaded to your computer, what’s next?

Find an approved agent pre-licensing center or classroom. Once again, go to the CDOI website and follow the links to bail bond agent insurance classes. You can also try Google. Just make sure the class is approved by the CDOI. If not, you are wasting your time. Then take the class, pass the class with at least a 70%. Be sure to pay attention in the agent pre-licensing class, if the instructor feels that you are just “taking” the seat and just putting in your 12 hour seat time to get licensed, they will kick you out. In addition, the instructor’s job is to prepare you for the exam, and CDOI representatives frequently attend these classes to monitor. Since the instructors know this, they will make sure you pay attention and do their job.

Then, with an agent’s pre-licensing education certificate in hand, he makes a photocopy and adds it to his applications. A quick note about the agent request. Reveal! Yes, reveal all your background. Even if you can’t remember all the details of something from 5, 10 or 15 years ago. Just include as much information as you can remember on the application. Because? Failure to disclose everything is an attempt to defraud or illegally obtain a license. If this happens, the request is usually denied.

As you begin to fill out the 431-1 Bail Bondsman Application, you will quickly see that the top right contains two square areas for passport photos. Move through the application filling in our Social Security numbers, addresses, affiliates, and everything else.

The next form to fill out is the Bond Form, called the Bond Agent Bond form, LIC 437-9. This is basically the first link you’ll hit. It is written by the company that is “sponsoring” or hiring you or it is written by you and the surety company with which you are going to be hired. The amount of this bonus is $1000.

Bail bonds company, what is that? Well, a surety company, that is, Fidelity, is a company that insures the Van Nuys surety bonds that you will write. You have to be appointed by a surety bond company either directly or indirectly if you are going to issue surety bonds. Indirectly it is by being employed by a “General Agent” or owner of a bond company, and directly if you are going to work directly with a Bond company. The only way you will be able to get licensed and work directly with a bail bond company is if you have a fair amount of experience in this industry to begin with. No surety company will back you if you don’t have bond issuance experience, too much risk.

A Notice of Bond Action is about to fill out. This is basically a notice of action stating that said bond appoints said bail bondsman who is now licensed. Simple? Just more paperwork for the lawyers to go through. As an example, this form also works as a notice of action if a bail bondsman will no longer hold her license. Let’s say they quit their employer and don’t want their license, the bond owner needs to fill out the form and file it with the CDOI. Just a formal statement to produce a recorded event.

Forms Submission Checklist: What is this? As a bail bondsman, you will complete and file forms for the clients you rescue from jail. These same forms must be approved by the Department of Insurance. If you are getting your license and are currently working for a bail bondsman, you do not need to do this as your forms have already been filed with and approved by the CDOI.

Fingerprinting – If you have never been licensed as a bail bondsman before, you will need to be fingerprinted at an approved LiveScan facility. Installation of LiveScan must be approved by the Department of Justice. If you don’t want to look for a LiveScan site, you can wait until the day of your exam and take your fingerprints there. LiveScan representatives are available at each of the CDOI exam sites to serve your fingerprinting needs. They will have all the necessary forms to fingerprint the bail bondsman for you to fill out. There is also a minimum fee that you have to pay. Getting fingerprinted beforehand is a good idea, as it will speed up the process of obtaining your bail bondsman license.

You will get a tracking number in the state of your fingerprints, similar to FedEx tracking numbers. Enter this into the website address you are given and you will receive updates on its status.

Once you pass the exam and your bail bondsman license is issued, you will receive an email link to CDOI’s new “Get License Online” service. Here is a step by step process of what to do next. Basically, you download the license in its PDF format. Now you can email it, put it on your site, print it for the office, or whatever other ideas you may have.

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