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A Step-by-Step Guide to Becoming a Bail Bond Agent in NC

Bail agents have existed since the medieval period when bail was first implemented. Since then, generations of bail agents in one form or another have made lucrative careers in the bail industry. By becoming a bail bond agent in NC, you can be one of them.

Read on to learn more about how to become a bail bond agent in North Carolina.

What a Bail Bond Agent NC Does

When the police arrest someone for a crime, an amount of money is set (bail) that must be paid to get them out of jail before their trial. This amount of money can be many thousands of dollars, and difficult for most people to come up with.

A North Carolina bail bond agent charges someone a small fee to put up the money for a defendant’s bail. They then monitor the defendants who are out on bail and make sure they meet their court obligations.

Becoming a North Carolina Bail Bond Agent

Getting into the bail bond industry isn’t a difficult thing to do. However, you do need to meet certain requirements and follow a few steps to get licensed.

Meeting the Requirements

To meet the requirements, you need to be at least 21-years-old and have lived in NC for no less than six months before applying. You must have a valid NC ID or driver’s license, and possess the training and skills necessary to be a competent licensee.

You cannot have any outstanding bail obligations yourself. Additionally, you cannot have any prior or current violations of North Carolina General Statutes Article 71 Chapter 58 and Article 26 of Chapter 15A.

Finally, you cannot have been formerly disqualified under any state law (NC or others) to engage in the industry.

Disqualified Professions

There are several jobs one can have that will pre-disqualify you from becoming a bail agent. These include:

  • Sheriff or deputy
  • Other law enforcement (including police)
  • Working for the General Court of Justice
  • Judge
  • Attorney
  • Probation or parole officer
  • Jailer or assistant jailer
  • Any other public employee involved with criminal justice
  • The partner of any of the above

In addition to these professions, anyone who has a felony conviction is considered disqualified. Those who have convictions on misdemeanor drug offenses within the last 24 months are also disqualified.

Complete Pre-Licensing Course

Next, sign up for and attend training in the bail agent pre-licensing course. The NCBAA offers the course, which includes a class that spans two days and a test at the end.

Submit an Electronic Application

Once you have finished your pre-licensing requirements through the North Carolina Bail Agents Association, you can apply for your license.

Submit an electronic application along with all of the required documents to the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI). You will access the NCDOI through the North Carolina License Management System.

Take the Exam

You will receive a letter once the NCDOI accepts your application. The letter will inform you of your permission to schedule and take the state licensing exam.

After completing the exam, you’ll be given your grade. The NCDOI will be notified and you will have your photograph taken for your bail agent license.

Receive Your License

You should receive your license between 10 and 12 days after having passed the exam. If you don’t get your license in the mail, call the Bail Bond Regulatory Division at the NCDOI at 919-807-6850 during normal business hours.

All newly-licensed bail agents must work under a supervising bail agent for a year. Subsequent licensure will not require additional supervision.

The Cost of Licensure

There are three separate types of licenses you can obtain to work with North Carolina bail bonds. They are surety bail bondsman license, bail bond runner license, and professional bail bondsman license.

Surety Bail Bondsman License

Surety bondsmen execute or countersign a bail bond once an insurer appoints them. “Powers” are given by an insurance company for a surety bondsman to do their job. This is the most common bail license in the state.

The surety bondsman application cost is $263.00, and the processing fee is $48.00, totaling $311.00. An additional testing fee of $51.50 will be issued when you take the test.

Bail Runner License

A bail runner license will allow you to work under a licensed, professional bail bondsman. A bail runner license has the same powers as the surety bail bondsman, with one difference. Instead of executing bail bonds under the power of an insurer, a bail runner does so using the professional bondsman’s security (more on this below).

The bail bond runner application costs $183.00, along with the $48.00 processing fee, totaling $231.00. Again, the $51.50 test fee will be issued when you take the exam.

Professional Bail Bondsman License

To obtain a professional bail bondsman license requires more financial capital than the previous options. Once you pass the exam, you must make a security deposit of $15,000 in an American bank that is authorized by the commissioner. You need to make the deposit before you can get your license.

Once the bank confirms that the $15,000 deposit is complete, you will receive your license. If you wait longer than six months to make the deposit, they’ll cancel your application.

The license application is $263.00, and the processing fee is $48.00, totaling $31.00. As with the other licensing options, a testing fee of $51.50 will be issued when you take the exam.

When to Renew Your License

You need to renew your bail agent’s license on June 30th of every odd-numbered year (2021, 2023, 2025, etc.). To renew your license, you need to submit a fee of $40, a license renewal application, and then prove you’ve attended at least three hours of continued education.

Continued Education

The North Carolina Bail Agents Association offers a three-hour continuing education course. You have to complete the course before June 30th, and it requires a fee of $40.

Is the Bail Bond Industry Right for You?

To become a bail bond agent NC, you need to meet the qualifications, get the required education, and take the state exam. You’ll need to renew your license every odd-numbered year and continue your education in the meantime.

If you’d like to know more about how to become a bail bond agent, contact us today.