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Virginia does not have any specific stringent requirements for becoming a process server. There are no state licensing requirements, though county laws may impact who can serve processes on what kind of cases. As long as you meet some basic guidelines, your biggest challenge will be deciding whether to work freelance or to attempt to get hired by an established process serving company in Virginia.
Meet the basic guidelines. According to Virginia state law, anyone over the age of 18 not involved in the case in question can legally serve papers on a case. However, some Virginia counties have their own laws that further restrict who can be a process server. For instance, in Norfolk and Virginia Beach, only a sheriff, high constable or treasurer can serve property levies. Your county courthouse can advise you on their requirements.
Explore your employment options. The court, civil attorneys and private investigators all have a demand for process servers and may work with freelancers. There are also process serving companies that handle private clients and may also hold contracts with the court or law firms in your area. The clerk of court may be willing to offer you some advice about the normal practice in your area. The Commonwealth of Virginia Association for Professional Process Servers can also be a good source of information for finding jobs and setting fees in your area.
Consider taking classes. Although you are not required to have a license as a process server in Virginia, taking some criminal justice classes to learn the legal system may allow you to charge more for your services.
Lily Welsh is a freelance writer from North Carolina, though she has spent much of her adult life living abroad. She is the About.com Guide to Music Careers, and her work appears frequently in other Web-based and print publications. Welsh has worked in the music industry for 15 years and counting and holds B.A.s in international studies and economics.