Process Server 101

How to Become a Process Server

How to Become a Process Server in Virginia

If you want to become a Virginia process server, you’re in luck. Virginia is one of those wonderful states that doesn’t license process servers. Anyone who is 18 years of age or older, who is not a party to the case, may serve civil process.

It’s worth noting that Virginia does not allow service of process on Sundays.

A few excerpts from the Virginia Rules of Civil Procedure:

§ 8.01-293. Who to serve process.

The following persons are authorized to serve process:

  1. The sheriff within such territorial bounds as described in § 8.01-295; or
  2. Any person of age eighteen years or older and who is not a party or otherwise interested in the subject matter in controversy. Whenever in this Code the term “officer” or “sheriff” is used to refer to persons authorized to make, return or do any other act relating to service of process, such term shall be deemed to refer to any person authorized by this section to serve process.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law (i) only a sheriff may execute an order or writ of possession for personal, real or mixed property, including an order or writ of possession arising out of an action in unlawful entry and detainer or ejectment; (ii) any sheriff or law-enforcement officer as defined in § 9-169 of the Code of Virginia may serve any capias or criminal show cause order; and (iii) only a sheriff, the high constable for the City of Norfolk or Virginia Beach or a treasurer may levy upon property.

§ 8.01-296. Manner of serving process upon natural persons.

In any action at law or in equity or any other civil proceeding in any court, process, for which no particular mode of service is prescribed, may be served upon natural persons as follows:

  • By delivering a copy thereof in writing to the party in person; or
  • By substituted service in the following manner:
    1. If the party to be served is not found at his usual place of abode, by delivering a copy of such process and giving information of its purport to any person found there, who is a member of his family, other than a temporary sojourner or guest, and who is of the age of sixteen years or older; or
    2. If such service cannot be effected under subdivision 2 a, then by posting a copy of such process at the front door or at such other door as appears to be the main entrance of such place of abode, provided that not less than ten days before judgment by default may be entered, the party causing service or his attorney or agent mails to the party served a copy of such process and thereafter files in the office of the clerk of the court a certificate of such mailing. In any civil action brought in a general district court, the mailing of the application for a warrant in debt or affidavit for summons in unlawful detainer or other civil pleading or a copy of such pleading, whether yet issued by the court or not, which contains the date, time and place of the return, prior to or after filing such pleading in the general district court, shall satisfy the mailing requirements of this section. In any civil action brought in a circuit court, the mailing of a copy of the pleadings with a notice that the proceedings are pending in the court indicated and that upon the expiration of ten days after the giving of the notice and the expiration of the statutory period within which to respond, without further notice, the entry of a judgment by default as prayed for in the pleadings may be requested, shall satisfy the mailing requirements of this section and any notice requirement of the Rules of Court. Any judgment by default entered after July 1, 1989, upon posted service in which proceedings a copy of the pleadings was mailed as provided for in this section prior to July 1, 1989, is validated.
    3. The person executing such service shall note the manner and the date of such service on the original and the copy of the process so delivered or posted under subdivision 2 and shall effect the return of process as provided in §§ 8.01-294 and 8.01-325.
  • If service cannot be effected under subdivisions 1 and 2 of this section, then by order of publication in appropriate cases under the provisions of §§ 8.01-316 through 8.01-320.

For the most up-to-date information, see the website of Virginia’s Judicial System.

Privacy Policy & Terms of Use