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How to Get Started as a Bail Bonds Agent in South Carolina

There are over 1,500 bail bonds agents in the US, which means there is plenty of room for new agents to grow in the field.

Are you considering a career as a bail bondsman, but you don’t know what the bail bonds agent requirements are in your state? It can be confusing to ensure that you’re following all of the rules and staying on the right path since there is so much information on state websites to sift through.

Luckily, we have made this easy step-by-step guide to help you along the way.

Keep reading to get all of the information you need to become a bail bonds agent in South Carolina.

Check the South Carolina Dept. of Insurance Requirements

Before you can apply for a license, you have to be eligible to complete the training. There are specific requirements that need to be met, including:

  • Aged 18 or older
  • A resident of South Carolina
  • No felony convictions involving moral turpitude within the last 10 years
  • Good moral character

The requirements stated here are in place because the state wants to ensure all bail bond agents are going to be fair and honest in their work. You also need to be legally an adult and live in the state where you’re working.

If you meet all of the eligibility requirements, you’ll find that it’s actually not too difficult to become a bail bondsman if you put in the required hours.

Complete All of the Necessary Training

There is a compulsory course that you need to take called the Pre-Licensing Course for Bail Bondsmen in South Carolina. This is a 30-hour class that is administered by people from the Department of Insurance.

In this course, you’ll be trained on the general insurance information you need to know, as well as regulations, the legal framework of contracts, certain South Carolina laws, and the principles of what ‘bail bonding’ really means.

If you want to become a surety bondsman (which we will discuss later), you’ll need at least 60 hours of study.

After the course is complete, you get your certificate that shows you’ve finished the training.

Pass the Licensing Exam

With that certificate in hand, you will next want to register for the SC Professional Bail Bondsman/Runner exam. Make sure that you know which county you want to work in before you sign up.

Look for the ‘series 19-16 pre-licensing examination’ to ensure you sign up for the right one. You can go to PSI Exams to schedule your exam time and date.

You’ll have 60 questions to answer during this exam. It lasts for about 65 minutes, and you will have to pay a $45 exam fee to take it.

The outline of what you’ll want to study up on beforehand is:

  1. Insurance regulation (10%)
  2. Legal framework (29%)
  3. Bail bond principles and best practices (61%)

After the exam is completed (and passed), you’ll be able to get your license through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). These test scores last for one year.

Get Your License

Once you’re done with all other requirements, it’s time to finally apply for your professional bondsman license through the state. To do this, apply on the National Insurance Producer Registry website, and pay the non-refundable $400 fee.

In order to get this type of license, you have to get fingerprinted. For details about how and where to do this, you can visit the SC Department of Insurance web page.

You also need to have a passport-sized photo, proof of passing your exam, and your training certificate. Don’t forget to complete Form BB1100 and Form BB1106 as well.

If you have a license from another state, you can cancel the license from your previous state and then apply directly through NIPR.

Want to Be a Runner Bondsman?

Runner bondsmen are employed by professional bondsmen, and they are responsible for making sure that the defendant shows up for their court date. Another name you may know these professionals by is “bounty hunters.”

If you want to be a runner bondsman, rest assured that most of the requirements remain the same. You’ll need to complete the correct application, which is Form BB1106, and pay the $200 fee.

You’ll also have to provide a passport-sized photo, two fingerprint cards, and proof of passing your exam/training work.

You can only represent one professional bondsman, so submit an appointment with Form BB1102. If you plan to be a runner with authority (authorized by a professional bondsman), then you’ll also have to submit Form BB1104.

Want to Be a Surety Bondsman?

Many requirements are the same here as for the professional license, but there are additional factors that will need to be completed before you can apply.

Surety bonds are agreements that state one party (the surety) guarantees another party that a third party will perform an obligation. An example of a common surety bond is most court bonds.

Surety bondsmen are the ones that ensure bail bonds are executed correctly so that court proceedings can continue.

For this type of profession, there are more specific requirements. You have to get appointed as a surety agent by an insurer.

You’ll also have to complete the series 19-08 exam through PSI Exams. This exam has 50 questions that need to be completed within a 60-minute time frame. Continuing education requirements are also applicable to surety bondsmen.

Become a Bail Bonds Agent in South Carolina

Being a bail bondsman can be a rewarding career, so if you think it might be right for you, there is no time to waste. If you’re prepared to become a bail bonds agent, and you want to get some help from the pros along the way, we can help.

Amistad & Associates is a bail bond agency that wants to help professional agents in the North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia regions.

Apply now if you’re ready to get started.