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2023 Florida Statutes (including 2023C)

Bail bond agents; qualifications.
F.S. 648.34
648.34 Bail bond agents; qualifications.
(1) An application for licensure as a bail bond agent must be submitted on forms prescribed by the department. The application must include the applicant’s full name; date of birth; social security number; residence, business, and mailing addresses; contact telephone numbers, including a business telephone number; and e-mail address.
(2) To qualify as a bail bond agent, it must affirmatively appear at the time of application and throughout the period of licensure that the applicant:
(a) Is a natural person who has reached the age of 18 years and holds a high school diploma or its equivalent.
(b) Is a United States citizen or legal alien who possesses work authorization from the United States Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services and is a resident of this state. An individual who is a resident of this state shall be deemed to meet the residence requirement of this paragraph, notwithstanding the existence, at the time of application for license, of a license in the applicant’s name on the records of another state as a resident licensee of such other state, if the applicant furnishes a letter of clearance satisfactory to the department that his or her resident licenses have been canceled or changed to a nonresident basis and that he or she is in good standing.
(c) Will maintain his or her place of business in this state and in the county where the applicant will maintain his or her records and be actively engaged in the bail bond business and work with a licensed agency accessible to the public which is open for reasonable business hours.
(d) Is vouched for and recommended upon sworn statements filed with the department by at least three reputable citizens who are residents of the same counties in which the applicant proposes to engage in the bail bond business.
(e) Is a person of high character and approved integrity and has not been convicted of or pleaded guilty or no contest to a felony, a crime involving moral turpitude, or a crime punishable by imprisonment of 1 year or more under the law of any state, territory, or country, whether or not a judgment or conviction has been entered.
(f) Within 2 years immediately before applying for the license, has successfully completed a basic certification course in the criminal justice system which consists of at least 120 hours of classroom instruction with a passing grade of 80 percent or higher and has successfully completed a correspondence course for bail bond agents approved by the department.
(g) Has passed any required examination.
(3) The department may collect a fee necessary to cover the cost of a character and credit report made by an established and reputable independent reporting service. The fee shall be deposited to the credit of the Insurance Regulatory Trust Fund. Any information so furnished is confidential and exempt from the provisions of s. 119.07(1).
(4) The applicant shall furnish, with his or her application, a complete set of his or her fingerprints in accordance with s. 626.171(4) and a recent credential-sized, fullface photograph of the applicant. The department shall not authorize an applicant to take the required examination until the department has received a report from the Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation relative to the existence or nonexistence of a criminal history report based on the applicant’s fingerprints.
(5) The department shall conduct a comprehensive investigation of each applicant, including a background check. The investigation of the applicant’s qualifications, character, experience, background, and fitness shall include submission of the applicant’s fingerprints to the Department of Law Enforcement and the Federal Bureau of Investigation and consideration of any state criminal records, federal criminal records, or local criminal records obtained from these agencies or from local law enforcement agencies.
(6) The requirements for completion and submission of fingerprints under this chapter are deemed to be met when an individual currently licensed under this chapter seeks additional licensure and has previously submitted fingerprints to the department in support of an application for licensure under this chapter within the past 48 months. However, the department may require the individual to file fingerprints if it has reason to believe that an applicant or licensee has been found guilty of, or pleaded guilty or nolo contendere to, a felony or a crime related to the business of insurance in this or any other state or jurisdiction.
(7) The provisions of s. 112.011 do not apply to bail bond agents or to applicants for licensure as bail bond agents.
History.s. 7, ch. 29621, 1955; s. 5, ch. 59-326; s. 9, ch. 61-406; s. 2, ch. 61-119; s. 24, ch. 65-269; ss. 13, 35, ch. 69-106; s. 177, ch. 70-339; s. 3, ch. 76-168; s. 1, ch. 77-96; s. 1, ch. 77-116; s. 61, ch. 77-121, s. 1, ch. 77-457; ss. 2, 3, ch. 81-318; ss. 10, 71, 72, ch. 82-175; ss. 11, 50, 51, ch. 84-103; s. 5, ch. 87-321; s. 58, ch. 88-166; s. 82, ch. 89-360; ss. 12, 46, 47, ch. 90-131; s. 4, ch. 91-429; s. 3, ch. 93-119; s. 11, ch. 96-372; s. 403, ch. 96-406; s. 8, ch. 2002-260; s. 1653, ch. 2003-261; s. 76, ch. 2003-267; s. 67, ch. 2003-281; s. 137, ch. 2004-5; s. 54, ch. 2012-209; s. 46, ch. 2018-102; s. 60, ch. 2022-138; s. 58, ch. 2023-144.
Note.Former s. 903.43.