To serve in the Arizona bail bondsman profession, candidates must complete the following steps:
|Evaluate Qualifications in Arizona|
|Complete Arizona Education and Training|
|Pass the Arizona State Licensing Exam|
|Apply for a Arizona State License|
|Find Employment in Arizona|
Bail bondsman in Arizona are regulated and licensed by the Arizona Department of Insurance. Prospective bail bondsmen and bail company entrepreneurs must fulfill a variety of obligations prior to serving in this financial occupation. Like most states, Arizona considers bail bond issuing a financial transaction similar to issuing a loan, and bail bondsmen are expected to possess extensive knowledge of the insurance, financial and bail bond fields.
While the Arizona bail bond industry is typically a commercial and financial based one, it may at times involve a law enforcement aspect. In April of 2013, two bail bondsmen working for one of Arizona’s leading bail companies, Sanctuary Bail Bonds, were killed while escorting a handcuffed fugitive. The killer and the handcuffed fugitive both fled the scene, but the fugitive was later apprehended. Within a few days the alleged killer was arrested and is currently awaiting trial.
Step 1: Evaluate Qualifications in Arizona
In order to obtain an Arizona bail bondsman license and practice in the state, candidates must meet these requirements:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be an Arizona state resident
- Pass the state licensing exam
- Possess sufficient funds to pay the $120 licensing fee and the $22 fingerprint FBI processing fee
- Provide proof of citizenship, work permit, or permanent residency
- No convictions of felony crimes
- Possesses sufficient funds to satisfy surety obligations
- Has not violated any rules involving court orders within the past two years
- Agrees to maintain regular contact with defendants as a service to the court
Step 2: Complete Education and Training in Arizona
In order to find success in this challenging profession, bail bondsmen are expected to possess knowledge and skills in the financial and legal fields. While it is possible to acquire these skills outside of a college education, the majority of bail bondsmen find an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in the areas of finance, business administration or economics immensely advantageous in the performance of their duties.
In addition to a rigorous college education, most bail bondsmen complete the pre-licensing course available through a variety of schools. This course is designed to prepare candidates for the Arizona Bail Bond Agent Series exam. This course includes sections on
- Insurance regulation
- Legal framework
- Bail bond principles and practices
Step 3: Pass the Arizona Licensing Exam
Candidates must take and pass the Arizona Bail Bond Agent Series Exam with a 70 percent or higher to qualify for licensure. This is a 60 multiple choice question exam that must be completed within 60 minutes. The test is computer based and is offered through the independent testing service PSI. To apply for the exam, visit the PSI website here; there is a $30 examination fee that must be paid at the time of application submission. The score from an exam is good for one year, after which the candidate must retake the exam to qualify for licensure.
Step 4: Apply for an Arizona State License
To complete the application process for an Arizona bail bondsman license, candidates must follow this procedure:
- Submit an application
- Provide a $120 licensing fee and a $22 fingerprint processing fee payable to the Arizona Department of Insurance
- Provide scores from Arizona Bail Bond Agent Series Exam
- Provide fingerprints using Form FD-258
- Provide proof of citizenship, legal residency or work permit
- Provide Form L-195 ensuring financial resources sufficient for surety obligations
The issued license is good for three to four years. In order to qualify for license renewal, bail bondsmen must complete 20 credit hours of continuing education during each two year period the license is in force. The education provider must issue a certificate of compliance to the bail bondsman, which must be attached to the license renewal application.
Step 5: Find Employment in Arizona
Newly licensed bail bondsmen may seek employment with an established Arizona bail company or found their own bail business. Some of the largest bail companies in Arizona include:
- Sanctuary Bail Bonds
- Bail Bonds USA
- All Out Now Bail Bonds
To establish one’s own bail bond company, professionals must submit articles of incorporation to the Arizona Department of Insurance as well as proof of financial resources sufficient to fulfill surety obligations.
To meet other Arizona bail bondsmen, professionals can visit the Arizona Bail Bondsmen Association.