- A.S. in Criminal Justice, B.S. in Criminal Justice - Criminology, and M.S. in Criminal Justice
|Meet eligibility requirements|
|Complete training and education|
|Pass the state licensing exam|
|Obtain an Indiana state license|
|Join a bail company|
The Indiana Department of Insurance oversees the bail bonds industry within the state. Bail bondsmen are designated as bail agents in this state. In Indiana, there are four types of pre-trial release:
- The first is a release on own recognizance, which does not require any bail.
- The second is cash bail, which is provided totally by the defendant.
- A third party including family, friends or a bail bondsman may provide surety bail.
- Deposit bail involves only a payment of a fraction of the bail.
Many of the bail bondsmen in the state have voiced strong criticism of the present deposit bail system which mandates a ten percent payment. Unlike commercial surety bail which requires collateral or co-signing, deposit bail does not provide any incentives for defendants to appear. While the bail bonds industry reports a 97 percent appearance rate, defendants who are released on deposit bail are only 60 percent likely to report for a court appearance.
Step 1: Meet Eligibility Requirements
The Indiana Department of Insurance requires that all bail bondsmen in the state possess the following qualifications:
- Must be at least 18 years of age
- Must have been an Indiana resident for the year prior to application submission
- Cannot be convicted of a disqualifying felony crime, or ten years has lapsed since any non-disqualifying felony conviction, and five years has lapsed since any misdemeanor conviction
- Must possess knowledge of the bail bond industry; or have held an all lines fire and casualty insurance license for at least one year in the past five; or been employed by a bail bond industry for at least one year in the past five.
- Possess the funds for the $650 licensing fee and $100 exam fee
- Must be able to pass the Commissioner’s exam
- Provide credit history report
- Provide certificate of completion of 12 hour pre-licensing course
Step 2: Complete Training and Education
The bail bondsman profession is essentially a financial management occupation. While there is no statutory requirement for bail bondsmen to possess a college degree, the most successful bail professionals often possess an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in finance, economics, law or business administration.
A college education may also be helpful in preparing to take the bail bond licensing exam. The 12 hour pre-licensing course that all bail bondsmen candidates must complete is found through several bail academies and companies throughout the state, but possessing the academic skills to study for this challenging exam is often derived from collegiate education. The pre-licensing course includes instruction on
- Department of Insurance
- Licensing and regulations
- Key definitions
- Bail bond basics
- Bail agent & recovery agent practices and procedures
- Law enforcement principles
Step 3: Pass the Indiana Bail Bond Licensing Exam
To obtain licensure as an Indiana bail bondsman, candidates must take the 60 multiple choice question Indiana Bail Bond Licensing Exam and pass it with a 70 percent or higher. Candidates must apply to take the exam online and the $100 exam fee must be paid with a credit or debit card. Test takers must arrive at the test center with their pre-licensing course certificate of completion or they will not be allowed to take the exam. Candidates may retake the exam as many times as necessary to pass within six months of completion of the pre-licensing course.
Step 4: Apply for an Indiana State License
To obtain an Indiana Bail Agent License, candidates must complete the following procedure:
- Submit an Indiana Bail Agent Application
- Provide a $650 licensing fee in a check or money order payable to the Indiana Department of Insurance
- Submit a credit bureau report
- Provide fingerprints
- Provide certificate of completion of pre-licensing course
- Provide score report from the licensing exam
The bail agent licensure period is two years, during which time, bail agents must complete six hours of continuing education to qualify for license renewal. The license renewal fee is $600.
Step 5: Find Employment
The most common career option for newly licensed bail bondsmen is to join an existing bail company to learn about the industry and develop contacts with important surety underwriters.
Some of the most important bail companies in Indiana are
- AAA Bail Bonds
- Bail Bonds Pros
- Steven Mehr Bail Bonds
To join a professional bail agents association, please visit Indiana Surety Bail Agents Association.