The following guide will take you through the steps required to become a bail bondsman in Nebraska:
|Become Qualified in Nebraska|
|Take the Nebraska Competency Exam|
|Apply to be Licensed in Nebraska as an Insurance Producer and Become an Appointed Agent|
|Renew the Insurance Producer License in Nebraska|
|Working in Nebraska|
Last year law enforcement agencies across Nebraska made a total of 66,438 adult arrests. Out of a total adult population of nearly 1.4 million, that works out to about one out of every 20 adults in Nebraska being arrested in 2012. Because the vast majority of arrestees qualified for bail, working as a bail bondsman in Nebraska last year would mean having had the chance to help about 4.5 percent of the state’s adult population stay out of jail.
Step 1. Becoming Qualified in Nebraska
There are some initial requirements you need to meet before considering the Nebraska bail bondsmen license requirements. To start, all applicants need to meet the following conditions:
- At least 18 years old
- Have a good business and personal reputation
- Be financially responsible and trustworthy
- U.S. citizen or eligible to work in the U.S.
- Must explain any criminal convictions and unpaid child support obligations
Nebraska’s bail bondsmen, who hold a college degree with significant coursework or a concentration in insurance will qualify to apply for other types of insurance certifications without the necessity of pre-licensing education.
It is generally advisable for you to be well-versed in the financial side of the bail bond field, and because this involves a range of skills, having a certificate or degree in any of the following areas will provide you with a solid starting point:
- Finance, especially with a focus on insurance
- Criminal Justice
Step 2. Taking the Nebraska Competency Exam
The first thing you will need to do in preparation for becoming licensed is to pass the Producer’s Personal Lines of insurance exam to demonstrate your competence as an insurance producer in the surety line of authority. You can register online for this exam which is administered by a Nebraska-contracted private company. Consult the practice test as a study guide and check referenced regulations from the state legislature to prepare. The exam covers the main areas of:
- State regulation
- Federal regulation
- General insurance
- Property and casualty insurance
- Dwelling, auto, and homeowner’s insurance
Step 3. Becoming Licensed in Nebraska as an Insurance Producer and an Appointed Agent
Next you will need to become a licensed insurance producer. The Nebraska Department of Insurance (NDOI) is the issuing agency of this license, required by the state to practice surety bail as a bail bondsman. However you will submit an application for resident licensure through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR). You can apply online with the NIPR and will need to provide the following with your application:
- Background Questions Documentation
- $60 licensing fee
Becoming an Appointed Agent
Once your application is complete the NIPR will contact the NDOI who may in turn issue your license. At this point you will need to locate a Nebraska-licensed surety insurance company that will appoint you as an underwriter agent. You can find insurance companies listed online and in local directories.
Step 4. Renewing your Nebraska Insurance Producer License
Your license will be valid until the first year after issuance when your age will be divisible by two, and will specifically expire on the last day of your birth month and every subsequent two years. You need to renew your license before it expires, a process that includes:
- Online renewal application
- Another Background Questions Documentation
- Submitting proof of completion of six hours of continuing education
Continuing education provides you with updated training for bail bondsman jobs in Nebraska and needs to be up to date at the time of renewal.
Step 5. Working in Nebraska
With your Nebraska surety producer insurance license in hand you will be ready to go to work in the bail bonds business. At times you may find the need to hire bounty hunters to track down and recover your clients who have missed their court appointments, causing you to be held liable for their bail. Bounty hunters can absolve you of bail liability when they return your clients, but it is important they do this in a legal way as you may be held responsible for their infringements of the law.
It is therefore recommended that you keep up with bounty hunter laws or any other changes to the industry imposed by the Nebraska State Legislature or the Department of Insurance. Joining a local professional organizations such as the Professional Insurance Agents of Nebraska and Iowa can keep you informed about the latest industry laws, news, and advancements, as well as provide networking, support, and other information about continuing education.