Frequently asked questions: Bail bonds

Where do I mail bail bond applications and forms?
  • Send all applications, forms, or documents that require payment to:
    Public Protection Services Section
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 35001
    Seattle, WA 98124-3401
    We encourage companies to collect forms with payments and mail them together rather than mailing each form separately.
  • Send correspondence without payments to:
    Public Protection Services Section
    Department of Licensing
    PO Box 9649
    Olympia, WA 98507-9649

Please discard all old application and forms, and see Forms to get updated versions. If you have questions, please contact us.

How do I post surety bonds?

Any qualified agent or agency that posts insurance surety bail bonds in Washington must have a license from the Office of the Insurance Commissioner (RCW 48.17.060).

There is no standard contract with sureties. Each perspective qualified agent must negotiate their contract with an approved surety company.

On request, the Washington State Bail Agents Association (WSBAA) can provide a list of Bail Bond Sureties that have a Certificate of Authority (RCW 48.05.030) in Washington. For information and insurance applications:

  • Call: 360.725.7080
  • Write:
    Insurance Commissioner
    PO Box 40257
    Olympia, WA 98504-0257
Do I need to take a test to qualify for a bail bond agent license?
An exam is required for bail bond agencies (qualified agents) that don’t have 3 years of experience.
Can I accept payment from electronic benefit (EBT) cards for bail bond services?
No, you can’t accept Electronic Benefits Transfer (EBT) cards or cash obtained from an ATM through the use of EBT cards, in payment for any bail bond service you provide. If your business has ATM or point-of-sale machines located on the premises, please take the necessary steps to disable those machines from accepting EBT cards. We’re required to suspend your license if you don’t comply with this law. We can reinstate your license once your business disables these ATM and point-of-sale machines.
How do I become a credentialed trainer so I can provide required training for bail bond agents?
You must be a certified bail bond agent through a national bail bond association or have specialized formal education in a field applicable to the bail bond profession before you can provide the bail bond agent training required in WAC 308-19-100 (4) and WAC 308-19-302.
What is a notary public?

A notary public is an impartial witness to the identity, signature, and statement of the person appearing before the notary. Notaries are appointed officials in and for the state of Washington. They are expected to know and comply with RCW 42.44.

We issue notary public licenses. The fee is $30 for a 4-year appointment and doesn’t require exams.

WSBAA advises bail agents to obtain a notary public appointment and attend an instructional seminar before performing notary acts as a bail agent. WSBAA can put you in contact with organizations offering these seminars. For notary appointment information and applications please contact:

Notary Public
Department of Licensing
PO Box 9027
Olympia, WA 98507-9027
Phone: 360.664.1550

Is there a new badge for bail bond recovery agents?
Yes, we’ve approved this badge design for the bail bond recovery agent. You aren’t required to carry a badge while working as a bail bond recovery agent. However, if you’re going to carry a badge, the design must be approved by the Department of Licensing.
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