What is the Bail School?
If you are interested in becoming a Bail Bondsman or Fugitive Recovery Agent, you’ve come to the right place! The Bail Resource Center and Career Academy (BRC) provides you with powerful, high-impact training courses. BRC is serious about assisting our students with their professional growth and the achievement of their career goals and objectives.
BRC provides the information and resources you need to become a successful Bail Bondsman or Recovery Agent. All of our instructors are Licensed Bail Agents, PC-1299 Certified Recovery Agents and have years of hands-on experience in Bail, Recovery, Surety Co. management, Law Enforcement, Private Investigation, Legal profession, and Corporate management. All of our courses are APPROVED and EXCEED CA Department of Insurance, Bureau of Security & Investigative Services, Department of Consumer Affairs (BPPE), and CA Secretary of State standards.
A few words of caution: Always verify the school you choose to attend is approved by the California Department of Insurance (CDI). There are many schools claiming to certify or approve students as Bounty Hunters or Bail Agents, they will take your money and provide some form of training but if they are not approved by the California Department of Insurance you will NOT be compliant with California laws. Go to www.insurance.ca.gov and scroll over Agents & Producers, click on Seeking education and verify the education provider and courses.
Information on how to get started:
Want To Become A Bail Bondsman and/or Fugitive Recovery Agent (aka Bounty Hunter)?
a) Know the laws governing surety bail agents and recovery agents in your state and the qualifications of a bail agent. In most states, bail agents are licensed by the Department of Insurance. In some states, the license required to write bail will be a property & casualty insurance license. Four states do not allow commercial bail: Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon and Wisconsin. Eight states have banned or heavily restrict Bail Recovery Agents.
b) Know the licensing standards and education requirements of your state. Many states have state residency requirements and/or prohibit felons from becoming licensed bail agents.
c) Contact the agency governing bail agents and request a bail agent (or property & casualty) application forms and ask about other requirements such as fingerprinting, personal references, photographs, background checks, etc.
d) Talk with existing bail agents in your area to discover the pros and cons of the industry and determine if becoming a bail agent is right for you.
Becoming a Bail Bondsman in California:
Bail agents are licensed by the California Department of Insurance (CDI). You may contact CDI for an application kit by calling (800) 967-9331 or you may download the necessary forms by visiting the CDI web site at www.insurance.ca.gov. (Producer licensing/Forms section)
Steps to become a California Bail Bondsman: 1) Complete 20-hour CDI approved Bail Pre-licensing course. 2) Pass State examination. 3) Obtain an appointment with a Bail Agency or Surety Company. 4) Submit application, forms and supporting documents to CDI.
The forms you will need are as follows:
* Application for Bail License (431-1) (include 2 passport size photos)
* Bond of Bail Agent (437-9)
* Action Notice of Employing Bail Agent or Permittee (438)
* Bail Agent Action Notice (437-23)
* Forms Filing List (obtained from the Surety/General Agent)
Note: Include your Bail Pre-licensing Certificate of Completion with your application.
California law requires that you complete a minimum 20-hour bail-prelicensing course by a CDI approved provider. Call the Bail Resource Center for a class schedule or visit our Courses page for a list of class dates and locations. Register for the class early. Some classes fill-up quickly and there is an extra charge for walk-ins.
Bail Agent (BA)
Authorizing Act:California State Insurance code chapter 7, Part 2, Division 1. - A bail agent is a person permitted to solicit, negotiate, and effect undertakings of bail on behalf of any surety insurer.
Minimum Age: 18 years
Prelicensing Experience/Education: Require a minimum of 20 hours of approved prelicensing classroom study in subjects pertinent to the duties and responsibilities of a bail licensee, including, but not limited to, all laws and regulations related thereto, rights of the accused, and ethics.
No felony convictions. (May apply to commissioner with Written Consent waiver-check the CDI website)
Continuing Education: Required annually a minimum of 6 hours of approved continuing education study prior to the renewal of his or her license.
Fugitive Recovery Agent – Penal Code 1299-1299.12 Effective January 1, 2013
Authorizing Act: California Penal Code 1299-1299.12; “Fugitive Recovery Persons Act”
Qualifications: Minimum Age is 18 years of age; shall not have been convicted of a felony; must qualify as one of the following:
* A California bail agent (Insurance Code Section 1800-1810.7) with specified training;
* A Bail Fugitive Recovery Person (Penal Code Section 1299-1299.12) with specified training;
* A California licensed Private Investigator (Business & Professions Code Section 7500); or
* A Bail licensee or licensed Private Investigator from another state.
Specified Training Requirements:
1. 40-hour POST certified Power to Arrest course certified by the Commission on Peace Officer Standards and Training pursuant to Penal Code section 832. POST certified PC-832 is generally offered at community colleges and law enforcement training facilities. Visit the POST website, www.post.ca.gov ; course catalog section for locations.
2. 20-hours of classroom education certified pursuant to Section 1810.7 of the Insurance Code. [This is the 12-hour bail pre-licensing course. Visit our the courses page on this website for dates and locations]
Exceptions: If a bail agent was licensed prior to January 1, 2000 AND is apprehending his/her own or his/her employer’s defendants, the agent is not required to have the specified training. If acting as an independent contractor OR was licensed after January 1, 2000, the agent must complete the specified training requirements.
A Fugitive Recovery Agent qualified with specified training requirements shall carry certificates of completion with him or her at all times in the course of performing his or her duties. [PC-1299.04(b)]. Any person who violates this act (1299-1299.14), or who conspires with another person to violate this act, or who hires an individual to apprehend a bail fugitive, knowing that the individual is not authorized by Penal Code Section 1299.02 to apprehend a bail fugitive, is guilty of a misdemeanor punishable by a fine of five thousand dollars ($5,000) or by imprisonment in the county jail not to exceed one year, or by both that imprisonment and fine [PC-1299.11].
An individual authorized by Penal Code Section 1299.02 to apprehend a bail fugitive shall not carry a firearm or other weapon unless in compliance with the laws of the state.