North Carolina RPA Program Bond: A Comprehensive Guide

April 26, 2022

North Carolina RPA Program Bond

This guide provides information for insurance agents to help their customers obtain a North Carolina RPA Program bond

At a Glance:

  • Average Cost: Between $100 to $625 per year based on the applicant’s credit history
  • Bond Amount: $5,000
  • Who Needs it: All North Carolina Remote Public Access (RPA) program extract agreement license applicants
  • Purpose: To ensure the public will receive compensation for financial harm if the licensee violates their extract agreement
  • Who Regulates RPA Licensees in North Carolina: The North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts (NCAOC)

Background

North Carolina Statute 7A-109(d) authorized the creation of the RPA program, which allows third parties to obtain court records for the creation of electronic databases, accessible to the public, of these records. The RPA program was formed with the goal of ensuring the public has access to all court records and data not expressly prohibited by law. The NCAOC requires all persons seeking to participate in the RPA program to apply for either an online or extract access license agreement. To provide financial security for the enforcement of the licensing agreement, extract agreement applicants must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond to be eligible for licensure.

What is the Purpose of the North Carolina RPA Program Bond?

The NCAOC requires extract agreement applicants to purchase a surety bond before obtaining a license. The bond ensures that both the public and the NCOAC will receive compensation for financial harm if the licensee violates the terms of their extract agreement. Specifically, the public and the NCAOC are protected if the licensee fails to update any criminal data in their database and someone is injured as a result of this misleading data. In short, the bond is a type of insurance that provides protection to the public and the NCOAC if the licensee disseminates inaccurate data.

North Carolina RPA Program Bond Form

North Carolina RPA Program Bond Form

How Can an Insurance Agent Obtain a North Carolina RPA Program Surety Bond?

BondExchange makes obtaining a North Carolina RPA bond easy. Simply log in to your account and use our keyword search to find the “data” bond in our database. Don’t have a login? Enroll now and let us help you satisfy your customers’ needs. Our friendly underwriting staff is available by phone at (800) 438-1162, email, or chat from 7:30 AM to 7:00 PM EST to assist you.

At BondExchange, our 40 years of experience, leading technology, and access to markets ensures that we have the knowledge and resources to provide your clients with fast and friendly service whether obtaining quotes or issuing bonds.

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Is a Credit Check Required for the North Carolina RPA Program Bond?

Surety companies will run a credit check on the license applicant to determine eligibility and pricing for the North Carolina RPA Program bond. Applicants with excellent credit and work experience can expect to receive the best rates. Applicants with poor credit may be declined by some surety companies or pay higher rates. The credit check is a “soft hit”, meaning that the credit check will not affect the applicant’s credit.

How Much Does the North Carolina RPA Program Bond Cost?

The North Carolina RPA Program bond can cost anywhere between $100 to $625 per year. Insurance companies determine the rate based on several factors including your customer’s credit score and experience. The chart below offers a quick reference for the bond cost on the $5,000 bond requirement.

$5,000 RPA Program Bond Cost

Credit Score Bond Cost (1 year)
650+ $100
600 – 649 $200
550 – 599 $375
500 – 549 $625

Who is Required to Purchase the North Carolina RPA Program Bond?

The NCAOC requires all extract agreement applicants to purchase a surety bond as a prerequisite to obtaining a license.

What is the Application Process for the North Carolina RPA Program Extract Agreement License?

Applicants must navigate several steps to secure their North Carolina RPA program extract agreement licenses. Below are the general guidelines, but applicants should refer to the NCOAC’s extract access page for details on the process.

Step 1 – Determine the Agreement Type

Persons interested in obtaining an RPA program license have two distinct agreement types to choose from:

    • Online Access: Provides licensees with real-time information on both criminal and civil court records in the state. The information provided to the licensee is the same as that accessed at a public terminal in any North Carolina courthouse
    • Extract Access: Provides the licensee with bulk data which the licensee must then house in their own custom-built automated system

A surety bond is only required for those seeking to obtain an extract access agreement. Therefore, the remaining steps focus exclusively on how to obtain this agreement type. For information on how to obtain an online access agreement, click here.

Step 2 – Determine the Extract Type(s)

The NCAOC offers 4 criminal extracts and 4 civil extracts. Each extract has a specific cost associated with it, and licensees are able to choose which extract(s) they wish to receive.

Criminal Extracts

Historical Demographic $1,948
Daily Demographic $312 per month
Calendar Offense (daily file) $478 per month
New Case (daily file) $457 per month

Civil Extracts

Historical Evictions $2,839
Weekly Evictions $366 per month
Historical Tax Liens $2,355
Weekly Tax Liens $365

Step 3 – Submit an Information Form to the NCAOC

The NCAOC requires persons interested in obtaining an RPA program license agreement to fill out an online form as the first step in the application process. After receiving the form, the NCAOC will contact the applicant and while them through the rest of the application process and answer any questions they may have.

Step 4 – Purchase a Surety Bond

Applicants for an RPA program extract agreement license must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond

Step 5 – Complete the Application

After conferring with the NCAOC, applicants must mail a completed license application to the following address:

Judicial Branch of Government
North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts
P. O. Box 2448
Raleigh, NC 27602

A sample license agreement application can be found here. Additionally, applicants that choose not to purchase a historical extract must purchase a $495 setup fee.

Does the North Carolina RPA Program Extract Agreement License Need to be Renewed?

No, however, license holders must present proof to the NCAOC that their bond is intact at least once a year.

What are the Insurance Requirements for the North Carolina RPA Program Extract Agreement License?

The NCAOC does not require applicants to purchase any form of liability insurance as a prerequisite to obtaining an extract agreement license. However, applicants must purchase and maintain a $5,000 surety bond.

How is the North Carolina RPA Program Bond Filed?

Licensees should mail their completed bond form, including the power of attorney, to the following address:

Judicial Branch of Government
North Carolina Administrative Office of the Courts
P. O. Box 2448
Raleigh, NC 27602

The surety bond requires signatures from both the surety company that issues the bond and from the licensee. The surety company should include the following information on the bond form:

  • Legal name, address, and phone number of entity/individual(s) buying the bond
  • Surety company’s name, address, and phone number
  • Date the bond is signed

How Can Licensees Avoid Claims Against the North Carolina RPA Program Bond?

To avoid claims against the North Carolina RPA Program bond, licensees must ensure that they provide their customers and subscribers with accurate data.

What Other Insurance Products Can Agents Offer RPA Program Licensees in North Carolina?

North Carolina does not require RPA program licensees to purchase liability insurance. However, some licensees will seek to obtain this insurance anyway. Bonds are our only business at BondExchange, so we do not issue any other types of insurance, but our agents often utilize brokers for this specific line of business. A list of brokers in this space can be found here.

How Can Insurance Agents Prospect for North Carolina RPA Program Licensee Customers?

North Carolina unfortunately does not provide a public database to search for active RPA program licenses in the state. We suggest contacting the NCAOC directly to obtain this information. Contact BondExchange for additional marketing resources. Agents can also leverage our print-mail relationships for discounted mailing services.

2022-06-07T10:50:59-04:00