Bail Bond Agent

All insurance professionals (both residents and nonresidents) can apply for licenses, renew licenses, and update addresses and phone numbers online through the National Insurance Producer Registry (NIPR), at www.nipr.com.  

NIPR license and renewal applications are easy to complete, and we can usually process them faster than applications that are mailed to us. NIPR charges a small transaction fee (around $5 to $7) to process a license application and fee payment.  Many people have found that overall, the added convenience plus the time and postage savings are worth paying the fee. 

USE NIPR FOR FREE to change an address, e-mail address or phone number!

WHAT IS A BAIL BOND AGENT?

A bail bond agent is an individual or business appointed by a surety company to execute or countersign the insurer's bail bonds in connection with criminal judicial proceedings. Arizona Revised Statutes ("ARS") § 20-340(2).

When a person is arrested or confined for an actual or alleged violation of federal, state or local criminal law, the court may provide the defendant an opportunity to be released on bail. Bail is an amount deposited with and held by a court as a guarantee that the defendant will appear in court when required by law and will obey orders and judgments of the court. Bail can always be paid in cash. Rather than requiring a cash deposit, a court will sometimes accept bail in the form of a financial guaranty from a surety company, called a bail bond.

With a bail bond, an indemnitor pays the bail bond agent an insurance premium for the bail bond and provides the surety company (through the bail bond agent) collateral that has a value that will cover the bail amount if the defendant violates the court's conditions of release. If the defendant appears in court when required, the surety company must return the collateral to the indemnitor. ARS § 20-340.03(A)(6)

If the court finds that the defendant failed to appear without good cause, the court will issue an order causing the person who posted bail to forfeit the bail to the court. If the court accepted a bail bond in lieu of cash, the surety company must pay the bail amount to the court, but has the opportunity to recover the bail amount by apprehending the defendant. The surety company may utilize a bail bond agent or bail recovery agent to arrest the defendant. ARS § 13-3885(A) and (G).

A bail bond does not include civil bonds in connection with contracts or administrative proceedings, immigration bonds or bonds that provide guarantees for other noncriminal matters.

WHO MUST BE LICENSED?

An individual or business entity must be an Arizona-licensed bail bond agent in order to act as a bail bond agent. ARS § 20-340.01(A).

A bail bond agent is not authorized to transact civil bonds in connection with contracts, administrative proceedings or other noncriminal matters in Arizona (unless the person is also licensed as a property and casualty producer in Arizona). ARS § 20-340.01(D).

NOTE: The Department of Insurance cannot issue a bail bond agent license until it receives the results of the required federal and state criminal records check, which can take up to 4 months from the license application date.  ARS § 20-340.01(B).

ARS § 41-1030(G) requires most Arizona government agencies to prominently print the provisions of ARS § 41-1030(B), (D), (E) and (F) on all license applications.  The following is the language in ARS § 41-1030(B), (D), (E) and (F):

B.        An agency shall not base a licensing decision in whole or in part on a licensing requirement or condition that is not specifically authorized by statute, rule or state tribal gaming compact. A general grant of authority in statute does not constitute a basis for imposing a licensing requirement or condition unless a rule is made pursuant to that general grant of authority that specifically authorizes the requirement or condition.

D.        This section may be enforced in a private civil action and relief may be awarded against the state.  The court may award reasonable attorney fees, damages and all fees associated with the license application to a party that prevails in an action against the state for a violation of this section.

E.        A state employee may not intentionally or knowingly violate this section.  A violation of this section is cause for disciplinary action or dismissal pursuant to the agency’s adopted personnel policy.

F.         This section does not abrogate the immunity provided by section 12-820.01 or 12-820.02.

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