Code of Virginia

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Code of Virginia
Title 9.1. Commonwealth Public Safety
Chapter 1. Department of Criminal Justice Services

§ 9.1-185.5. Bail bondsman licensure requirements.

A. An applicant for a bail bondsman license shall apply for such license in a form and manner prescribed by the Board, and containing any information the Board requires.

B. Prior to the issuance of any bail bondsman license, each bondsman applicant shall:

1. File with the Department an application for such license on the form and in the manner prescribed by the Board.

2. Pass the bail bondsman exam as prescribed by the Board pursuant to this article or have successfully completed a surety bail bondsman exam as required by the State Corporation Commission under former § 38.2-1865.7. Any applicant who improperly uses notes or other reference materials, or otherwise cheats on the exam, shall be ineligible to become a licensed bail bondsman.

3. Submit to fingerprinting by a local or state law-enforcement agency and provide personal descriptive information to be forwarded, along with the applicant's fingerprints, to the Department of State Police Central Criminal Records Exchange. The Central Criminal Records Exchange shall forward the applicant's fingerprints and personal descriptive information to the Federal Bureau of Investigation for the purpose of obtaining national criminal history record information regarding such applicant. The applicant shall pay for the cost of such fingerprinting and criminal records check. The Department of State Police shall forward to the Director of the Department, or his designee, who shall be a governmental entity, the results of the records search from the Central Criminal Records Exchange and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Director of the Department, or his designee, who shall be a governmental entity, shall review the record and if the report indicates a prior felony conviction, the individual shall be prohibited from pursuing the application process for issuance of a bail bondsman license unless the individual submits proof that his civil rights have been restored by the Governor or other appropriate authority.

4. Submit the appropriate nonrefundable application processing fee to the Department.

C. Additionally, prior to the issuance of a property bail bondsman license, each property bail bondsman applicant shall provide proof of collateral of $200,000 on his bonds and proof of collateral of $200,000 on the bonds of each of his agents. Any collateral that is not in the form of real estate, cash, or certificates of deposit issued by a FDIC-insured financial institution shall be specifically approved by the Department before it may be used as collateral.

1. If the property used as collateral is real estate, such real estate shall be located in the Commonwealth. In addition, the property bail bondsman applicant shall submit to the Department:

a. A true copy of the current real estate tax assessment thereof, certified by the appropriate assessing officer of the locality wherein such property is located or, at the option of the property bail bondsman, an appraisal of the fair market value of the real estate, which appraisal shall have been prepared by a licensed real estate appraiser, within one year of its submission.

b. A new appraisal, if, at its discretion, the Department so orders for good cause shown prior to certification. At the discretion of the Department, after the original submission of any property appraisal or tax assessment, further appraisals or tax assessments for that property may not be required more than once every five years.

c. An affidavit by the property bail bondsman applicant that states, to the best of such person's knowledge, the amount of equity in the real estate, and the amounts due under any obligations secured by liens or similar encumbrances against the real estate, including any delinquent taxes, as of the date of the submission. At its discretion, the Department may require additional documentation to verify these amounts.

2. If the property used as collateral consists of cash or certificates of deposit, the property bail bondsman applicant shall submit to the Department verification of the amounts, and the names of the financial institution in which they are held.

3. Any property bail bondsman issued a certificate by a judge pursuant to former § 19.2-152.1, prior to July 1, 1989, who has continuously maintained his certification and who has never provided to a court collateral of $200,000 or more, shall continue to be exempt from the $200,000 collateral requirements specified above. Those property bail bondsmen who are exempted from this provision shall satisfy all of the other requirements in this article for bail bondsmen, and shall provide to the Department the collateral amount to which they may bond and provide proof of his prior certification by obtaining a certified copy of: (i) the certificate issued pursuant to former § 19.2-152.1 and (ii) the documents held by the originating court that stated the collateral amount for which they were able to bond.

4. Each property bail bondsman, if so directed by the Department, shall place a deed of trust on the real estate that he is using for the limit of his expected bonded indebtedness to secure the Commonwealth and shall name the attorney for the Commonwealth of the affected locality as trustee under the deed of trust, and furnish the Department an acceptable appraisal and title certificate of the real estate subject to any such deed of trust.

D. Prior to the issuance of a surety bail bondsman license, each surety bail bondsman applicant shall:

1. Submit proof of current licensing as a property and casualty insurance agent validated by the State Corporation Commission.

2. Submit copies of each qualifying power of attorney that will be used to provide surety. All qualifying powers of attorney filed with the Department shall contain the name and contact information for both the surety agent and the registered agent of the issuing company. In the event an applicant for a surety bail bondsman license is unable to obtain a qualifying power of attorney prior to the issuance of his license, he may be granted his license, on the condition that each qualifying power of attorney obtained after his licensure be filed with the Department within 30 days after its receipt. A surety bail bondsman shall not be permitted to write bail bonds for any insurance company without first filing the company qualifying power of attorney with the Department.

3. All surety bail bondsman licenses in effect with the State Corporation Commission shall become void after June 30, 2005. Applicants for licensure for bail bondsmen may submit an application to the Department on or after May 1, 2005.

4. Any surety bail bondsman license issued pursuant to this article shall terminate immediately upon the termination of the licensee's property and casualty insurance agent license, and may not be applied for again until the individual has been issued a new property and casualty insurance agent license. Upon notification from the State Corporation Commission of a license suspension, the Department shall immediately suspend a surety bondsman's license, pending the results of an investigation conducted pursuant to this article. In the event a surety bail bondsman is under investigation by the State Corporation Commission for allegations regarding his activities as a licensed property and casualty agent, the Commission shall notify the Department of such investigation and the Department and the Commission may conduct a joint investigation of the individual. All powers granted to the Department and the Commission regarding investigation and disciplinary proceedings shall be permitted to be applied to any such joint investigation, and both the Department and the Commission shall be permitted to utilize their own rules and internal procedures in determining appropriate disciplinary proceedings, if any.

2004, c. 460.

The chapters of the acts of assembly referenced in the historical citation at the end of this section may not constitute a comprehensive list of such chapters and may exclude chapters whose provisions have expired.