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Washington Rules of Civil Procedure

Does a process server have to be licensed in Washington?

No, but they do have to be registered.

Washington Process Server Licensing Requirements

  • In order to serve process in the state of Washington, an individual is required to register with the auditor of the county in which the process server resides or operates his or her principal place of business and pay a $10 fee.
  • No testing and no requirement for insurance or bonding.

Washington Rules of Civil Procedure

Please note that lobbyists are active in Washington and laws concerning civil procedure and process serving can change. Therefore the information listed below may have been amended. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Washington Judiciary and Courts website.

Rule 4 Process

(a) Summons - Issuance.

  1. The summons must be signed and dated by the plaintiff or his attorney, and directed to the defendant requiring him to defend the action and to serve a copy of his appearance or defense on the person whose name is signed on the summons.
  2. Unless a statute or rule provides for a different time requirement, the summons shall require the defendant to serve a copy of his defense within 20 days after the service of summons, exclusive of the day of service. If a statute or rule other than this rule provides for a different time to serve a defense, that time shall be stated in the summons.
  3. A notice of appearance, if made, shall be in writing, shall be signed by the defendant or his attorney, and shall be served upon the person whose name is signed on the summons. In condemnation cases a notice of appearance only shall be served on the person whose name is signed on the petition.
  4. No summons is necessary for a counterclaim or cross-claim for any person who previously has been made a party. Counterclaims and cross-claims against an existing party may be served as provided in rule 5.

(b) Summons.

  1. Contents. The summons for personal service shall contain:
    1. the title of the cause, specifying the name of the court in which the action is brought, the name of the county designated by the plaintiff as the place of trial, and the names of the parties to the action, plaintiff and defendant;
    2. a direction to the defendant summoning him to serve a copy of his defense within a time stated in the summons;
    3. a notice that, in case of failure so to do, judgment will be rendered against him by default. It shall be signed and dated by the plaintiff, or his attorney, with the addition of his post office address, at which the papers in the action may be served on him by mail.

You should contact a Washington Process Server if you have specific questions about Process Serving in Washington.

Process Servers in Washington

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