If you want to become a licensed bail bondsman in Rhode Island, you must complete a number of steps:
|Meeting Rhode Island Requirements|
|Getting an Education in Rhode Island|
|Applying for a Rhode Island License|
|Maintaining Your Rhode Island License|
A professional bondsman, according to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, is a professional who is responsible for:
- Investigating individuals to determine their competence to bond
- Interviewing applicants for bond to determine their character and financial status
- Furnishing bonds for a prescribed fee
- Posting and signing bonds with the court clerk when obtaining release of clients
- Forfeiting bond if client fails to appear for court dates
Unlike bail bondsmen in other states, bail bondsmen in Rhode Island, also referred to as professional bondsmen, are regulated and licensed by the Rhode Island Superior Court, Office of the Presiding Justice.
The Rhode Island Superior Court, which is comprised of 5 magistrates and 22 judges, is the forum for both jury and non-jury trials and for civil and criminal matters. The Superior Court has original jurisdiction over all felony proceedings and in civil proceedings that involve more than $10,000.
Step 1. Minimum Requirements for Becoming a Bail Bondsman in Rhode Island
According to the Rhode Island Department of Labor and Training, there is no age requirement, no citizenship requirement, and no residency requirement. The only minimum requirement for becoming a bail bondsman in Ohio is the ability to pledge real estate in exchange for bail or surety.
Step 2. Complete Education and Training Requirements in Rhode Island
Although there are no education or training requirements required for obtaining a bail bondsman license in Rhode Island (and therefore no bail bondsman examinations), individuals seeking a career in the commercial bail bond business in Rhode Island often pursue a formal education in criminal justice, public administration, or a similar field.
It is common for individuals to pursue an associate’s or bachelor’s degree as to prepare themselves for the job of a bail bondsman and for similar jobs that professional bail bondsmen often seek throughout their careers.
Step 3. Apply for a Miscellaneous Petition in Rhode Island
Bail bondsmen in Rhode Island must apply for a miscellaneous petition with the presiding justice of the Office of the Superior Court of Rhode Island. The miscellaneous petition, which costs $160 to file, serves as a written request to the Presiding Justice that you want to serve as a bail bondsman in the State of Rhode Island.
You must call the Presiding Justice’s office at 401-222-3339 to obtain a miscellaneous petition form, along with instructions on filing the petition.
The miscellaneous petition form must contain the real estate you are prepared to pledge in exchange for bail or surety. The application must also include the following information:
- The city or town in which the real estate is located
- The street address of the real estate
- The recorded lot number and recorded plat on which the lot is designated
- The person(s) in whose name the real estate is held
- The nature of the real estate holding (e.g., joint tenancy, fee simple, in trust, etc.)
- The assessed value of the property
- The fair market value of the property
- A list of all the defendants for whom the property has been previously pledged
Step 4. Maintain your Rhode Island License
The license of a bail bondsman in Rhode Island is renewed on an annual basis, unless it is revoked sooner by the presiding justice. You must renew your bondsman registration no later than 30 days before your expiration.