How to become a process server

Updated February 21, 2017

It's the job of the process server to bring to people the unwelcome news that they are being summoned to court. A process server may be work for the sheriff's department, an attorney or a private investigator.

Visit the county clerk's office. The rules and regulations regarding process servers can vary significantly from state to state. For example, California requires process servers to be bonded, fingerprinted and background checked. However, Alabama has no licensing or registration requirements for process servers. Most states require you to register to request authorization to conduct legal services. You probably will have to pay a fee for registration.

Get bonded. In many states, you must contact an insurance or surety company and pay a fee to receive a bond before you can begin work as a process server.

Get fingerprinted. Some states also require process servers to be fingerprinted and to have a passport-sized photo on file with the court. Once fingerprinted, you will undergo a background check by the FBI.

Become licensed. Once all these steps are completed, the state or municipality will issue you a license as a process server. You will then be eligible to begin work.

Join a professional organization. The National Association of Professional Process Servers provides education and resources to members. It also encourages best practices and professionalism among its members.

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