If you are interested in learning how to become a bail bondsman in New Jersey, follow the steps in this guide to learn how:
Last year the New Jersey judicial system resolved 51,749 criminal cases. In many of these instances bail bondsmen were able to work with defendants who could not otherwise afford bail to get them out of jail and back home to their jobs and loved ones. Bail bondsmen working in the Garden State provide the accused with a valuable service while at the same time reducing the costs of incarceration for the state, saving taxpayers money.
Step 1. New Jersey Bail Bondsmen School and License Requirements
The New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance’s bail bondsmen school and license requirements stipulate that before becoming an insurance agent you must:
- Be at least 18 years old
- Be financially competent and trustworthy
- Either complete a pre-licensing education course or have equivalent college credit
You can begin the process of obtaining your resident insurance producer license by signing up for 10 hours of pre-licensing education in bail bonds from any of the state-approved providers. After you have completed this course you will be ready to take the bail bond exam.
You can also apply for a pre-licensing education waiver if you have already completed equivalent college courses. As you prepare for a career as a bail bondsman it is a good idea to be as well-versed in applicable fields as possible. In addition to being able to skip any pre-licensing education requirements, having a certificate or university degree in relevant subjects can prepare you for long-term success.
Programs in the following areas of study are available online and at institutions throughout the State of New Jersey:
- Criminal Justice
- Finance with an insurance emphasis
- Business and business administration
Step 2. New Jersey Exam and State Licensure to Become an Insurance Agent
Limited Liability Bail Bond Exam
Once you have completed your pre-licensing education course or obtained a waiver, your next step will be passing the state’s limited liability bond exam, administered for $47 through the vendor PSI Services. You can register and obtain additional information about the exam online, which will cover basic knowledge you will have gained in your pre-licensing class. This exam is not open-book and you may take it on a computer. After passing the exam you will be eligible to apply to become licensed as a bail bonds insurance producer in New Jersey.
Applying for a New Jersey Insurance Agent License
Your insurance producer license for bail bonds is approved and issued by the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance. However the application process is contracted to the vendor, the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), the agency through which you will need to apply and pay a $95 application fee. As part of this process you will also need to pay a $67.50 for a fingerprint scan and background investigation (Live Scan).
The NIPR will notify the New Jersey Department of Banking and Insurance if your application is complete, upon which time the Department may issue you an insurance license.
Step 3. Registering as a Bail Bondsman with the New Jersey State Superior Court
After you become a licensed New Jersey insurance agent the only thing left you will have to do is register with the State Superior Court. To do this you will first need to find an insurance company that will sponsor you as a surety producer agent who can write bail bonds. You can check local directories for company listings and the Department of Banking and Insurance also provides an approved list of surety companies.
To become a registered bail bondsman in New Jersey your sponsoring surety company must fill out one page of the Bail Program Registration Form and you must fill out the other. Once the form is complete simply email it to the Superior Court Clerk’s Office.
Step 4. Renewing your New Jersey Insurance Agent License
Your insurance license is valid for two years and can be renewed beginning 60 days before its expiration date for a $75 fee, plus an extra $20 if you submit a paper renewal application. Before you renew your license you will need to have completed 24 credits of continuing education, with at least three of these in ethics. Continuing education is a way of maintaining your training for bail bondsman jobs in New Jersey, and can be obtained through any of the approved insurance education providers.
You will need to maintain your insurance license so long as you want to legally practice as a bail bondsman in the state. You can also benefit from the latest news in your field on updated continuing education requirements and legislation by joining a professional organization such as the New Jersey Bail Association.