To become a bail bondsman in Connecticut, professionals must complete the following steps:
|Meet Qualifications in Connecticut
|Fulfill Educational and Training Requirements in Connecticut
|Take the Connecticut State Licensing Exam
|Apply for a Connecticut State License
|Join a Firm or Establish a Company in Connecticut
The bail bond industry in Connecticut is tightly regulated by the Connecticut Insurance Department (CID). In addition to regulations governing recordkeeping, monthly reports, collateral security and premium financing, bail bondsman must pay an annual $450 bail bond assessment fee to support the CID’s rigorous audits.
In part, the exacting standards that have been implemented in Connecticut are a result of systemic problems in the industry itself. In 2008, a federal investigation of New Haven’s most prominent bail bond family found that these companies were circumventing state law by charging too little to defendants. In Connecticut, bail bondsmen receive the lion’s share of profits from the fees that insurance companies provide per each issuance. Although ten percent of the bail amount is the state minimum, it was found that many bail companies charge only two or three percent to attract more clients. The investigation also found that some of the more unethical companies had paid local police to obtain preference from arrested criminals when choosing a bail company.
The loose standards among certain bail companies in Connecticut have had a negative impact on public safety as more bail companies swoop in as soon as possible to provide bail. Criminals, in some cases, are allowed to leave detention without paying anything up front to some bail bondsman. The public outcry has prompted some lawmakers to consider changes to the bail industry, although the power of the bail industry lobby has stymied many of these efforts.
Step 1: Meet Qualifications in Connecticut
In order to become a bail bond agent in Connecticut, candidates must possess the following qualifications:
- Be at least 18 years of age
- Be a U.S. citizen
- Possess a clean financial record
- Completed the pre-licensing course
- Passed the state licensing exam
- Able to produce two character references
- Ability to pay the $250 initial license fee
- No convictions involving a felony offense or a misdemeanor offense related to theft, narcotics, or assault
Step 2: Complete Educational and Training Requirements in Connecticut
The extremely scrutinized profession of bail bondsman in Connecticut has made this profession an ideal choice for financially minded professionals with the discipline and intelligence to understand the many state regulations and diligently comply with them. The skills and knowledge acquired through a college education translate well into this profession. The most common degrees among bail bond agents are associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in finance, economics, or business management.
Prospective bail bond agents must also complete a 24 hour pre-licensing course that is offered through a variety of state approved colleges and training academies. The course will cover topics found on the state licensing exam including the Legal Framework, Bail Bond Principles and Practices, and Insurance Regulation.
Step 3: Pass the Connecticut Licensing Exam
Before licensure can be obtained, prospective bail bondsmen must take and pass the state bail bond licensing exam. The test is a 60 multiple choice question exam that must be completed within one hour. The test is offered through the independent test provider Prometric and the application to take the exam can be found here. The fee for this examination is $150. Candidates may retake the exam if they fail to pass and the scores will be good for one year following the exam.
Step 4: Apply for the Connecticut State License
To obtain a Connecticut bail bond agent license, candidates must complete the following steps:
- Submit an Individual Surety Bail Bond Agent License Application
- Provide $250 for the initial license fee in the form of a check payable to Treasurer, State of Connecticut
- Submit a full face passport size photo
- Copy of birth certificate or naturalization document
- Submit report from a credit bureau
- Submit two character references
- Submit pre-licensing course completion certificate
- Provide score from the licensing exam
The license is good for two years. License renewal is contingent upon payment of the $100 license renewal fee.
Step 5: Join a Firm or Establish a Company in Connecticut
Many newly licensed bail bond agents join an existing bail company to become better acquainted with the industry. These include 3-D Bail Bonds and Aces Bail Bond.
Other bail bondsmen may choose to establish their own bail company which requires the backing of an insurance company. Companies authorized to act as bail surety entities include:
- Allegheny Casualty Company
- American Surety Company
- International Fidelity Insurance Corp
To join a bail bondsman association in Connecticut, please visit the Bail Association of Connecticut.