How To Get Licensed

How to Get a NC Bail Bondsman's License

A career as a bail agent is indeed an exciting one.  As an industry, we are dedicated to training top-notch, professional bail agents. Because we view ourselves as a player in North Carolina’s justice system, the bail agents we train need to be prepared to interact with other professionals on a day-to-day basis.


One must follow the detailed application process through the North Carolina Department of Insurance to become a bail agentWe believe this process adds to the professionalism of our industry and allows for qualified individuals to become bail agents. More information can be found in the North Carolina Licensing Examination Bail Bond Candidates Guide.


As you begin this process, please contact us if you have questions or need guidance. We are available as a resource to you.


COVID Update: NCBAA is hosting the Pre-Licensing Course, which is the 2-day bail bonds class required for applicants to obtain an NC Bail Bonding License. All PLE class are listed below along with the online registration. Due to COVID, NCBAA is operating under safety guidelines, but all PLE Classes are still in-person classes. The State of North Carolina does not have an approved online or virtual PLE Class.


Due to COVID, applicants should schedule their fingerprints ASAP after completing the PLE Class. The Coronavirus has caused some Sheriff Offices to reduce their appointments for fingerprints. NCBAA suggests that applicants schedule their appointment as soon as possible to speed up their application process.  

How to Become a Licensed Bail Agent

Step 1

Meet the Requirements

Step 2

Take a Pre-Licensing (PLE) Course with NCBAA

Step 3

Submit an Electronic Application

Step 4

Take and Pass the State Exam

Step 5

Get Your Shield

Step 1: Meet Licensing Qualifications

Following are the qualifications for obtaining a Bail Bond License according to North Carolina General Statute §58-71-50:

  1. You must be a resident of the state of North Carolina for at least six consecutive months before making application for a bail bondsman and/or bail bond runner license.

  2. You must be at least 21 years of age.

  3. Have obtained a high school diploma or its equivalent.

  4. Have knowledge, training, or experience of sufficient duration and extent to provide the competence necessary to fulfill the responsibilities of a licensee.

  5. Have no outstanding bail bond obligations

  6. Have no current or prior violations of Article 71 of Chapter 58 of the North Carolina General Statutes or of Article 26 of Chapter 15A of the North Carolina General Statutes.

  7. Not have been in any manner disqualified under North Carolina law or any other state to engage in the bail bond business.

  8. Hold a valid and current North Carolina driver’s license or valid North Carolina identification card issued by the Division of Motor Vehicles.

Prohibited persons from obtaining a Bail Bonds License §58-71-105:         

  • Sheriff, deputy sheriff, other law enforcement officer, judicial official, attorney, parole officer, probation officer,jailer, assistant jailer, employee of the General Court of Justice, nor any other public employee assigned to duties relating to the administration of the criminal justice, nor the spouse of any such person.

  • A person who is or has ever been convicted of a felony. 

  • A person who has been convicted of a misdemeanor drug violation within the previous 24 months.

The minimum age to become a licensed NC Bail Agent is (twenty-one) 21 years of age. Prior to 2015, the minimum age of 18 (Eighteen) years of age, but the age was increased by legislation in Session Law 2015-180. The current Qualification for bail bondsmen and runners can be found here in North Carolina General Statute 58-71-50.

Step 2: Take a Pre-Licensing Education (PLE) Course

Register and complete the pre-licensing (PLE) course with the North Carolina Bail Agents Association. The PLE Course is a two-day class, which includes a classroom test. Available classes will be listed below until they are at capacity. WALK-INS ARE WELCOME but must arrive by 8:45 am. If a class reaches capacity or is rescheduled, it will be removed from the website by 5:00 pm on the Friday afternoon before the class.

Class Details

Location: NCBAA offers PLE Classes at various locations across the state; scheduled classes can be found here. Unless otherwise noted, classes are held at the NCBAA Headquarters, located at 1220 Eastchester Dr., Ste 106, High Point, NC 27265. 

Time: The PLE course is a two-day course. Unless otherwise noted, classes begin at 9:00 am and end at 5:00 pm on both days. Please arrive by 8:40 am to ensure enough time for check-in. Schedules subject to change or cancellation at any time prior to the class date.

What to Bring: Students must bring a photo ID to the PLE class.

NCBAA Provides: PLE Text Book, Supplies, Class Room Material, Study Guide, Calculator, Personal Attention, and the Best Instructors.

Classroom Test: Each applicant for a Bail Bond License must attend a PLE class and pass a PLE Classroom practice test which is given on the second day of the session in order to receive their PLE certificate of completion. The classroom practice test is designed to prepare the student for the State Exam. Throughout the years, NCBAA Instructors have been instrumental in assisting NC DOI with the preparation the State Exam. Classroom test are graded upon completion of the test. Those same instructors have designed NCBAA’s PLE practice test, study guide, and other material to ensure students are prepared for the state exam. Any student who fails the NCBAA PLE classroom test may take the test again, twice for FREE. Re-tests must be completed within 90 days of the failed exam. 

PLE certificates: Students will receive their PLE Certificate via email the next business day after completing the class and passing the classroom test. PLE certificates are valid for six months from the date the class is successfully completed. If you do not receive your certificate via email, check your SPAM/JUNK folder and then contact NCBAA at 919-832-0867. Applicants will upload this certificate to their application to provide proof of their PLE educational requirement. If your certificate expires (valid for 6 months), you may retake the class for 1/2 price (class must be scheduled within 6 months of the expiration of certificate).

If your certificate expires (valid for 6 months), you may retake the class for 1/2 price (class must be scheduled within 6 months of the expiration of certificate). 

Free Refresher Course:
NCBAA PLE Students can take advantage of a FREE PLE Refresher Course ($400 Value) prior to taking the State Exam. NCBAA students are provided the opportunity to sit through certain sections or even the whole PLE course again at NO COST to the student. The refresher course must be taken prior to the expiration of the students PLE certificate.

State Exam – Free PLE Class Retake: NCBAA will provide you with the best material, instructors, and education, but if you do not pass your state exam, you may take another class for FREE within one year of taking the state exam.

Refund/Rescheduling Policy: If you do not plan to attend any PLE class and require a refund, a request must be made in writing (prior to the scheduled class); only 1/2 of the paid tuition is refundable. There is no refund for classes that have been taken by the student. If you do not take the class for which you are scheduled, you may request to attend a future class within six months of the original class date. Repeated rescheduling (more than twice) of class reservations or exams will not be allowed. Failure to take a scheduled class or exam after two absences will result in a required refresher course at a rate of $225.00.

Military Discount: As an expression of gratitude for our military, any PLE class attendee who is a current or former member of the military (honorably discharged) will receive a $100.00 discount from the regular rate of $450. You may attach your DD214 or proof of active status to receive this discount.

Note: Military discounts will be processed post verification. To receive the discount, attach a copy of your DD214 or proof of active US Military Status. Your discount will be processed in the form of a $50 refund. 

Complimentary NCBAA Membership: Students receive a one complimentary NCBAA membership for the first licensure year upon receiving license. Applicants must hold a valid NC bail license to be eligible for membership. Membership is subject to approval.

Step 3: Electronic Application

Submit an electronic application by completing/uploading all required documentation and paying licensing application fees


As of December 18, 2012, all bail bonding applications are to be submitted electronically to the North Carolina Department of Insurance, through the North Carolina License Management System (NCLMS). Applicants for initial or additional bail bond licenses must follow the step listed in the Candidate Guide – March 2018 when applying through the NCLMS system. North Carolina License Management System


Cost Breakdown for Obtaining a License:


These are the costs for items listed in legislation. There may be other costs. This should be discussed with your supervising agent.  The PLE course covers information about all license applications and is designed for students with no knowledge of bail bond laws. 

Step 4: State exam

Once your application is completed and approved by the North Carolina Department of Insurance (NCDOI), applicants will receive a letter/notification from NCDOI, permitting them to schedule and take that state exam at a Pearson Vue Testing Facility. 

The applicant will be provided with his/her score once the exam has been completed, and NCDOI will be notified. Pearson Vue staff will take your photo for your bail bonding identification. 

Step 5: Receive your Bail Bonding License

Once the student passes the exam and is approved by NCDOI, the student will receive his/her licenses within 10 to 12 business days from the examination date. The Bail Bonding License(s) will be mailed to the bail agent. Status of the licensure can be checked on the “Individual Lookup for License Status.”  If you do not receive your license(s) within the 10–12 business days, you can call the Bail Bond Regulatory Division at the North Carolina Department of Insurance at 919-807-6850, Monday through Friday, from 8:00 am to 5:00 pm.

Applicants for initial licensing will need a supervising agent for one year.

Pearson VUE Contact Information

You can also get answers to your questions about the new process by contacting the North Carolina Licensing Office of Pearson VUE directly for assistance:

PHONE (Toll Free): 866-265-6329 
NC Licensing Office of Pearson VUE
PO Box 14209
Raleigh, NC 27620    FAX: 919-313-4706

North Carolina Licensing Examination Bail Bond Candidates Guide