Estimates say the bail bond industry pulls in over $2 billion a year in revenue. Sounds like a lucrative business to be involved in, right? It very much is.
A person cannot become a bail bondsman on their own. Many states, North Carolina being one of them, require a specific bail bondsman license.
There is a process involved in becoming a bail bondsman you need to know about before you begin your career.
If you’re interested in the bail bonds industry, read on to learn more about it and the North Carolina licensing process.
What Are Bail Bonds?
You’ve seen the storefronts. They’re often very close to county jails and other detention centers. They’re open 24 hours a day and offer bail bonds to those who need them.
If you’ve never been arrested or are not intimate with the American judicial system and legal process, you might not know what a bail bond is. Here are the specifics.
When a person is arrested, most are not detained indefinitely. For many arrests, a bail amount is set for release. These numbers are in the thousands of dollars, and many citizens cannot afford the bail price out of pocket.
A bail bond secures release from detention if a judge deems a defendant eligible for bail release. It is a contract that states the bail bonds service agrees to pay the full bail amount if the defendant does not show up for their court date.
In order to receive this agreement from a bail bondsman, you’ll pay an upfront fee. Some bond services charge 15% of the total bail amount, plus collateral. Common forms of collateral include expensive electronics and real estate.
How Do Bond Services Profit?
It’s a simple route to profit from bail bonds. If you secure a bond, pay the 15% plus collateral, and show up for all your court dates, the court dissolves the bond. After a bond’s resolution, the bond service returns the collateral but keeps the 15%.
The average bond amount for felonies in the United States is $10,000. That means for every resolved felony bond, a bondsman keeps $1,500 in profit.
That’s for a felony. Misdemeanors and civil arrests carry bond amounts as well.
If there is a bond issue where the defendant does not show up for court, the bondsman must pay the court the full amount of the bond. The bondsman will use the 15% plus the collateral to pay the court.
Who Can Become a Bail Bondsman?
Before you begin the process for your North Carolina bail bonds license, you need to know whether you qualify for licensing. Each state has its own qualifications.
To obtain a license as a professional bondsman or a surety bondsman in North Carolina, you first must be 21 years old and be a North Carolina resident for six consecutive months.
You receive licensing under a governing regulatory body. In North Carolina, it’s the Commissioner of the North Carolina Department of Insurance.
The law states that anyone with “current or prior enumerated violations” is prohibited from receiving a license. Current or prior enumerated violations constitute current or prior felonies.
If you meet those preliminary qualifications and do not work within the North Carolina criminal justice system as a sheriff, law enforcement officer, jailer, or the courts, you can proceed with license acquisition.
The Licensing Process
If you meet the above qualifications, you can now begin the procedure to obtain your bail bondsman license. You must complete all of these steps before the North Carolina Department of Insurance will grant one.
You must enroll in a Pre-Licensing Education (PLE) through the North Carolina Bail Agents Association (NCBAA).
These PLE courses last two days, and you must present a valid photo ID to the proctors before you can enter.
At the end of the two days, you’ll take a classroom test. If you pass, you receive the proper NCBAA certification to proceed.
You’ll submit your application online to the North Carolina Department of Insurance. This means all documentation and necessary forms. When you submit your application, you’ll pay a fee associated with the particular license you seek.
For the most common Surety Bail Bondsman License, you’ll pay a total of $311 plus an examination fee of $51.50.
Once your application receives NCDOI approval, you’ll receive a letter. Once you receive this official letter, you’ll then be able to schedule your state examination.
You will schedule an exam at a Pearson Vue Testing facility. Upon exam completion, your score posts to the NCDOI. Should you pass, facility staff will take your official license photograph.
Receive Your License
After the NCDOI receives your passing score, they’ll send your license. This process takes up to 10-12 business days from your examination date.
Once you receive your physical license, you can operate as a bail bondsman. There is one catch. The NCDOI mandates you must operate under a supervising agent for one full year.
Once You Receive Your License
Now you can begin your career as a bail bondsman. For most starting out, they’ll find work with a larger bail bond company. Since you need a supervising agent in North Carolina for one year, this will be your best route.
After that year, you are free to strike out on your own. With your license, you can start and maintain your own business and keep all of that commission.
Get Your Bail Bondsman License
The current bail process of our legal system presents self-starting entrepreneurs with great opportunity. Given the average price of felony bail, there is so much money to earn in this business.
In order to tap into this market, you’ll need to get your bail bondsman license. In North Carolina, like all other states, there is a specific process you’ll need to follow.
If you need to post bail in Charlotte, look no further. Charlotte Bail Bonds is here for you. Contact us today.