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How to Become a Process Server in Illinois

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Process servers hand-deliver court documents like subpoenas, complaints and summons to the individual named on the document, thus notifying them of impending litigation in a court of law. In the State of Illinois, there is no licensing law required to serve process. The courts may assign private detectives, sheriffs, coroners and private citizens who are eighteen years of age or older.

Present your private detective license to the court for appointment to serve process. Private investigators may process serve in all Illinois counties. However, in Cook County, the courts usually assign a private detective agency to serve process instead of an individual detective.

Present your identification and complete an application for appointment if you are a private citizen and over 18 years of age. Forms for appointment are available at the High Court of the county where you reside. You will undergo a criminal background check and get fingerprinted for security purposes.

Endorse a check to pay fees for your fingerprinting and background check. You may also incur a fee for required process server training. However, this may be county and court specific.


A registered private detective may serve process without special appointment in counties with a population less than 1,000,000. In addition, sheriffs have authority to hire civilians to serve process in counties with populations less than 1,000,000.