A career as a bail bond agent may be exactly what you are searching for. While unemployment still reaches record numbers, many people are seeking other options for careers. In this article, you’ll find out the necessary information and requirements needed to start the process of licensing and certification.
These are the necessary steps in starting on the road to a rewarding and exciting career as a bondsman. First, let’s look at exactly what a California bail bondsman does. Bondsmen are also called “bail agents” and are licensed by the California Department of Insurance. They post a paper bond for defendants who need to get out of jail, enabling them to carry on with their normal daily lives while awaiting their court date.
The bondsman charges a 10% fee of the total bail amount and assumes the entire risk. Even though bondsmen are underwritten by an insurance company, bail agents are responsible for the total bail they do write. Also, there are certain administrative tasks involved, such as completion of paperwork and phone calls. Bail bond agents also act as consultants, have a chance to speak with many interesting people and continue to learn the legal ramifications and social situations.
You must have lived in the state of California for at least two years. You must be at least 18 years old. You must not have any prior felony convictions. You will need to take a 12-hour, pre-licensing class approved by the Department of Insurance (DOI). You need to request a Bail License application from the Department of Insurance (DOI) and look for a surety, (the insurance company who will underwrite you as a bail agent). Keep in mind, in order to secure your risks, the surety will need collateral in the form of a large cash deposit and/or real estate. You need to submit the paperwork and application along with a $241.00 fee to the DOI and they will review and hopefully approve your license application.
There may be additional documentation and explanations needed if you have had any sort of law suits or offenses in the past. Don’t think you can hide them – you can’t. If you try, your license will be declined. The next step is for the DOI to confirm a test date for you, which costs $48.00 for the examination. It is important to be prepared for this exam and study the material provided to you from the pre-licensing class. You will have two hours to complete the exam of 50 questions and must have a passing grade of 70. This exam can be tough; however, questions will come from the California Insurance Code Sections 35, 1733, 1880-1822; California Code of Regulations, Title 10, Sections 2053-2104; and California Penal Code Sections 1268-1319:6, and other corresponding sections. If you do not pass the first time, you can re-take the test until you do pass, however, each attempt will cost $48.00.