Finding out how to become a bail bondsman in Minnesota involves following these steps:
|Prepare for Minnesota Licensure and Approval|
|Become a Licensed Insurance Producer Agent in Minnesota|
|Gain Approval as a Bail Bond Agent by the Minnesota State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO)|
|Begin working in Minnesota|
Last year in Minnesota there were 171,232 people arrested across the state, many of them making their way into the criminal justice system for the first time. Even though a judge may have set a bail amount, defendants often do not have sufficient resources to pay this and are left facing the prospect of months behind bars while their case develops. This is where bail bondsmen come into the picture.
Bondsman will post bail for a defendant in return for a fee based on a percentage of the bail amount. Bail bondsmen in the North Star State allow defendants to return to their daily lives, families, and jobs while at the same time recouping some of their own business costs.
Step 1. Preparing for Minnesota Licensure and Approval
Prospective bail bondsmen aspiring to work in Minnesota will improve their chances of operating a successful and legal business with thorough preparation. This begins with meeting the minimum requirements for an insurance producer agent license and to obtain SCAO approval:
- Be at least 18 years of age or older
- No record of suspension or revocation of insurance licenses in other states
- No felony, gross misdemeanor, or crimes of moral turpitude convictions
Training and Education
The right degree can strengthen your application for approval with the SCAO. Although there are no formal Minnesota bail bondsmen school requirements, education and training in the following subjects are pertinent to the field:
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
- Bondsmen candidates are exempted from insurance pre-license education requirements by possessing either of the following:
- Associate’s degree in insurance
- Bachelor’s degree in business with an emphasis on insurance
Becoming a licensed insurance agent requires you to complete at least 20 hours of pre-license education.
Step 2. Becoming a Minnesota Licensed Insurance Producer
To become a licensed insurance producer in Minnesota you can apply online with the company Vertafore (formerly Sircon), that will in turn manage your application and submit it to the agency in charge of insurance producer licenses in the state, the Minnesota Department of Commerce. During the application process you will need to submit fingerprints as part of a background check.
You will need to renew the insurance license every two years by the last day of your birth month. This can be done online, and you will need to maintain at least 24 hours of continuing education each time you apply for a renewal.
Once you become licensed you will need to search for an insurance agency to sponsor you
Step 3. Applying for Approval with the Minnesota State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO)
Once you have become a licensed Minnesota insurance producer you will be able to apply with the Minnesota Judicial Branch’s State Court Administrator’s Office (SCAO) to become a recognized bail bond agent. You will need to complete an application that includes:
- Qualified power of attorney from each insurance agency you are associated with
- Copy of identification document or driver’s license
- Bureau of Criminal Apprehension background check to be sent from the agency directly to the SCAO
Upon approval your name will be added to the statewide list of approved bail bondsmen.
Step 4. Beginning Work in Minnesota
After gaining approval by the SCAO and obtaining an insurance producer license, bail bondsmen will be ready to go to work independently or as part of a bail bond agency. Organizations such as the Minnesota Professional Bail Bond Association (MNPBBA) provide resources for new bondsmen in the field as well as networking opportunities and industry news.
As business grows you can consider delegating specializations among your staff and you may encounter situations where it is advantageous to contract with bounty hunters who will return clients who have absconded to the authority of the courts, eliminating your bond liability.