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The Florida Statutes

The 2023 Florida Statutes (including Special Session C)

Title XXXVII
INSURANCE
Chapter 648
BAIL BOND AGENTS
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F.S. 648.285
648.285 Bond agency; ownership requirements; applications for bail bond agency licenses.
(1) A person may not own, control, manage, or otherwise have a pecuniary interest in a bail bond agency unless such individual is licensed pursuant to s. 648.27, appointed through the department, and actively engaged as a bail bond agent for at least the preceding 24 months. Any agency that is not in compliance with this subsection is subject to the issuance of an immediate final order of suspension of its license and all operations until the agency achieves compliance.
(2) Effective January 1, 2024, the department may issue a bail bond agency license to any person only after such person files a written application with the department and qualifies for such license.
(3) An application for a bail bond agency license must be signed by an individual required to be listed in the application under paragraph (a). A bail bond agency license may permit a third party to complete, submit, and sign an application on the bail bond agency’s behalf; however, the bail bond agency is responsible for ensuring that the information on the application is true and correct, and the bail bond agency is accountable for any misstatements or misrepresentations. The application for a bail bond agency license must include:
(a) The name and license number of each owner, partner, officer, director, president, senior vice president, secretary, treasurer, and limited liability company member who directs or participates in the management or control of the bail bond agency, whether through ownership of voting securities, by contract, by ownership of any agency bank account, or otherwise.
(b) The residence address of each person required to be listed in the application under paragraph (a).
(c) The name, principal business street address, and valid e-mail address of the bail bond agency and the name, address, and e-mail address of the agency’s registered agent or person or company authorized to accept service on behalf of the bail bond agency.
(d) The physical address of each branch bail bond agency, including its name, e-mail address, and telephone number, and the date that the branch location began transacting bail bond business.
(e) The name of the full-time bail bond agent in charge of the agency office, including branch locations, and his or her corresponding location.
(f) Such additional information as the department requires by rule to ascertain the trustworthiness and competence of persons required to be listed on the application and to ascertain that such persons meet the requirements of this code. However, the department may not require that credit or character reports be submitted for persons required to be listed on the application.
(4) The department must issue a license to each agency upon approval of the application, and each agency location must display the license prominently in a manner that makes it clearly visible to any customer or potential customer who enters the agency location.
(5) A bail bond agency that holds a current and valid registration number with the department shall have its registration automatically converted to a license on July 1, 2024.
(6) Section 112.011 does not apply to bail bond agencies or to applicants for licensure as owners of bail bond agencies.
(7) If the owner of a bail bond agency dies or becomes mentally incapacitated, a personal representative or legal guardian may be issued a temporary permit to manage the affairs of the bail bond agency. Such person must appoint or maintain the appointment of a bail bond agent in charge, as provided in s. 648.387, and may not engage in any activities as a licensed bail bond agent but must comply with s. 648.387 during the administration of the estate or guardianship. A temporary permit is valid for a maximum of 24 months.
(8) Application for a temporary permit must be made by the personal representative or legal guardian upon statements and affidavits filed with the department on forms prescribed and furnished by it. The applicant must meet the qualifications for licensure as a bail bond agent, except for the residency, examination, education, and experience requirements.
History.s. 4, ch. 2002-260; s. 55, ch. 2023-144.