Becoming A Bail Bondsman

becoming a bail bondsman

Becoming a Bail Bondsman Today

Becoming a bail bondsman in today’s market is physically and psychologically demanding. The bail bondsman profession requires around the clock service and is not suitable for most people expecting a 9 to 5 career. In addition, one should assess the physical dangers and financial risks taken during the course of this business before pursuing the licensing aspects of becoming a bail bondsman.

Too many times, the media and TV reality shows glamorize the bail bonds business, but fail show the true “reality” of the daily risks and pitfalls associated with writing such a high risk surety bond. Due to the nature of the business, the probability of the criminal defendant not appearing in court can be considerably high if proper measures are not taken to secure the bail bond. The bondsman is guaranteeing the criminal defendant will appear at all times during the criminal proceedings. Failure to do so, will expose the bail bondsman to a greater risk than any profits originally received.

Becoming A Bail Bondsman Licensee

Are you ready to get licensed? Then be prepared for a thorough background investigation by the Department of Justice. Individual’s with a felony record or convicted for a crime of moral turpitude, have a very slim chance if any in getting licensed as a bail agent. Once denied, you may appeal to the Insurance Commissioner, however your arrest records and court records speak for themselves. In fact, current bail agent licensees must disclose if they have been convicted of a misdemeanor or felony crime upon renewing their bail agent’s license for that period.

In California, becoming a bail bondsman requires a minimum 12 hours of approved prelicensing classroom study in subjects pertinent to the duties and responsibilities of a bail licensee. Once licensed, 6 hours of continuing education is required every year. The following forms and fees are applicable to individual’s wanting to get licensed:

Applicable Forms

  1. Application – From LIC 431-1
  2. Bond – Form LIC 437-9
  3. Action Notice of Appointment – Form LIC 437-23
  4. Action Notice Statement of Employing Bail Agent or Permittee – Form LIC 438

Applicable Fees

  1. First time applicant $426.00 (two years)
  2. Examination $42.00
  3. Fingerprinting $60.95 (Contact CDI’s contracted vendor L-1 Solutions)

For further bail licensing information, please call the California Department of Insurance at 1-916-492-3035.

Becoming A Bail Bondsman Competitor

One of the most important things you must consider when entering a new market is your competition. The commercial bail industry is known for its ruthless and “cut throat” ways of doing business. Many competitors will use deviant tactics to lure people in believing they can provide the cheapest and most expedient bail service. Others will stand in front of jails, soliciting family members on their way to visit a loved one in jail. Don’t be surprised if the competitor is camping out in your parking lot trying to pick off (this happened to me) prospective clients! I can sit here and write forever on such unethical conduct performed by scrupulous bail bondsman and their respective bail bond companies.

However, there are the handful who believe they provide an indispensable service to the public. These professional bail agents work everyday against the ill stereotype of who we are and what we do. They strive to better our industry and exemplify our professionalism as bail agents to the public, attorneys, judges, and court staff.

The bondsman definition goes well beyond what you see in the movies and read in the books. If you are serious in becoming a bail bondsman, I recommend you speak to or visit an office near you. You can find several bail bond offices around the Orange County Jail, where you may even witness a bail agent getting ready to bailout someone. Please feel free in contacting me as well for any possible opportunities as a professional bail agent.







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