The steps needed to become a bail bondsman in Kansas are:
|Meet the Knowledge Requirements
|Submit an Application
|Go to Work
Kansas has a colorful criminal history associated with Billy the Kid, the infamous Dalton Gang of outlaws, and famous 1930s gangster “Pretty Boy” Floyd. Kansas is now a far more peaceful place, ranking about 20th in the nation in terms of violent crimes.
Kansas offers ample opportunities for individuals seeking careers as bail bondsmen. Called bail agents in Kansas, these men and women assist arrestees in obtaining their release from jail when bail is offered. Bail hearings generally take place within 48 to 72 hours following an arrest. Bail agents have an obligation to consider public safety when deciding whether or not to help free a defendant.
Although Kansas once had very strict laws surrounding bail bondsmen and bounty hunters, many of them were repealed and Kansas is now one of only 15 states that do not regulate bounty hunters. However, the state does require bail agents to have a Kansas Insurance Producer license.
Step 1. Meet the Knowledge Requirements
Successful bail agents in Kansas must have a broad knowledge of such topics as:
- Criminal/Bail Law
- Courtroom Procedures
- Investigative Methods
- Business administration
- Criminal behavior
- Law Enforcement
- Substance abuse
This knowledge is best obtained by earning an associate’s or a bachelor’s degree in criminal justice, law or business administration. There are approximately 30 schools in Kansas that have criminal justice programs, as well as several accredited online colleges/universities.
Step 2. Submit an Application Form
Request a NAIC uniform application form for an Individual Producer License from the Kansas Department of Insurance. Applicants can either receive a hard-copy form by calling 785-296-6755 or use an online application system available at Insurance License Express.com.
The form must be filled out as completely as possible. It is necessary to insert the words, “Bail Bond License” under “O – Other” on page two. Return completed form, along with the $30 application fee, to Producers Division, 420 S.W. Ninth Street, Topeka, KS 66612-1678.
Applications will NOT be accepted from individuals under the age of 18 or those with a criminal record. Licensed bail bondsmen moving to Kansas from another state need to include a clearance letter with their application unless their former state participates in the NAIC (North American Industry Classification) participating state report.
Step 3. Pass Examination
Applicants whose applications are accepted will be notified of the date, time and place of the examination. The examination requirement may be waived for applicants who are licensed bail bondsmen from another state. The examination focuses on federal and Kansas laws surrounding bail and bail agents. The license will be mailed to all applicants who successfully pass the examination.
Step 4. Go to Work
Newly licensed bail agents in Kansas have the option of going to work for a large bail bonds agency or opening their own business. There are many advantages for beginning agents to work for a reputable firm. For example, when a defendant jumps bail, the bonding agency, not an individual employee of that agency, is responsible for either producing the fugitive within 180 days or paying the court the full bail amount.
Independent bail agents also incur expenses for such things as:
- Office Space Rent/Furniture
- Copy/FAX Machine
- High-Speed Computer(s)
- Relevant Computer Programs such as Skip-Tracing Programs
- Hiring Bounty Hunters if Needed
It is noted that bail agents in Kansas have the authority to act as bounty hunters on their own behalf by pursuing and arresting the fugitive defendant. This not only requires additional expenses for items like handcuffs, bullet-proof vest, stun gun or other weapons, but the agent must be in excellent physical condition with good self-defense skills.
Salary of Bail Agents in Kansas
Bail agents who are employed by an agency usually receive an agreed-upon salary. Independent agents normally charge defendants 10 percent of the bail amount. For example, if the bail amount is $15,000, the defendant pays the bail agent $1,500.
Bail agents in Kansas receive an average annual salary of between $23,000 and $33,050, with a high-end figure of $40,380. This figure is slightly lower than the national average but the cost of living in Kansas is also considerably lower. Bail agents in Kansas are 95 percent males and five percent females.