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In order to have a successful bail bonds business in Maryland, you will have to meet a number of requirements. Since bail bonds is regulated by the legal system, the requirements you meet will be non-negotiable, and not staying compliant could cost you more that just your business. Here are the steps to becoming a licensed bail bondsman in the state of Maryland.
First, you will need to provide proof that you are at least 18 years old. This is the minimum age to apply. Forms of acceptable identification include an original birth certificate, valid Maryland driver's license, or passport.
Obtain and provide proof that during the last 3 years, at least one of those years has included bail bonds work with another agent or insurer. This means that within the last 3 years, you must have one full year of bail bonds work. Make sure you have an up to date resume and letter of recommendation or letter that affirms your employment history. Include contact information for the bail bonds agencies you have worked for.
Obtain an appointment with an authorized insurer as a producer or insurance agent. This means you will need to have your insurance license through the state of Maryland. The application process for the insurance license goes under review every year, and the requirements could change. The current application process can be found in the additional resources section.
Obtain and provide personal references. You must be of good character and be trustworthy. Your reputation is of the utmost importance in this line of work. Be prepared.
You will need to file a general power of attorney on behalf of the company you plan to start with the Insurance Commissioner and the Chief Clerk of the District Court. This will make sure your business is protected in the event anything happens to you.
You must pass an exam given by the Insurance Commissioner. In some cases this requirement is waived. For example, if you have had certification for 25 years, the Commissioner may chose to let you fore go the exam. Successful completion of this exam will show evidence that you meet the requirement to have some knowledge of bail insurance.
Lastly, you will need to set up your office space and your employees. Make sure you have a good, secure location. You will have access to a number of confidential documents. Your record keeping will need to be very detailed and accurate. Consider keeping lockable file cabinets, and password protecting your computers.
Network with other local bail bondsmen and with your local sheriff's office. Consider joining an association.