A process server’s principal job is to deliver or “serve” legal documents to a defendant or person involved in a court case, but they also provide a variety of other services such as filing court papers and document retrieval.
Process servers come from diverse backgrounds, from having no prior legal experience to having a background in law enforcement. Moreover, many process servers only work part-time to earn additional income, while others decide to make it their full-time career.
Salaries are largely dependent on your experience and type of employment. As you gain more experience in the industry, you will build a strong network of clients and you will also improve your efficiency, allowing you to take on more work. Additionally, your salary will vary based on whether you choose to work as a contractor for someone else’s business or start your own business.
In the United States, the rules to become a process server vary from state to state. In many states, the main requirement is that you are over 18 years of age and you are not a party to the case. Other states mandate licensure or registration with your state or county. Click on your state below to discover specific rules and regulations.
Not all states require registration and/or licensing, therefore not all states have mandatory training. Regardless of licensing or registration laws, new process servers should research local training programs or ways to best learn how to serve papers in their communities. Training from fellow servers or programs can help start your business off strong.
Those looking to become a process server should be familiar with all state laws pertaining to service of process, not just the laws on how to become a process server.
Read through your state laws so you ensure you are executing service of process in accordance with your state and local laws.
Once acquainted with state and local laws pertaining to service of process in your state, contact your court or sheriff's office for registration/licensing guidelines, if applicable.All State Laws
Below is a quick reminder which states and areas require some form of licensing or registration:
If you completed the necessary steps to become a process server, start planning your business strategy. For example, decide whether you plan on becoming a contractor or small business owner, and the following path to take.
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I'm a process server (or want to be), now what? The next steps to take your business to the next level is further expanding your networking and marketing to gain new business. A great option is to network with other process servers to offer contract work. This is particularly useful for nationwide agencies with coverage areas across states. Furthermore, you should focus on marketing directly to law firms and courthouses. Even if they are already established and have a process serving company, you should introduce your company, services, and why you are the best choice for the legal support service needs.
Process servers with at least one year of experience and two letters of recommendation can join ServeNow to market to even more law firms, businesses, and private individuals to gain a reputation in the process serving industry.
New process servers often get jobs from a larger company that they contract for or work for full-time. If you do not have ties to a larger company that does marketing and outreach to gain customers, you will need to earn customers yourself. Marketing and contacting law firms directly are a great way to start. If running this part of your business seems daunting, research companies in your area and offer your services to start your process serving experience.
Another option to find jobs is to find process server forums, groups, and postings online. ServeNow offers groups and a classified page to get started:
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