2020 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 59A - Insurance Code
Article 51 - Bail Bondsmen Licensing
Section 59A-51-4 - Qualifications for license.
Applicants for license as bail bondsman or solicitor pursuant to the provisions of the Bail Bondsmen Licensing Law shall:
A. be an individual not less than eighteen years of age;
B. be a citizen of the United States;
C. be a high school graduate or have passed a high school equivalency examination;
D. not be a law enforcement, adjudication, jail, court or prosecution official or an employee thereof or an attorney, official authorized to admit to bail or state or county officer;
E. if for license as bondsman, pass a written examination testing the applicant's knowledge and competence to engage in the bail bondsman business;
F. be of good personal and business reputation;
G. if to act as a property bondsman, be financially responsible and provide the surety bond or deposit in lieu thereof as required in accordance with Section 59A-51-8 NMSA 1978;
H. if to act as a limited surety agent, be appointed by an authorized surety insurer; and
I. if for license as a solicitor, have been so appointed by a licensed bail bondsman subject to issuance of the solicitor license.
History: Laws 1984, ch. 127, § 931; 1999, ch. 272, § 25; 1999, ch. 289, § 38; 2005, ch. 259, § 2; 2014, ch. 21, § 2.ANNOTATIONS
The 2014 amendment, effective May 21, 2014, required applicants to be high school graduates or to pass a high school equivalency examination; in the introductory sentence, after "Bail Bondsmen Licensing Law shall", deleted "be qualified as follows"; added a new Subsection C; and deleted former Subsection C which disqualified applicants who had been convicted of a felony, except a conditional discharge of a felony, or who was licensed as of January 1, 2005.
The 2005 amendment, effective April 6, 2005, added Subsection C to provide that an applicant must have not been convicted of a felony, with the exception of a conditional discharge or any one licensed as of January 1, 2005; moved the provision that law enforcement, adjudication or prosecution officials or their employees, attorneys, officials authorized to admit to bail, or state or county officers cannot apply for licensure as a bail bondsman or solicitor to Subsection D; and deleted the provision in former Subsection F that a limited surety agent must meet all applicable qualification for licensing as an agent of an authorized insurer pursuant to Section 59A-12-12 NMSA 1978.
The 1999 amendment, effective June 18, 1999, updated the statutory references in the introductory language and in Subsections E and F, and deleted language from the end of Subsection B, which related to residency in New Mexico.
County officers as bail bondsmen. — The prohibitions against county officers acting as bail bondsmen in this section and 59A-51-13C NMSA 1978 fail to satisfy heightened rational-basis scrutiny; that element of the statutes is invalid under the equal protection clause of the New Mexico constitution. Alvarez v. Chavez, 1994-NMCA-133, 118 N.M. 732, 886 P.2d 461, overruled on other grounds by Trujillo v. City of Albuquerque, 1998-NMSC-031, 125 N.M. 721, 965 P.2d 305.