How to Become a Licensed Bail Bondsman in Florida

If you or someone you know is interested in pursuing a bail bond career there are a few things you need to know to get licensed and start the lengthy process to become a bail bondsman. All states have slightly different regulations so make sure to find the governing department for bail in the state you wish to conduct business in.

Florida is one of the most highly regulated states for bail. The bail industry is overseen by the Department of Financial Services previously known as the Department of Insurance. In Florida to become a licensed bail bondsman first you need to meet the following criteria as outlined in Florida Statues Chapter 648 which governs bail. The actual title for bail bondsmen is that of a Limited Surety Agent, the actual license is Limited Surety Agent License 2-34.

If you are considering doing any type of bounty hunting work it is worth mentioning here that Florida does not allow or license bounty hunters. To perform the duties of such you need to be a licensed Florida Bail Agent and be appointed by the same insurance company that underwrote the bond you plan to pursue. Bounty hunting is illegal in Florida. That being said, you may qualify to begin the process of bail licensing if the below are met.

Licensing Requirements

  • You need to be at least 18 years of age and have at least a high school diploma
  • Be a resident of the state of Florida
  • Have not been convicted of a felony, or crime of moral turpitude or any other crime punishable by a year or more

If all the above are well then you may continue the process by

  • Taking a 120 hour basic certification criminal justice bail bond course and pass written examination ($550)
  • Taking a 20 hour correspondence course offered by the University of Florida which includes books and all materials ($300)
  • Submitting an application to the Department of Financial Services accompanied by an affidavit from the future employer attesting to the applicants character and integrity
  • Be referred or vouched by 3 reputable citizens of the county where you will be conducting business
  • Submit payment for background and credit checks (approximate $65)
  • Submit fingerprints and photo (approximate $60)


Completing successfully the above will only earn you a temporary bail bond license. Now you may legally commence employment as a temp agent at an established bail agency willing to intern you for a the required 24 month internship, although earlier termination of internship can be requested after 12 months with fulltime employent.

  • You need to work at least 30 hours a week for 52 weeks to request earlier termination. The employer is required to document hours and submit them to the Department of Financial Services on a monthly basis.

Lastly, upon internship completion you are now ready for your Department of Financial Services proctored state exam. Scheduling is easy as there are multiple locations for Pearson VUE Testing Centers throughout the state. They administer all insurance, real estate and state test. You may call 888.204.6289 to schedule it.

Other requirements below pertain to keeping your bail license once internship is complete and permanent bail license is had.

  • You must maintain a place of business in a Florida county open to the public during regular business hours where records will be kept and accessible
  • Comply with 14 hours of continuing education courses every two years


Who offers 120 hour Bail Bond Course?

Florida Bond School, Inc. Located in Miami, Florida holds classes several times a year. ($550)

FSAA also offers classes for $600 but you need to check their website as locations may vary.

The course is easily completed within a two week period. Normally hours run Monday through Saturday 8am - 7pm.

The course consists mainly of classroom instruction. Some firearms and arrest techniques are also taught. Florida Statues Chapter 648 and Bail Bond Rules and Regulations Chapter 903 governing bail and bail administration are the main focus. Speakers and guests are brought in to supplement the course.



Temporary Agents

A temporary bail bondsman can perform the same duties as a licensed bail bondsman with the following exceptions:

1. They may not sign bonds nor handle collateral

2. They must be accompanied by a licensed bail agent when aprehending, arresting and surrendering a defendant

3. May not drop off bonds at the jail

4. May not work out of any other agency or branch agency separate from the location of his supervising bail agent

Other duties most likely to be performed by an intern include answering phones, negotiating and qualifying bonds. During this period you will also learn to properly execute  insurance companies bonds forms, learn locations and bail protocol for the different jails. You might input data, file, learn to properly take collateral, help with the tracking of skips and hopefully go out in the field and gain some first hand knowledge to deal with fugitive apprehensions.

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Comments 10 comments

N.E. Wright profile image

N.E. Wright 5 years ago from Bronx, NY

Hey Bail Up!,

I really love this article. It is very informative.

I never knew there were differences between bail bond persons, and bounty hunters.

Thank you so much for sharing this story.

Take Care,

N.E.


Pamela99 profile image

Pamela99 5 years ago from United States

This was a very interesting article. I did no was so tough to get a license in Florida. Thanks so much for explaining it so carefully. Definitely rated up.


zzron profile image

zzron 5 years ago from Houston, TX.

Pretty cool!


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 5 years ago Author

N.E. Wright

Thanks for taking the time to let me know you found this hub informative. That's one of the main motives for this page. I remember find it difficult finding the correct information for bail licensing. Hope this helps.

Pamela99

There's plenty of misinformation out there when it comes to bondsman. Letting folks know the licensing process might help them better understand. I Appreciate the rating, Thanks!

Zzron

Glad you approve :)


Susan Miles profile image

Susan Miles 5 years ago

Great article! Sound tough to become a bondsman in Florida, yet achievable. Didn't know the Department of Financial Services oversees bail bonding, but it makes sense since someone who is using the service is getting a temperary loan to be released.


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 5 years ago Author

Susan Miles

Florida is one of the more regulated states for bail. Every year new rules, regulations and statutes are amended so you have to keep up with the changes. It is a bit more involved that what most people think.


Dave Negron 4 years ago

Can you please send more info

at anegron008@cfl.rr.com

Thanks


azure_sky profile image

azure_sky 3 years ago from Somewhere on the Beach, if I am lucky :)

I'm "sharing" this hub with a friend who lives in Florida........she will appreciate this hub! Thanks!


robin 3 years ago

how do you get an internship with a bail bondsman? What bail bondsman is willing to give an internship without fear of competition? Does anyone know if there is difficulty getting an internship?


Bail Up ! profile image

Bail Up ! 3 years ago Author

It's just a matter of calling and asking around. Bondsman always need good office help and help on the streets. You may be asked to sign a no compete agreement if the bondsman is concerned about competition. In a small county that may be an issue but the bigger bonding agencies are normally well established and that wont be an issue.

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