Bail Enforcement Agent

Department of Public Safety


A bail enforcement agent takes or attempts to take into custody the principal on a bail bond issued or a deposit filed in relation to a criminal proceeding to assure the presence of the defendant at trial. Bail enforcement agents are commonly known to search for persons who have jumped their bail bond.

Code Citation Iowa Code Chapter 80A; 661 Iowa Administrative Code Chapter 121

Who Applies Any business owner engaged in the contracted business of bail enforcement.

When To Apply Before bail enforcement operations begin in the State of Iowa.

Initial Requirements A person wishing to obtain a license to operate in the contracted business of bail enforcement must: 1) be at least 18 years of age and a citizen of the United States 2) be of good moral character, have no convictions for an aggravated misdemeanor or a felony, and have never been convicted of assault resulting from domestic abuse 3) not be an abuser of alcohol or controlled substance, nor have a history of mental illness, instability or a history of repeated acts of violence 4) submit photos, fingerprints and license fee(s) along with a completed application to the Commissioner of Public Safety 5) be able to show proof of financial liability (insurance)and must be approved for a $5,000 surety bond; this will be $10,000 if applying for more than one license under this chapter. For those wishing to work as an employee for a licensed agency, only the first four requirements above apply. The agency purchases these applications ($10 each) from the Department of Public Safety prior to completion by the employee.

Duration Two years.

Processing Time 10 days.

Fee Structure License: $100 – license $30 – fingerprint fee for each licensee $10 – Identification Card fee (one card needed, regardless of number of license types; no expiration, to work for that particular agency only) Renewal: $100 for each two-year license. $30 – fingerprint fee for each license holder. Other: $10 – Application Packet (if requesting in-person) $15 – Application Packet (by mail) Free application materials on department website.

Renewal Requirements There are no continuing education requirements.

Exam None.

Additional Information None.

Services Provided

Service Category

  • Service SubCategory
Contact Information
Lisa Lampe
Oran Pape Building
215 East 7th Street
Des Moines, IA 50319