The Delaware Insurance Department is responsible for licensing bail bondsman, also known as bail bond limited producers in the state. In order to join the bail bondsman profession, candidates must complete the following steps:
|Meet eligibility requirements|
|Complete education and training|
|Take and pass the state licensing exam|
|Apply for a Delaware state license|
|Join a bail company|
The bail industry in Delaware is currently in a state of flux as several important legislative measures are being worked out in the state assembly. Among the most important of these is House Bill 39, which would mandate that any offender who commits a crime while on bail would have bail for the second offense set at least twice that of the original bail amount. This is intended to keep violent offenders from making bail.
Another bill proposes that bail companies charge at least 12 percent instead of the currently required ten percent to secure bail. This bill would also require fees of 33 percent of cash bail amounts, with at least 20 percent paid up front; the current amount is 22 percent of cash bail amounts. This new bill is an attempt to limit the virtually open door policy currently in operation in Delaware in which many bail companies charge less the legally mandated amount and recoup their losses by receiving the bulk of their payment from insurance company underwriters.
Step 1. Meet Eligibility Requirements
In order to become licensed as a Delaware bail bond limited producer, candidates must meet the following eligibility requirements:
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must be a Delaware state resident
- Must pass the Delaware producer licensing exam
- Must submit fingerprints and pass a criminal background check
- Must provide their fee schedule
- Must be able to pay the $75 license fee
Step 2. Complete Education and Training
Many of the most successful bail bondsmen acquire valuable skills and knowledge by attending a post-secondary institution. Due to the financial nature of this occupation, the best preparation is usually an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in finance, economics or business.
The Delaware Insurance Department does not require that candidates for bail agent licensure attend a pre-licensing course, but many find the intensive preparation found in these courses can be extremely beneficial for the licensing exam. These courses include instruction in
- Delaware bail laws
- Insurance ethics
- Bail bond procedures
Step 3. Pass the Delaware Licensing Exam
All bail bond limited producers must take the Delaware bail bond insurance exam and pass it to qualify for licensure. To apply for this exam, candidates should visit the Pearson Vue website. The exam fee is $90. Candidates may retake the one hour exam as many times as necessary to pass, but the scores are good for only one year.
Step 4. Apply for a Delaware State License
To serve as a Delaware bail bond limited producer, candidates must complete the following procedure:
- Submit an online application at the National Insurance Producer Registry
- Provide a $75 license fee through a credit card or electronic payment
- Submit fingerprints within 90 days of application submission
- Submit a fee schedule by fax to 302-736-7906
- Submit state licensing exam scores
This license is good until February 28 in the next even year. In order to qualify for license renewal, bail bondsmen must complete at least 24 credit hours of continuing education during the two year licensure period; at least three of these credit hours must be devoted to ethics. Failure to meet the continuing education requirement can result in license suspension and/or fines up to $2,000.
Step 5. Join a Bail Company
Once a license is obtained, bail bondsmen may choose to join an existing bail company or establish their own company. The option to work for a bail company can present numerous key benefits, including the ability to network with insurance companies that underwrite most bail bonds. Serving in a bail company also provides valuable experience about the bail bondsman profession as well. Some of the most important bail bond companies in Delaware where employment can be found include
- Fast Break Bail Bonds
- Axe Bail Bonds
- Delaware Bail Bonds
In order to establish a bail company, entrepreneurs must often secure financing sufficient to back surety obligations and incorporate their company.
To join a professional association of bail bondsmen, professionals should contact Professional Bail Agents of the United States.