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Process Server License Requirements By State 

Do you need to have a Process Server License to serve legal documents?


The answer may vary depending on where your case originates and where your case is being served.

Hiring a legal Process Server is an important step in proceeding with a court action. Process servers have the skills and experience to serve your legal documents in timely manner and, most importantly, serve them in accordance with the local and state process serving laws.


There are several key requirements associated with the rules of service of process. In some states you cannot serve on Sundays or holidays. Some places do not allow papers to be served on a person traveling to court. It is also very important to note that papers generally cannot be served by someone who is involved in the case or legal proceeding.


If a serve is not done in accordance with these rules, this can hinder your case from going forward or result in the dismissal of your case. Improper service may also cause undue delays which may affect court fees, and attorney’s fees.

Our staff can help you comply with the courts requirements so that your case can be served in compliance with the law and without delay. 

Process Server License Requirements By State 
The laws governing service of process differ from state to state and may change. It is important to refer to the State Rules of Civil Procedure to learn more about service of process in your state for the most up to date information. Not all states require a process server to be licensed. However, some states require that process servers be registered in their county or state, or appointed to serve in a specific county. 

Which States Typically Require a Process Server License? ​

1. New York — Process Server in New York are required to be licensed to serve process in the City of New York within the 5 boroughs of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Bronx, Queens and Staten Island.  Individuals need to be licensed through the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.

2. California — Process Servers in California are required to be Registered in the county in which they operate.  Applicants must be a resident for one year prior to applying and are required to post a $2,000 bond. 

3. Arizona — Process Servers in Arizona are required to be registered in compliance with the procedures as set forth by the Arizona Supreme Court. Applicants must be 21 and a resident for one year prior to applying and must pass a written exam.

4. Texas — Process Servers in Texas are required to be certified in accordance with Rules 103 and 536(a) of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure (TRCP).

5. Alaska — Process Servers in Alaska are required to be licensed by the Commissioner of Public Safety. 

6. Illinois — Process Servers in Illinois are not required to be licensed; however, a person licensed in Illinois as a “private detective” may serve original process in all counties except for Cook County without special appointment. In order for PIs to serve in Cook County, the court upon motion and in its discretion, may appoint a “private detective agency” as a special process server in lieu of an individual. It is not necessary that service be made only by a sheriff or PI. Private persons over the age of 18, upon motion, may be appointed by the court to serve original process.

7. Nevada — Process Servers in Nevada are required to be licensed by the Nevada Private Investigator's Licensing Board.

8. Oklahoma — Process Servers in Oklahoma are required to be licensed. 

9. Washington — Process Servers in Washington are required to register with the auditor of the county in which the process server resides or operates their business.

10. Florida — Process Servers in Florida are not subject to a statewide license requirement. However, each county has its own requirements, Process Servers in Florida can be Court-Certified or Sheriff-Appointed. While some counties may require a Motion & Order to appoint a Process Server.

Most other States do not have any formal Process Server License Requirements. This list is non-exhaustive and only meant as a general framework for Process Server Licensure in various States. 


New York Process Server Individual License 

Texas Process Server Certification

Arizona Private Process Server Program


Due to the rapidly changing nature of the law, there may be times when the material on this page is not current. We have made every effort to provide a complete and accurate list of rules governing the service of process in Illinois. However, that we cannot guarantee the current accuracy of the above listed content, it is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. We assume no liability whatsoever and will not be held responsible directly or indirectly for any damages resulting from any errors, omissions, inaccuracies or your reliance on this partial list of rules.

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