Becoming a bond agent takes dedication and determination to succeed.
Most kiddos dream of becoming rock stars, teachers, or police officers. If you’re one of the select few who dreamed of becoming a bail bondsman, then this article is for you!
Don’t worry; we’re not here to make fun of you. Instead, we’re here to educate the public on what a bail bondsman does. Most of us have probably heard of a bondsman thanks to Hollywood and blockbuster movies. However, we don’t know what it takes to become one. Just like in any other profession, there are certain requirements you must first meet.
Let’s dive deep into how you can become a bail bondsman, also known as a bail bonds agent!
Bad Decisions Result in Bad Results
Let’s say you’re on a weekend night in Ogden with your friends. You began sipping cocktails without realizing how many drinks you’ve had. Next thing you know, it’s 2:27 AM, and you need to get home. You can call a cab, call a friend, or drive yourself home. I would NOT recommend getting behind the wheel while under the influence. However, your state of mind is haywire. So, what do you do? You decide to get in the driver’s seat of your brand-new 2023 vehicle and ride down Ogden main street.
Three minutes into your reckless decision, you hit an eleven-month-old puppy and her owner while the dog was taking care of her business. Luckily the injuries are minor, but the Ogden police are already on their way. Unfortunately, you don’t realize that you’ll need a bail bond by tomorrow morning!
What is a Bail Bond?
If you play Monopoly, then you know how valuable a “get out of jail” free card is. A bail bond is similar; however, in our scenario, you get out of the Ogden jail until your court date. A bail bond is a refundable deposit and works as collateral that you will return to the Ogden court for further proceedings and, eventually, trial.
If you don’t appear for court, the court keeps the bail money, and the Ogden courthouse will issue a warrant for your arrest. Unfortunately, bail will not be an option for some crimes and defendants. So, next time don’t drive down Ogden main street intoxicated!
What is a Bail Bondsman?
The Ogden judge tells you your bail is $200,000 for hitting a puppy. However, you work a poorly paid 9-5, so $200k is out of your reach. Therefore, your family contacts a bail bonds agent near Ogden. The bail bondsman hears your case and agrees to cosign your bail bond. However, the bondsman asks for collateral, so you offer the cabin you inherited from your grandparents. Afterward, the Ogden bail agent explains how the bail system works and reassures your family that everything will be okay.
How to Become a Bail Bonds Agent?
Becoming a bail bonds agent requires wit and commitment. It is not for everyone due to the nature of your clients: people arrested and charged with a crime. Additionally, relationship-building is crucial for your success. Please do your research and talk with the Ogden police department, local attorneys, judges, and bounty hunters to get their insight. Start building those relationships now because you’ll need them down the road.
After you’ve decided this is the path you want to take then there are four steps you need to take to work in the bail bonds industry. Utah and every other state have slightly different requirements, so check with your local courthouse or police department.
Generally, you must meet these requirements to become a bail bonds agent or open your agency. We’ll discuss these in more detail below.
- Take a bail bond pre-licensing course
- Pass the state exam
- Apply for a state license
- Apply for bail insurance with a surety company
1. Pre-Licensing Course and State Exam
It’s time to learn the basics about the bail bonds industry and the applicable laws and regulations! Some states do not require the pre-licensing course but taking the course is still a good idea to help you pass the state exam. If you’re from Ogden, Utah, reach out to the Weber County Courthouse for guidance on pre-licensing courses and exams.
After you’ve studied and feel ready, take the state licensing exam. The exam will cover topics like bail bond law, practices, rules, and what a bail bondsman does. If you need help studying, Salt Lake City and Ogden have professional bail bond agents who can help you.
2. Apply for a State License
Now that you’ve aced the bail bondsman exam, you can apply for a bail bondsman license in Ogden. For this, check your state’s department of insurance website. Please remember that you must renew your license every one to three years and even take continuing education classes to keep your license. Ogden and the surrounding area have many bail bondsmen that can help you get licensed.
3. Apply for Bail Insurance with a Surety Company
You’ve made it this far, but there is more to do. Being a bail bondsman is financially risky. If a defendant posts bail and does NOT show up for court, their bail money is forfeited. That’s why having a surety company is crucial. The surety company will cover the bond, just as a car insurance company steps in to cover the loss of your totaled car. I suggest you shop around Ogden for the best surety company.
4. Bonus Tip: Register Your Business
Just as with any other business, there are steps you must take to run a business, such as:
- Register your business as an LLC or corporation with your Secretary of State
- File for a Tax Identification number from the IRS
- Open a business checking account with a local Ogden bank
- File for a Sales Tax Certificate with your State Department of Revenue (if your state has sales tax)
- Talk with the Ogden city hall for any additional licenses and permits
Take The Next Step
Becoming a bond agent takes dedication and determination to succeed. If you’re still interested in becoming a bail bonds agent, talk with Utah Bail Bonds in Salt Lake City.
Or worse yet, if you need to post bail at any time of the day, Utah Bail Bonds has your back. They service all of Utah with just one call! So, you can count on them when you need a reliable, resourceful, and professional bail bondsman!