How to Write Bail Bonds

By Lily Welsh

Bail bonds can only be written by a licensed bond writer, also known as a surety bondsman or professional bondsman. Licensing rules are set by states, so they vary depending on where you live. The actual process of writing the bond also varies, depending on either state law or county law, but while the specifics differ, the general procedure is the same.

Become a licensed bond writer. In most states, bond writers are certified by your state's department of insurance, but your state's government website will point you to the correct licensing body. Most states require you to submit an application demonstrating that you meet their guidelines. Generally, these guidelines refer to age, education and criminal background. You may be required to take a bond writing course before you can be approved for a license.

Pay a licensing fee in your home county. After being approved on a state level as a bond writer, in most cases, you will be required to pay a fee to the county court in the county in which you plan to do business. The fee varies from state to state. In most cases, the fee must be paid annually.

File collateral with the county court. The court will have a minimum amount of collateral, in the form of cash and/or certificates of deposit, that the bond writers have to maintain with the court. They will also have rules regarding how many times your collateral amount you can write bonds for. For instance, if you have $10,000 collateral with the court, and the rules allow you to write bonds for five times collateral, you can write bonds for up to $50,000.

Post the bond with the court. When a customer hires you to write a bail bond for defendant, visit the county courthouse and file the required paperwork. The bond you write is an insurance policy you are giving to the court that the defendant will show up for her court case. Your collateral helps to guarantee further that she will comply with her court date. If a defendant you bond out does not show up for a date, you will lose the amount of your bond and have to collect that amount from your customer, as per your agreement with them.

About the Author

Lily Welsh is a freelance writer from North Carolina, though she has spent much of her adult life living abroad. She is the About.com Guide to Music Careers, and her work appears frequently in other Web-based and print publications. Welsh has worked in the music industry for 15 years and counting and holds B.A.s in international studies and economics.

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