The Idaho Department of Insurance designates bail bondmen as limited producers. Candidates must complete the following steps to become bail bondsmen in Idaho:
|Meet eligibility requirements|
|Pass the state licensing exam|
|Apply for an Idaho state license|
The Idaho Department of Insurance (DOI) is the licensing and regulatory body for bail bondsmen in the state. The requirements for joining this competitive and demanding profession are not as strict as in some states, but all licensed bail bondsmen must provide the DOI with an original bond of $15,000 to ensure financial resources sufficient to underwrite surety bonds. Bail bondsman license applicants must also be appointed by a surety or insurance company prior to licensure.
While the majority of bail contracts are concluded without incident, in a small fraction of cases, a defendant may choose not to appear in court. This type of case recently made headlines in Idaho when David Brinkmeyer shot his son-in-law when he was scheduled to appear before the judge. Brinkmeyer was later charged with intent to murder and jailed on $500,000 bail.
Step 1. Meet Eligibility Requirements
The Idaho Department of Insurance requires all bail bondsmen to meet the following requirements prior to licensure:
- Must be at least 18 years old
- Must provide a $15,000 bond to the DOI
- Must be appointed by a surety company
- Must pass the surety exam
- Must provide fingerprints to ensure no felony convictions or misdemeanor convictions involving moral turpitude
- Must be capable of providing the $80 licensing fee
Step 2. Complete Education and Training
Bail bonds are financial transactions similar to insurance policies which require intimate knowledge of finance, contracts and criminal law. Therefore, the most common college degrees among bail bondsmen in Idaho are associate’s or bachelor’s degrees in finance, law, business management or economics.
While a college education can provide a broad foundation for success in the bail industry, in order to prepare for the challenging surety insurance exam, most prospective bail bondsmen attend a pre-licensing course. These courses may be found through local colleges, private schools or online academies and provide intensive preparation for the licensing exam. This course covers the following topics:
- Idaho statutes, rules and regulations
- Marketing practices
- Producer responsibilities
- Policy provisions and contract law
- Fidelity and surety contracts
In addition to fulfilling educational and test preparation requirements, candidates must also obtain sponsorship from a surety company. A surety company is typically an insurance company which is underwriting bail bonds. In Idaho, the best way to obtain this type of sponsorship is to find an internship or paid work opportunity with a bail or surety company.
Step 3. Pass the State Licensing Exam
In Idaho, bail bondsmen must take and pass the Idaho Bail Bond Exam. This is a 50 multiple choice question exam that is offered through Pearson Vue. To apply for this exam, candidates must visit the Pearson Vue website here, and pay a $60 examination fee. Upon arriving at the test center, applicants must submit their fingerprints and pay an additional $60 fingerprint fee. The exam must be completed within one hour and a 70 percent is required to pass. Candidates may retake the exam if they fail to pass but must pay the exam fee each time.
Step 4. Apply for an Idaho Bail Bondsman License
To apply for an Idaho Bail Bondsman License, candidates must complete the following procedure:
- Submit a signed, completed application
- Provide a $80 license fee made payable to the Idaho Department of Insurance
- Submit a bond for $15,000
- Provide documentation of sponsorship by a surety company
- Provide a score report from the Idaho Bail Bond exam
The licensure period for bail bondsmen is two years. During this licensure period, bondsmen must complete 24 continuing education credit hours, with at least three hours in ethics. There is also a $60 license renewal fee.
Step 5. Find Employment
Following licensure, many bail bondsmen join an existing bail company as an employee prior to establishing their own company. Some Idaho bail companies that may be willing to hire new agents include:
- Hometown Bail Bonds
- Idaho Bail Bonds
- American Bald Eagle Bail Bonds
To join a professional association for bail bondsmen in Idaho, please visit Professional Bail Agents of Idaho.