Prospective bail bond agents who are interested in a challenging career can browse through the following five steps, which describe how to become a bail bondsman in Missouri:
|Meet the Basic Requirements in Missouri|
|Establish a Solid Foundation|
|Complete 24 hours of Initial Basic Training and Exam in Missouri|
|Apply with the Missouri Department of Insurance|
|Renew the Bail Bondsman License in Missouri|
Last year 439,765 criminal cases made their way through the Missouri courts, ranging in nature from traffic offenses to violent felonies. Many of these were related to the 264,825 adult arrests made in the state, where many entered the criminal justice system for the first time.
Because of bail bondsmen, also known as bail bond agents, many of those arrested were able to get out of jail while their cases were developing, an opportunity that allowed the accused to keep their jobs and maintain family ties.
Step 1. Meeting the Basic Requirements for Bail Bondsman Jobs in Missouri
The regulatory Department of Insurance has set the following as the minimum bail bondsmen license requirements in Missouri:
- May not be a state, county, or city employee who is elected or appointed
- May not be a court official, judge, attorney, or law enforcement officer
- Felony and crimes of moral turpitude convictions are not automatic disqualifiers
- U.S. citizenship
- High school diploma or GED
- At least 21 years old
Step 2. Establishing a Solid Foundation
Rooting yourself firmly in a pertinent subject can be beneficial when starting out to become a bail bond agent. Although there are no official Missouri bail bondsman school requirements, having a certification or degree in related subject fields can help you reach a higher level of success. Because of the nature of the industry a variety of backgrounds can be advantageous, including:
- Criminal Justice
- Law Enforcement
Having an academic background in the first three of these fields is also particularly beneficial for those considering a future career in law enforcement.
Step 3. Registering for 24 Hours of Initial Basic Training and Exam in Missouri
Before filling out an application for licensure you will need to have completed 24 hours of initial study. This can be considered your basic training for bail bondsman jobs in Missouri. The Department of Insurance maintains a list of qualified companies that offer training for a range of prices around $200. Instruction is provided over a few days in Missouri law, industry standards and procedures, insurance regulations, and safety.
After finishing your basic training you can start preparing for the Missouri Bail Bond Agent Exam. You can register online for the test which is administered by a private company and covers:
- Powers and duties of the insurance director
- Unfair trade practices
- Fiduciary responsibilities
- Bail bond procedures
- Rules of criminal procedures
Step 4. Applying with the Missouri Department of Insurance
Once you have a certificate of completion for your 24 hours of basic training and have passed your exam you will be ready to make an application for a bail bond agent with the Missouri Department of Insurance. A complete application includes:
- $150 application fee
- Bail Bond Agent Application
- Fingerprint-based Missouri State Highway Patrol Criminal Records and Identification Division (CRID) and FBI criminal background check (MACHS). The Department of Insurance’s code is 2955
Step 5. Renewing the Bail Bondsman License in Missouri
Your bail bond agent license expires every two years and will need to be renewed prior to this date to avoid extra fees. To renew you will need to submit the following to the Department of Insurance in Jefferson City:
- $150 renewal fee
- Another MACHS background check
- Renewal Application
- Proof of eight hours of continuing education
Continuing bail bond education can be obtained from a variety of state-approved sources including through the bail bond agent exam company’s website and the companies that also offered the initial 24 hours of basic bail bond agent training.
Maintaining contact with colleagues and staying up-to-date on the latest industry news can provide you with strategic knowledge to help your career. Organizations such as the Missouri Association of Insurance Agents provide such an opportunity where you can find support as well as camaraderie.