The ways to become a bail bondsmen in both types of Texas counties will be detailed in these steps:
|Meet Qualifications in Texas|
|Satisfy Education and Experience Requirements in Texas|
|Apply to Become a Bail Bondsman in Texas|
|Now that you’re a Texas Bail Bondsman|
The process associated with becoming a bail bondsman in Texas varies depending upon the county in which you live. Texas is the only state that requires bail bond boards in counties with a population of 110,000 or more. The requirements for bail bondsmen in bail bond board counties (CBBB) are different for those in criminal code counties (non-bail bond board counties). In counties with a CBBB, bail bonding is regulated by the Board. In counties without bail bond boards, the county sheriff and judges perform regulation of bail bond laws.
Step 1. Meet Basic Qualifications for Bail Bondsmen in Texas
In order to become a bail bondsman in Texas, whether it is in a bail board county or criminal code county, you must meet the following basic requirements:
- Be a U. S. Citizen
- Live in Texas
- Be at least 18 years old
- Have a high school diploma or GED
- Never have been convicted of a felony or a misdemeanor crime of moral turpitude
In counties with a CBBB, you must also:
- Have financial resources sufficient to provide indemnity
Counties without a CBBB will also usually require you to provide a financial statement each year, detailing that you have the resources necessary to provide bail bonds.
Step 2. Complete Education and Experience Requirements for Texas Bail Bondsmen
Bail bondsmen jobs in Texas only have education and experience requirements in counties with CBBBs.
If you are applying for a license to become a bail bondsman in a CBBB county, you must have documented work experience at a bail bond business full-time, at least 30 hours a week for at least one year. This is called an apprenticeship, and must be completed under the supervision of a licensed Texas bail bondsman. You must have completed all bail bondsman tasks during this apprenticeship
If you are applying for a license to become a bail bondsman in a CBBB county, you must have completed eight hours of continuing education (CE) in the classroom in the last two years. This CE must be approved by the State Bar of Texas and given at an accredited Texas college or university. A listing of bail bond courses approved by the CBBBs of Texas and sponsored by the Professional Bondsmen of Texas may be found here.
Having a degree in criminal justice or a related area can help you to stand out among the crowd of applicants. Helpful degrees for bail bondsmen in Texas include:
- Associate degree in Criminal Justice
- Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice
- Associate degree in Business Administration
- Bachelor’s degree in Business Administration: Criminal Justice
Step 3. Submit an Application to Become a Bail Bondsman in Texas
In counties with Bail Bond Boards (CBBB), you must:
- Obtain an application from your county’s Bail Bond Board (CBBB)
- Include on the application the address of your place of business and name under which you plan to do business as a bail bondsman
- Provide three letters of recommendation from persons who have known you for at least three years
- Submit a $500 filing fee
- Submit a recent passport-sized photograph
- Submit fingerprints
- Include a sworn financial statement
- Include a sworn declaration of compliance with Texas law
- Financial requirements –you may:
- Deposit $50,000 with the CBBB and write bail at a ratio of 10 to 1 (that is, you may not execute bail bonds in excess of ten times the value of the property that is being held by the CBBB as security); or
- Use your own nonexempt real property as security if it is worth at least $50,000, at a ratio of 5 to 1 for the first two years you do business as a bail bondsman, then 6 to 1 for the next two years, then 8 to 1 for the next two years, and finally 10 to 1 after you have been licensed as a bail bondsman for at least six years
- Have an insurance company (also known as a corporate surety) back you and be your agent
Your application will be investigated and a hearing will be held to determine if you will receive conditional licensing. The license to work as a bail bondsman is conditional upon your depositing cash or deeds with the CBB of over $50,000 (or $10,000 in counties with a population of under 250,000)
In counties without bail bond boards:
- No license is required to become a bail bondsman
- You must apply at the sheriff’s office in the county and follow its regulations/laws
- You usually must submit a financial statement to the sheriff/county judges stating that you are worth at least twice the amount of a bond, that you are a Texas resident, and that you have property in Texas
- You may need to obtain a Recording Agent’s license from the state and an appointment by an approved corporate surety, depending upon the county’s laws
Step 4. Now that You’re a Texas Bail Bondsman
To renew your bail bondsman license in two years from the issuance date, you must file an application for renewal and submit a $500 filing fee. You also must complete eight hours of continuing education every two years. Once you have been licensed for eight or more years, you may renew in three-year cycles if approved by the Board.
If your county does not have a CBBB, you must submit to the sheriff a sworn financial statement each year showing your assets and debts. You will also have to follow any of the laws pertinent to bail bondsmen in that county.