Training for Bail Bondsman Jobs in Washington

The process to become a bail bond agent in Washington state is as follows:

Meet General Washington Qualifications
Complete Training and Education Requirements in Washington
Pass your Washington Exam
Submit an Application and Documentation in Washington
Now that you’re a Bail Bond Agent in Washington

Washington’s Department of Licensing provides licensing services for bail bondsmen in the state. Bail bond agents, or bail bondsmen, in Washington must complete education or pass an examination prior to licensure. They must also obtain a firm offer of employment from a licensed bail bond agency located in Washington before submitting an application for licensure.

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Step 1. Meet General Qualifications for Bail Bond Agents in Washington

Bail bond agents in Washington must:

  • Be 18 years old or more
  • Be a U.S. citizen/resident alien
  • Have an employment offer from or be employed by a state-licensed bail bond agency
  • Have no criminal convictions on record in the past decade directly relating to bail bond agent duties or public safety
  • Complete required training (See Step 2) and/or pass an exam



Step 2. Complete Required Training and Education for Washington Bail Bond Agents

Training – All bail bond agents in the state of Washington must either complete 12 hours of pre-license training, or pass a state examination on the duties of bail bond agents (see Step 3). The training must include:

  • Eight hours of instruction by a credentialed, Department-approved trainer, in the following:
    • Bail bond agent responsibilities
    • Basics of bail bonds
    • Court jurisdiction
    • Power of attorney
    • Role in criminal justice
    • Articulated offense
    • Liability in surety bonds
    • Rights of clients
    • Sexual harassment between clients and agents
    • Ethical treatment of clients
    • Phone service in jails
    • Client transportation
    • Collect call companies
    • Complying with jail requirements
    • Harassment and no contact orders of clients
    • Contracts
    • Record – keeping
    • Collateral
    • Understanding privacy laws
    • Basic requirements of bail bond recovery agents
    • Notary basics
    • Trust accounts
    • Application of the Consumer Protection Act
  • Four hours of training must be in the laws and rules relating to bail bonds. This may be in self-study or a formal training program.
  • Training must be provided by one of the following Department-approved sources:
    • Credentialed licensed bail bond agents
    • Certified bail agent online education courses
    • National or local industry associations

Education – Possession of a college degree is not a requirement to become a bail bond agent in Washington. But, having one of the following degrees can help you to understand the duties and responsibilities of bail bond agents better:

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  • Associate of Applied Science in Criminal Justice
  • Bachelor of Science  in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Science in Criminal Justice
  • Associate of Science in  Business Administration



Step 3. Pass the Bail Bond Agent Licensing Exam in Washington

If you have not completed the pre-licensing training described in Step 2 above, you must pass the Bail Bond Agent Examination. This will include all of the subjects listed above, and:

  • Business licensing, taxation and recordkeeping requirements associated with this
  • Filing and recordkeeping
  • Laws relating to employment
  • Personnel management
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act

A study guide for the examination is provided at the Department of Licensing website. Again, this exam is only taken if you did not complete the pre-licensing training in Step 2.



Step 4.  Apply for Licensure as a Bail Bond Agent in Washington

You are now ready to apply for licensure as a Washington bail bond agent. Complete the Bail Bond Agent License Application. Include a check or money order payable to the Department of Licensing for $500, your surety information, and the information on the company that employs you or has agreed to employ you as a bail bond agent. Attach proof of completion of the required training or submit a request to take the state exam.  Mail everything to Bail Bonds Program, Department of Licensing, P.O. Box 35001, Seattle, WA 98124-3401.



Step 5. Now That You’re a Licensed Bail Bond Agent in Washington

Congratulations! You are now a licensed bail bond agent in Washington! Your license renews annually, and you will be mailed a renewal notice 45 to 60 days prior to its expiration. You must submit a renewal fee of $575 via check or money order payable to the Department of Licensing along with the renewal application, which will be mailed to you. You must also submit proof of completion of four hours of continuing education training, in one of the following areas:

  • Court systems
  • Ethics
  • Refresher course on laws
  • Transportation of defendants between states
  • Other Department-approved topics

Approved continuing education providers include:

  • Certified bail agent online education courses
  • National or local industry association
  • Other Department-approved sources


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