for Becoming a Bail Bondsman in Texas
Texas laws regulate the qualifications and licensing requiring for bail bondsmen. To be eligible, you must be a U.S. citizen residing in Texas who is at least 18 years old and has never been convicted of a felony or misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. A corporation can also be a licensed bail bondsman if it is chartered or admitted to do business in the state and qualifies under the Texas Insurance Code to write fidelity, surety and guaranty bonds. See Title 1. Code of Criminal Procedure Chapter 17 in full context below.
Bondsmen -- Reference Terms
"Bail bond" means a cash deposit, or similar deposit or written undertaking, or a bond or other security, given to guarantee the appearance of a defendant in a criminal case.
"Bail bond surety" means a person who:
executes a bail bond as a surety or co-surety for another person; or
for compensation deposits cash to ensure the appearance in court of a person accused of a crime.
"Board" means a county bail bond board.
"Bonding business" or "bail bond business" means the solicitation, negotiation, or execution of a bail bond by a bail bond surety.
"Final judgment" means a judgment that disposes of all issues and parties in a case.
"Person" means an individual or corporation.
Contractual Agreement – Established bail
bondsmen enter contractual agreements with a variety of courts around the city
and county, stipulating to posting a bond and agree to be irrevocably bound by
the agreement. In return, the court allows them to bail a defendant out of jail
by signature--without having to front the cash for the transaction. The court
understands that either the defendants will return on their scheduled court
date, or the bail bondsmen will pay the entire bail amount to the clerk of the
applicable court. Because the bond the bail bonds office agrees to is
irrevocable, the court knows it will receive payment. Although at face value
this looks like a situation that is beneficial for only one side, the fact that
the bail bonds office is now in hot demand by defendants wishing to avail
themselves of this prearranged agreement places the bail bondsmen in a good
position to make a lot of money
Nonrefundable Fee The
bail bonds office requires the defendant to pay 10 percent of the bail bond
amount at the beginning of the transaction. This is a nonrefundable fee, even
if the defendant shows up for trial as scheduled. A bail bonds office that
judiciously bails out low flight risks that carry high bail amounts can make
money simply by taking in the 10 percent fee. For example, if a defendant is
required to post $50,000 bail, the bail bondsman will seek a signature release
of the individual and take $5,000 as up-front payment to do so. If the bail
bonds office bails out 10 such defendants in one week, they will have made
Tangible Assets >Bail bondsmen see a
sizable profit only if the defendants they bail out of jail show up for their
scheduled court hearings. If the defendants fail to do so, the bond is called
in by the court. Working with the example from above, if the 10 defendants who
were bailed out fail to appear for their court dates, the bail bondsmen are
liable for $500,000. To ensure that this does not happen, bail bondsmen require
a tangible security to be placed with them, such as the title to a valuable
car, or they place a lien on a defendant's home. If the bond is forfeit, the
bail bonds office seizes the property and sells it to recoup the money paid out
via the bond to the court.
These are the work
requirements for Bail Bond Board Counties
A person applying for a new license must work
for a bail bond business for 12 continuous months full time and have
documentation to prove it and must have 8 hours of Continuing Education within
the last 24 months. This would apply in a Bail Bond Board County. This is the work requirements only!!!
Financial Requirements are as follows for: Bail Bond BOARD Counties
person can deposit $50,000.00 with county and can write bail at a ratio
person can put real property up as security that has a net worth of $ 50,000.00
but the ratio will be 5 to 1 (years 1-2), then 6 to1 for (years
2-4), (years 4-6) at 8-1 and for (years 6+) at a ratio of
person can get an insurance company (corporate surety) to back them
and be an agent for them.
Note: The 3 year policy's often read about only applies to a company that has been in business for 8 continuous years and has not been revoked or suspended. That means that they do not have to renew but for every 3 years instead of every 2 years.
Code Counties (Non-Bail Bond Board Counties)
A person in these counties must apply at the Sheriff’s office in that county and comply with the regulations of each counties sheriff.
In Most case an applicant will have to put up a financial statement to secure the bonds they write with that counties department. NOTE: All License Bondsman
in the State of Texas must take the Continuing Education Classes 24 months
prior to their application for a new license or before their renewal of their
Education - Overview
(In a Bail Bondsmen “COUNTY BOARD” County) — —Before you can apply to become a licensed bail bondsman, you will
have to complete an apprenticeship under a licensed Texas bondsman.
continuous employment for at least a year and not less than 30 hours per
during this time you will have to have performed all the tasks of a
it's also necessary to complete eight hours of in-person classroom education
in criminal law or bail bond law courses approved by the State Bar of Texas and
offered by an accredited Texas institution of higher learning.
8 hours of educational courses are offered through-out the year by the
Professional Bondsmen of Texas at www.pbtx.org.
The application for professional bail bondsman license must be
submitted to the County Bail Bond Board (if applicable) or the state. The
application must include:
your name, age and address
the name under which you plan to do business
the address of each place where your business will be conducted
and a list of nonexempt real property (see Section 1704.155) to be executed
in trust to the board as collateral on bonds
In addition, the application must include a sworn financial statement by you
a declaration of compliance with Texas law
three letters of recommendation from reputable persons
a set of fingerprints
a passport photo
and the $500 filing fee.
Upon satisfying the financial requirements and any other reasonable inquiries
into your application, your license will be granted.
If… there is a County Bail Bond Board:
they will conduct initial inquiries into your application
there will also be a hearing by state representatives to determine
If successful, you will then have to either deposit cash with the county
treasurer or execute deeds in the county's favor with a combined total of at least
$50,000 ($10,000 in counties with a population under a quarter of a million
people). As a bondsman, you will not be able to have outstanding bonds
exceeding 10 times the value of your collateral, or half of the net worth of
your nonexempt property.
Education Needed to Become a Bail
bondsman is a person qualified by the legal system to post bail on a specific
inmate, using the bondsman's personal assets to underwrite the bail, on behalf
of someone who wants the inmate freed but cannot post bail. In return, a bail
bondsman often charges a percentage of the bail posted for the inmate. State
certified bail bondsmen often have the same powers as insurance agents. To earn
their certification, bail bondsmen are usually required to earn their high
school diploma and take anywhere from 8 to 20 hours of state accredited bail bondsman
instruction. (Texas requires 8 Hours)
Basic educational requirements for individuals
looking to become bail bondsmen usually consist of a high school diploma or its
equivalency. Also, the applicant must be at least 18 years of age or older. Other
basic eligibility criteria includes submitting a copy of your valid driver's
license; you will also have to undergo a background check and have your
fingerprints on record with your local law enforcement agency.
Rules on bail bondsman educational
requirements vary from state to state. Some states, including Illinois,
Kentucky and Wisconsin, have no process for certifying bail bondsmen but, Texas
does. Contact the
Department of Insurance or the state governmental agency that licenses
insurance professionals to find out any educational requirements needed to
become a bail bondsman. Most states require ATLEAST 8 hours (as does Texas) of
classroom instruction in bail bondsmen procedures and protocol before allowing
an individual to become a certified bail bondsman. In SOME STATES, professional
bondsmen must complete 20 hours of department-approved training.
How Do Bail
Bondsmen Make Money?
The Court allows bail bondsmen to bail a defendant out of jail by signature.
Download the Texas Statutes - Section 1704.152 by clicking on the button below
The Professional Bondsmen of Texas, an association, was established in 1970 as the Texas Association of Professional Sureties to support and assist bondsmen in the advancement of their business.