Are you thinking about becoming a bail agent in North Carolina?
The job is one you should think about, especially if you like helping people. Bail agents provide an important public service by pledging money as bail on behalf of a criminal defendant. They also make an average salary of $40,288 a year, though some report making up to $80,000 a year.
If you’ve ever searched ‘bail bonds near me’ and wondered if you could become a bondsman yourself, keep reading. This job is the perfect fit for the right person, and understanding the job and the process will help you determine if it’s the right job for you.
What A Bail Agent Does
A bail agent is a licensed professional who fronts bail for defendants. A judge sets bail- a set amount that allows the accused to stay out of jail until his/her trial- when a person is arrested. All people get a trial, but not everyone can afford to bail out until he/she must appear in court.
This is where a bail agent comes in.
Your job as a bail agent is to loan the defendant the bail bond he/she needs to get out of jail. It is then the defendant’s responsibility to repay you when the day of the trial arrives. A big part of your job is making sure defendants show up for their court dates.
Benefits of Being A Bail Agent
There are several perks to working as a bail agent. First, you get to be your own boss. Bail agents typically work for themselves, set their own hours, and determine how much work they do. Freedom and flexibility are major benefits of this profession.
The job is an interesting one. You spend your days going into courthouses and pursuing fugitives who might be on the run. It’s a lot better than being stuck behind a desk every day because every day as a bail agent is different.
There is excellent pay potential in this profession. As you learn and meet more people, you can position yourself to make significant money. The salary of a bail agent varies, but you choose how many people you help, which means you decide how much money you can make.
Being a bail agent has long-term advantages and can be a rewarding career that spans many years. The reality is that as long as people commit crimes, there will always be a need for licensed bail agents. This is a job that you will be able to enjoy until you decide to retire from it.
The biggest benefit to this profession is that you’re really helping people. This is a rewarding profession because you are doing something for a client that nobody else could do for them. You will naturally establish a rapport with the people you help and you can see how much of a difference you make to their lives.
Step One: Meet Qualifications
North Carolina has several licensing qualifications for bail agents. Those qualifications are:
- a resident of North Carlina for six consecutive months
- at least 21 years old
- high school diploma or equal
- no outstanding bail bond obligations
- have a valid and current NC driver’s license or state-issued identification card
You cannot be a bond agent if:
- you are a sheriff, deputy sheriff, law enforcement officer, officer of the court, lawyer, parole/probation officer, jailer, an employee of the Court of Justice, or any other employee involved in criminal justice OR the spouse of any of these people
- you’ve been convicted of a felony
- you’ve been convicted of a misdemeanor drug violation in the past 24 months
Step Two: Take a PLE Course
First, make sure you qualify to be a bail agent in North Carolina. Then you take a pre-licensing (PLE) course through the North Carolina Bail Agents Association. The two-day training course includes a written test. Register here for a PLE class near you. Materials will be provided, but don’t forget your photo ID.
The PLE course is $450. If you’re a former member of the military, you are eligible for a $100 discount.
Step Three: Fill Out the Application
The next step is an electronic application that will ask you to upload your documentation and pay your licensing fees. A professional bail bondsman license in North Carolina is $311.00.
Step Four: Establish Security Deposit
North Carolina requires you to deposit at least a $15,000 security deposit in a U.S. bank. Your bail agent application will not be approved or mailed until the bank confirms the deposit.
Your deposit must be completed within 6 months of taking the exam. If not, your application is withdrawn for not meeting the requirements.
Why $15,000? A professional bail agent pledges cash with the commissioner as security for bail bonds. You need money in the bank to pledge cash payments for bonds.
Step Five: Pass The State Exam
The next step is taking the state exam at a Pearson Vue Testing Facility. The test is electronic and your score is provided when you finish. If you pass, the staff will take your photo for your bail bondsman identification card.
Step Six: Get Your License
After you’ve passed the exam, you will receive your licenses within 10 and 23 business days of the exam date. Congratulations. You are now a licensed bail agent in North Carolina!
Search ‘Bail Bonds Near Me’
You’ll see that there are other people in your area that are licensed bail agents, but this does not mean that there is no room in the profession for you! When you bring your unique personality to your work and eventually become a trusted bondsman, you will establish a reputation of your own.
People will refer you to their families and friends. Your business will grow, and so will your bank account. The profession needs you, no matter how many bond agents may operate in your area.
Is This the Career For You?
If you are ready to see your business link when you search ‘bail bonds near me,’ contact us for more information. Our network of licensed and established bail agents is a perfect place for you to learn and grow. We provide value to up-and-coming bail agents and can help you get started.