How do I Become a Bail Bond Agent?

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  • Written By: Josie Myers
  • Edited By: Andrew Jones
  • Images By: Uros Petrovic, Daniel Oines
  • Last Modified Date: 09 November 2019
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A bail bond agent pledges his own money to allow an incarcerated criminal suspect to go free. The money is pledged against the suspect's bail. This pledge can be in cash or assets, and is a token of good faith from the suspect that he will follow the terms of the bail agreement, and appear in court when required. If the suspect fails to follow the rules, the bail is forfeited to the courts. In exchange for this service, the suspect agrees to pay the bondsman a percentage of the total bail amount, a fee that ranges near 10%.

Anyone wishing to be a bail bond agent should check with the individual state requirements where they live. Some states require coursework and insurance to be licensed. The minimum age to be a bail bond agent is 18.

Insurance is an important part of being a bail bond agent. Most agents do not have the capital required to back up all of their clients at once, should something go amiss with more than one of them. Surety insurance guarantees that obligations will be paid if the clients fail to meet their requirements and disappear.


The coursework that many states require is usually about 12 hours. The classes teach the legal implications of bail, the process, and most also include information on suspect rights and fair treatment. A written exam usually follows the coursework. Once the exam is passed, a fee for licensing is paid, and the new bail bond agent can begin business.

Many states require bail bond agents to renew their licensing annually. This includes taking a refresher course, or continuing education coursework. A licensing fee must also be paid in order for renewal to be valid.

There is some risk involved with being a bail bond agent. Physical risk can be a factor since agents work with accused criminals, some of whom may have violent tendencies. The financial risk is obvious, and can be minimized, but not eliminated, by having proper insurance.

In the US, many agents choose to work closely with bounty hunters when suspects decide to flee, or otherwise abandon their commitments. When the suspect breaks the deal with the court system, he makes the bail bond agent liable to the court for the bail. A bounty hunter is trained in the proper techniques to safely pursue a fugitive, and return them into the hands of the law. In exchange for this service, the bail bond agent pays the bounty hunter a portion of his commission.


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Post 2

can a bondsman sue a client for money on a bond in which it was a surety bond and the person is in custody.

Post 1

can a bondsman get you out knowing you have absolutely no way to pay. but knows you have your home and that's it. and give you 30 days to pay your 10 percent on an extremely high bond.

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