Topic:
BONDSMEN; LICENSE FEE; BAIL;
Location:
BAIL LAWS;

OLR Research Report


March 2, 2006

 

2006-R-0215

BAIL BONDSMAN FEES IN OTHER STATES

By: Christopher Reinhart, Senior Attorney

You asked what fees other states allow bail bondsman to charge on bonds.

SUMMARY

We compiled information on 27 states based on a search of statutes and contacting state agencies. We found 14 states where a statute or rule sets the fee or a fee range. Of these 14: (1) four set a required fee with the lowest at 10% and the highest at 15% and (2) 10 set a range with a maximum fee, with the lowest limit set at 10% and the highest limit at 20%.

We found four states (Illinois, Kentucky, Oregon, and Wisconsin) that do not have commercial bail bondsmen and five states (Hawaii, Kansas, Minnesota, Missouri, and Oklahoma) that do not regulate fees.

In five states (including Oklahoma), we found information on fees typically charged by bondsmen which indicates that fees are usually around 10%.

STATES WITH STATUTE OR RULE SETTING RATES OR PREMIUMS

The table below displays the information on the 14 states where we found a statute or rule setting the fee or a fee range.

States with a Statute or Rule Setting Bail Rates or Premiums

State

Type of Bail Agent

Rate or Premium

Arkansas (Ark. Code 17-19-111 and -301)

Professional bail bondsman, professional bail bond company

10%, which may be rounded to the nearest $5 and must be at least $35

Colorado (CRS 12-7-108(7))

Bail bonding agent

Greater of up to 15% or $50

Georgia (Ga. Code 17-6-30)

Sureties—professional bondsman

Up to 12% for bonds up to $10,000 and up to 15% for bonds over $10,000

Louisiana (La. Rev. Stat. 22:1404.3)

Commercial surety underwriters

Greater of 12% or $60

Michigan (Mich. Stat. 750.167b)

Person engaged in bonding business

Regular prevailing fee which shall not exceed 10% of the bond for a 12 month period or any part of it

Mississippi (Miss. Code 83-39-25)

Professional bail agent

Greater of $50 or 10%

For defendants charged with a capital offense or residing out-of-state, greater of $50 or 15%

Nevada (NRS 697.300)

Bail agent

Greater of $50 or 15%

New York (NY Ins. L. 6804)

Bail bond provider (professional bondsman)

Up to 10% for bonds up to $3,000, up to 8% of any amount between $3,000 and $10,000, and up to 6% for any amount over $10,000

May charge $10 for bonds less than $200

North Carolina (NC Stat. 58-71-95(5))

Bail bondsman or runner (surety bondsman, professional bondsman, or accommodation bondsman)

Up to 15% of the amount of the bond

North Dakota (N.D. 26.1-26.6-08)

Bail bond agent

Greater of up to $75 or up to 10%

Pennsylvania (42 Pa. Stat. 5748)

Professional bondsman

Up to 10% for the first $100 and up to 5% for each additional $100

South Carolina (SC Code 38-53-170(e))

Surety and professional bondsman

At least $25 and not more than 15% of the bond amount

Tennessee (Tenn. Code 40-11-316)

Professional bondsmen and agents of insurance companies

Up to 10% (with provisions for a renewal fee and appellate fee)

Utah (Administrative Rule R590-196-4)

Bail bond surety

Up to 20% of bond amount

*In some of these states, such as Arkansas, Idaho, Mississippi, and Utah, the statute also authorizes charging other expenses or state imposed fees.

INFORMATION ON OTHER STATES

We also compiled information on rates typically charged in the following states.

1. Alaska: According to Sarah McNair of the Division of Insurance, Alaska does not have a required fee and insurers file rates and support for them with the division. Rates are usually 10% to 15% of the bond.

2. California: The Insurance Department website states that bondsman fees are about 10% and surety companies must file rates with the department.

3. Indiana: A court opinion indicates that bondsman rates are usually 10%.

4. Oklahoma: According to Cathy Guyer of the Insurance Department, professional, cash, and property bondsman and surety company rates are not regulated but rates are generally 10% with most falling in a range of 7% to 15%.

5. Washington: The Department of Licensing website states that bonds cost a minimum of $50 and usually 10% for bonds over $1,000. Additional fees can be charged.

CR:ts