Want to know the steps involved in becoming a bail bond enforcement agent?
Well, there’s good news! Becoming a bail agent isn’t as hard as you probably believe. In fact, there are currently over 14,000 bail agents in the US, and it’s growing every single day.
So how do you get into the industry? What courses do you have to take, and what bail enforcement agent salary can you expect?
Let’s talk about how to become a bond enforcement agent in Virginia!
1. Determine Eligibility
Becoming a professional bail bond enforcement agent is a challenge that needs you to become knowledgeable of finance, contract law, and criminal law. And most licensing boards require you to meet certain requirements that include:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Successfully complete a pre-licensing course
- Pass the Virginia licensing exam
- Have the financial resources to meet the surety obligations
- Have sponsorship from a surety company
If you are eligible to become a bail enforcement agent, you’ll then need to complete your initial application.
2. Complete the Initial Application
Once you have confirmed that you meet the mandatory requirements, you can submit your initial application and pay any fees. These fees are usually non-refundable, so make sure you are happy moving forward.
If you’d like to acquire a Bail Bondsman Firearm Endorsement, this is the time to apply. This particular license may need practical firearm tests along with written exams and a firearm safety course.
During this step, you are required to schedule an appointment so you can be fingerprinted and background-checked. Your record will need to be free of felonies within the last 10 years to move beyond this point.
3. Complete Educational and Training Requirements
Only a high school diploma is required to become a bail bond agent. Despite this, you will still need to complete core training to register for their license exam.
The Bail Bondsman Entry Level Core Training is a 40-hour training that will cover:
- Ethical standards
- Code of Virginia and Regulations
- Basic law
- Surety and property law
- Court education and conduct
- Fugitive recovery education
Your firearm training will need additional coursework and DCJS-approved testing. And depending on the state, you are working in, you may be required to take part in further education and courses.
4. Pass the State Licensing Exam
When you have received your certificate of completion for your bail bonds course, you will need to take part in the professional bondsman exam, run through PSI. You can request a practice exam and study material to help.
The exam will cost you $45, and PSI will let you and the Department of Insurance know of your results. From there, you’ll be able to apply for your license.
5. Apply for a Virginia license
If you don’t pass your exam the first time, don’t worry. You can easily retake it.
Now, it’s time to apply for your bail bondsman license. Depending on the bail bondsman license you are applying for, the steps and documentation may change.
However, you will need to start by submitting the initial Bail Bondsman License Application for all types.
Submitting for licenses comes with certain fees. These fees can be paid by check or money order to the Treasurer of Virginia.
The fees include:
- Licensing fee – $900
- Category fee (for Surety Bail Bondsman only) – $100
- Criminal history processing fee – $25
- Fingerprinting – $50
- Firearms Endorsement Application fee (if applicable) – $30
Applying for licenses will require you to upload supporting documents that prove you have completed all necessary education and examinations. And you may be asked to provide extra criminal history results.
6. Maintain Your License
Most licenses come with expiration dates that need to be maintained throughout time. Virginia does this so agents understand any updates on changing laws that may affect their work.
Once you have a license and a job, you need to stay alert that all bail agent’s licenses expire on June 30th of every year. You will need to complete 8 hours of training each year to maintain your license.
Bail Enforcement Agent Salary
Bail enforcement agent jobs can be both lucrative and exciting. In fact, if you are considering a career as a bail bond agent, you can expect the following perks:
- Flexible, non-traditional hours
- An average salary of $36,044 to $100,000
- Job security as there is high demand for bail agents in most states
- Opportunities to invest in a long-term career
- Ability to work in local courthouses, and jails
- Make a difference within your community.
If these perks sound interesting to you, we recommend contact us today to see how we can help you thrive as a bail agent. We are here to offer guidance as you learn the ropes of the business.
Become a Bail Bond Enforcement Agent Today!
When applying to become a Bail Bond Enforcement Agent, it’s important to remember that you don’t have to go about your career independently. Joining a network of like-minded bail agents can give you the support your need.
Being a good, professional agency member will give you exclusive access to priceless resources, business recommendations, and marketing strategies to elevate your career.
If you need help or have any questions about setting up your business, maintaining records and licenses, posting bonds, handling forfeitures, or client relations, contact the Amistad Bailbonds & Associates team for help!
We are qualified professionals with years of experience in the bail agent industry, and we look to help like-minded people start a bail bond business of their own!