So you want to learn how to become a process server?
There are a few basic questions you should be asking yourself, like do you want to become a self-employed process server or work for someone else?
I recommend working for yourself, because you get to keep 100% of the fees you charge.
If on the other hand, you want to work for an existing process server business, you can expect to be paid a measly $12-15 per serve and someone else will be profiting from your effort (the same as any old job).
For the purposes of this website, I’m going to assume you want to be self-employed, and that you’re starting from the beginning.
If so, there are just three basic steps to becoming a process server.
Step 1: Research How to Become a Process Server in Your State
There’s good news for most of us, because the majority of states have no formal requirements for becoming a process server.
Anyone over the age of 18 who is not a party to the case may serve civil process, which means you can jump right in by promoting your business and building a website in order to find clients.
But if you do happen to live in a state that licenses process servers, don’t despair!
The requirements are usually straightforward, and it often means you can charge higher fees for your services (an added benefit is that a formal licensing or registration requirement tends to weed out the competition).
To make things easy on you, I’ve prepared a list of the requirements for the most populous states, complete with helpful links to government and state association websites (you’ll find it at the end of this article).
Step 2: Study the Rules Civil Procedure
Part of learning how to become a process server is studying the rules of civil procedure.
Each state (and U.S. territory) maintains their own rules and they govern how civil process must be served in that state.
While the rules of civil procedure can be long and intimidating, remember that for our purposes it’s enough to focus on the part relating to service of process.
You can find your state’s rules with a quick Google search.
Here are a few key things to look for:
- Who can work as a process server in your state?
- How do you complete personal and substituted service?
- Are there any specific requirements or limitations, such as prohibiting service on Sundays?
For easy reference, I suggest printing the section on service of process and carrying it with you when you’re in the field.
Step 3: Promote Your Business
Without paying clients, you’re not a process server.
I can’t tell you how many times I’ve watched new process servers fail before they even get started because they don’t focus on finding clients.
But you’re in luck, because I’m not going to leave you hanging.
In fact, I’ve created a comprehensive guide to finding clients and promoting your process server business.
State Requirements for Process Servers:
As promised, here’s a list of state-by-state requirements for how to become a process server.
Because laws can and do change often, you should always check your state’s officially-posted requirements for the latest information on how to become a process server.