Call Dept. of Financial Service 850-413-3089
Bondsman may register with Customer Service in FWB or Crestview.
SUBJECT: BAIL BOND AGENTS EFFECTIVE DATE: 02/14/2017 PURPOSE: Every professional bail bond agent and whomever he/she authorizes as a licensed professional bail bond agent directly employed and appointed by him/her to sign his/her name to bonds must follow the following procedures for registration, reporting, and termination. REFERENCES:
Department of Financial Services
DEFINITIONS: DFS – Department of Financial Services
Bond – a document with which one party promises to pay another within a specified amount of time
Surety- a promise by one party (the guarantor) to assume responsibility for the debt/obligation of a borrower if that borrower defaults; the person or company that provides this promise is also known as a surety or guarantor
Surety bond – a promise to pay one party (the oblige) a certain amount if a second party (the principal) fails to meet some obligation, such as fulfilling the terms of a contract. The surety bond protects the oblige against losses resulting from the principal’s failure to meet the obligation. A surety bond is a contract among at least three parties: the oblige - the party who is the recipient of an obligation; the principal – the primary party who will be performing the contractual obligation; and the surety – who assures the oblige that the principal can perform the task.
Power of Attorney – authority of attorney in fact to execute type of bond for surety
Chapter 648 of the Florida Statutes contains a number of registration requirements for bond agents and insurers. The Customer Service Divisions will process the paperwork filed by the agents/insurers in the following statutory provisions:
- The Department of Financial Services (DFS) licenses agents under FS 648.
- Insurers shall provide written notice to the Clerk and Sheriff with whom they are registered within 5 days after terminating the appointment of any managing general agent, bail bond agent, or temporary bail bond agent. FS 648.39(2)
- Any professional bail bond agency who stops writing bail bonds during the period for which he/she is appointed must notify Clerks, Sheriffs and DFS within 30 days of the discontinuance. FS 648.40(2)
- A bail bond agent may not become a surety until registering with the Sheriff and Clerk in the county where the agent resides by April 1st of each odd-numbered year. Agents may also register in other counties in the same manner. The Clerk and the Sheriff will not permit the registration of an agent unless the agent is currently licensed and appointed by DFS. To meet this requirement, the Fees and Assessments Manager in Fort Walton Beach will maintain a list of currently-registered agents. Registration forms will be available in Customer Service (both locations) for any agent requesting one.
- Registration consists of filing (1) a registration form; (2) a certified copy of a power of attorney from each insurer the agent represents; and (3) proof that the agent is currently licensed and appointed by the Department of Financial Services. The “certification “ can be by the insurer.
- When an agent wants to register, take the executed registration form, the certified copy of the power of attorney and the proof of licensure from Dept. of Financial Services. The power of attorney is not required to be recorded in official records unless “certification” from the insurer is not available. If the agent cannot provide a certification by the insurer, the agent can record the original power of attorney and purchase a certified copy from Official Records for filing with the remaining registration paperwork. For any agent that files a completed registration form, the deputy clerk will verify with the Department of Financial Services to determine whether the agent has an “active” license with the department. www.myfloridacfo.com/Division/Agents
- If the agent is licensed and the paperwork is otherwise in order, send the packet to the manager of Fees and Assessments in Fort Walton Beach.
- If a bond is received from an agent that we do not show as registered, contact the Bail Bond agent immediately and let them know we do not show they are registered with the office. Contact the Sheriff’s office and inquire if the bondsman is registered with them. If so, ask them to email a copy of the registration to you until the agent completes registration with the Clerk. If agent is not registered with the Sheriff, check the address on the bond to determine if the agent resides in another county. Call that county to verify registration and again, request an emailed copy of their paperwork if available until bond agent can come into the office to register. Mark emailed document as a “Non-Resident” agent who is registered in ___________ county.
- When a deputy clerk receives a notice of change in the licensee’s principal business address or telephone number, retain the notice and update the information in the case management system. Send notice to the Fees and Assessments manager in Fort Walton Beach so the change can be notated on the agent registration list. Each licensee under chapter 648 is required to notify the clerk where the licensee is registered in writing within 10 working days of the change. FS 648.421
- The Clerk will also accept and maintain copies of the power of attorney required to be filed with the clerk by professional bail bond agents who authorize a licensed professional bail bond agent directly appointed by him/her to sign his/her name to bonds under section 648.43. These powers of attorney are only to be “filed” with the clerk. They are not required to be recorded in the public records, though if agents wish to record them, they may.
- When any notice is received that terminates the appointment of any managing general agent, bail bond agent, or temporary bail bond agent, contact the sheriff’s office to ensure that they have received the notice and that the sheriff will not accept bonds for the terminated appointee. Section 648.39 requires notice to the clerk and sheriff within 5 days of termination.
- When the clerk receives a notice from a professional bail bond agent that the agent discontinued writing bail bonds during the period for which he/she was appointed contact the sheriff’s office to ensure that they have received the notice and that the sheriff will not accept bonds for the discontinued agent. The agent is required to notify the clerk and sheriff where he/she is registered within 30 days after such discontinuance. FS 648.40
- The registration is valid for two years. Once the two-year registration process ends, the registration will be archived for that period.