Before you can become a bail agent in North Carolina, also referred to as a bail bondsman, you must complete a specific set of steps:
According to the North Carolina Bail Agents Association, there are currently more than 1,200 bail agents working in the state. Bail bonding is illegal in the State of North Carolina for anyone other than licensed bail bondsmen.
Step 1. Meet Minimum Employment Requirements in North Carolina
To be eligible for the job of a bail bondsman in North Carolina, you must meet a set of minimum requirements, which include the following:
- You must be at least 18 years of age.
- You must have no outstanding bail bonds.
- You must have no misdemeanor drug violations in the last 24 months.
- You must hold a valid North Carolina driver’s license or valid North Carolina identification issued by the Department of Motor Vehicles.
- You must not have any felony convictions.
- You must hold a high school diploma or its equivalent.
- You must be a resident of North Carolina for at least six months before applying for a license as a bail bondsman.
- You must not be employed as a sheriff, sheriff’s deputy, judicial attorney, attorney, parole officer, probation officer, or any other public employee or law enforcement officer.
Step 2. Earn an Education to Become a North Carolina Bail Bondsman
Although a formal education is not a requirement to become a bail bondsman in North Carolina, many individuals pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree in law, criminology, criminal justice or a related field so as to better prepare for a career as a bail bondsman.
Step 3. Take a Pre-Licensing Course in North Carolina
Before you can apply for a bail bondsman license in North Carolina, you must first successfully complete a two-day pre-licensing course. PLE classes are added at various times throughout the year and are listed on the North Carolina Bail Agents Association website. For more information on dates and times where PLE classes are being held, you can call 919-832-0867.
To register to take a PLE class, you must complete a PLE Registration Form and mail it, along with a certified check for $500 (made payable to NCBAA), to:
P.O. Box 19663
Raleigh, NC 27619
You may also register online at email@example.com.
Once you register, you will receive a confirmation letter confirming the date and time of your PLE class.
Step 4. Take the North Carolina Exam for Bail Bondsman
After the pre-licensing class, you must be able to pass a comprehensive PLE test to receive your PLE certificate of completion. The cost of taking the bail bond exam is $56.50 and the exam is given through Pearson VUE, which has several test centers located throughout the state:
You must schedule your exam through Pearson VUE.
If you fail the examination, you must wait at least one year to retest.
Step 5. Complete a Set of Fingerprints in North Carolina
All applicants for bail bondsman licenses must complete a fingerprint background check. You will receive an email from the North Carolina Licensing Management System that includes forms (Demographic information form, applicant form, and submission release of information form) you must fill out to complete this process.
You must bring all of the forms with you to a local law enforcement office that has Live Scan electronic fingerprint services. Pearson VUE MUST receive your electronic fingerprints before you can take the exam.
Step 6. Apply for North Carolina Licensure as a Bail Bondsman
Upon successfully completing the bail bondsman examination, you will be eligible to apply for a bail bond license in North Carolina. You must set up an account through the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s website so you can apply for your initial license online.
The cost of an initial license for a bail bondsman in North Carolina is $233. The initial license for a bail bondsman in North Carolina is one year. During this period, you must work under the supervision of a licensed bondsman.
Step 7. Apply for a North Carolina Professional Bondsman License After 12 Months
Once your first year is completed, your supervising bail bondsman must give notice to the Commissioner of the successful completion of your initial licensure period, at which time you must apply for a license as a Professional Bondsman in North Carolina through the North Carolina Department of Insurance’s website and pay the $313 license fee.
Step 8. Maintain your North Carolina Bail Bondsman License
You must renew your bail bondsman license on June 30 of odd-numbered years. You must submit a renewal application, a $40 renewal fee, and proof of at least three hours of continuing education (Continuing education information can be found here) when renewing your license.
Pearson VUE handles all bail bondsman license renewals, and renewals are completed online through the NC Licensing Management System once you receive an authorization email from Pearson VUE. You can expect to receive a license renewal notification at least 60 days before your license’s expiration date.