(a) The Supreme Court of Appeals shall, under reasonable rules, specify the qualifications of persons and corporations applying for authority to engage in the bonding business in criminal cases in the State of West Virginia, and the terms and conditions upon which the business may be carried on. After September 1, 2004, no person or corporation may, either as principal, or as agent, clerk, or representative of another, engage in the bonding business in any court regularly exercising criminal jurisdiction until qualified pursuant to the rules. The Supreme Court of Appeals, in making the rules, and in granting authority to persons to engage in the bonding business, shall take into consideration both the financial responsibility and the moral qualities of the person so applying, and no person may be permitted to engage, either as principal or agent, in the business of becoming surety upon bonds for compensation in criminal cases, who has ever been convicted of any offense involving moral turpitude, or who is not known to be a person of good moral character. The court shall require every person qualifying to engage in the bonding business as principal to file with the court a list showing the name, age, and residence of each person employed by the bondsman as agent, clerk, or representative in the bonding business, and require an affidavit from each of the persons stating that the person will abide by the terms and provisions of this article. The court shall require the authority of each of the persons to be renewed from time to time at periods the court may by rule provide. Before the authority may be renewed the court shall require from each of the persons an affidavit that since his or her previous qualifications to engage in the bonding business he or she has abided by the provisions of this article, and any person swearing falsely in any of the affidavits is guilty of false swearing.
(b) Persons authorized to engage in the bonding business in criminal cases in the State of West Virginia on the effective date of the amendments made to this section during the regular session of the Legislature in 2004 may continue to engage in the business until September 1, 2004.