Becoming a bail bondsman is an intriguing career path. It takes a good amount of patience and perseverance but it is also a relatively quick process considering it’s in the legal industry.
There are some states that don’t have any bail bondsman because they don’t post bail amounts.
In South Carolina, the process of becoming a bail bondsman doesn’t differ too much from the other states. All you need to do is find proper licensing and pass the right tests.
Here’s how to become a bondsman in South Carolina. Consider this process as you determine whether or not you’re interested in becoming one.
1. Consider Your Fit
One thing many people don’t do when considering their career path is determining whether or not the position is the right fit for them.
A bail bondsman career is different than almost any other job path that you can possibly choose.
It demands a life in which you’re essentially ready to pick up the phone 24-hours a day, 7 days a week. A client could call at any moment asking for your services, so you have to be ready to help them out.
However, it’s also one of the most rewarding careers that you could choose. You get to help people out in their darkest, most desperate hours. You’re the person they’ll call when they’ve hit rock bottom and need someone to get them back on the right track.
2. Find Your State’s Bail Bondsman Requirements
As previously mentioned, some states such as Wisconsin and Illinois don’t have commercial bail accessible to those that are arrested.
Then there are other states, such as Massachusetts and Georgia, that have more specialized requirements than most others.
There are also states, such as becoming an agent in South Carolina, that you would consider to fall somewhere in-between the two.
Regardless, all of the states that allow commercial bail generally require you to be 18 or older, have a high school diploma (or GED), complete a licensing tutorial (before applying for your license), and passing that state’s exam.
They also generally demand that you have sponsorship from a surety provider of some capacity. The more trustworthy of a surety company you have, the better off you are.
3. Take the Proper Training Course
Almost every state will have a pre-licensing course that they’ll want you to take, and South Carolina is no different.
Be sure that you take ample time to study efficiently and give yourself the best chance to pass the course.
This course will cover everything from basic laws and principles to how to go about beginning your bail bond agent practice. Also, it will take 30-hours to complete, so be sure to find a location close to your residence.
The good news is that this course isn’t just a mandatory requirement from your state, but it’s also a tremendous resume builder for your future career.
Also, be sure to build a relationship with the professor or the instructor that leads your course. They have experience in the bail bondsman field and can offer you valuable feedback as you go through the process.
Talking with them can help you prepare for the state licensing exam, which is the next piece to the puzzle.
4. Pass the South Carolina Licensing Exam
This should be prefaced by saying that the test has some alterations made to it every so often.
However, it’s typically an exam that contains around 60 questions, with topics that can range in variety.
different states also require you to pay for the test each time that you take it, which will hopefully only be one time. That price is usually anywhere between $60 to $100.
Be sure to bring the certification that shows you’ve completed the pre-licensing course as well as a payment method for your fingerprint submission. If you show up without a payment method, they’ll send you home.
5. Apply for Your South Carolina Bail Bondsman License
After you’ve passed the South Carolina state licensing exam, it’s time to submit your application to receive your license.
Before you can do that, you’ll need to complete the state of South Carolina’s additional questionnaire that the South Carolina Department of insurance requires.
This application will ask you things such as what license you’re applying for, attaching a passport-like photo of yourself, whether you’ve completed the course, etc.
Keep in mind, this is a legally binding document claiming that you’ve taken all of the appropriate steps and passed the licensing exam. Be sure not to send it in until after you’ve passed the test, so as to avoid the penalty of perjury.
From there you’ll simply pay the required amount for the license, submit the scores from your South Carolina exam, and the documentation from a surety service.
Be sure to stay up-to-date with when your license needs to be renewed. The renewal period for the state of South Carolina is between June 1 and June 30 of each calendar year.
After you’ve completed the licensing application process, all that’s left to do is wait for them to send back your license and certification information.
How to Become a Bondsman: Take the Necessary Steps
As you can imagine, the process of how to become a bondsman in South Carolina is all about following each and every step with caution.
Be sure to read this article about how to start a bail bondsman business in South Carolina to see what all is required and recommended.
For more inquiries, please feel free to use our online application form and we’ll be happy to assist you further!