WHY CAN’T I BOND MYSELF?

You can for traffic and minor violations. While a few jurisdictions do allow cash bail by a citizen if they sign an appearance guarantee and/or post the entire bail, most states now require a licensed bond agent to guarantee it. This is so the state knows it can instantly collect the entire bond amount, and the burden of apprehending those who fail to appear falls on the bond agency. Put another way, most states do not hassle with collateral and property; they collect bail forfeitures in cash.