A process server is a person that delivers important legal documents to individuals for lawyers or other legal services. It is the job of the process server to deliver the documents while adhering to the laws of the state. If you are interested in becoming a New York process server, there are no educational or training requirements. In addition, with the exception of New York City, there are also no licensing or insurance requirements to be met.
New York State
Go to the New York page of the National Process Servers Association (NPSA), which can be found under Resources below. Familiarize yourself with the current New York Process Server Laws.
Seek employment with another process server or a known process server company. This will allow you to learn the business from someone familiar with serving in New York. Because there is no formal training required, you will be able to earn money while you are learning on the job.
Join a professional process server association such as the New York State Professional Process Server Association (NYSPPSA). They will assist you in gaining education and additional training. As a member in good standing you will be eligible to participate in seminars to gain the NYSPPSA certification. While there is no mandatory certification in New York for process servers, you will have the distinction of being a Certified Process Server and you will be listed in the Registry of Certified Process Servers which is maintained by the NYSPPSA.
New York City License
Apply for your license in New York City if you anticipate serving five or more processes in a year to Manhattan, Brooklyn, the Bronx, Staten Island, and Queens. Apply online or, if you prefer, download and complete the Basic Individual License Application from the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA). In addition, download and complete the Process Server (Individual) Background Information Form, the Child Support Certification Form, and the Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (see References below). Pay the licensing fee by major credit card, check or money order made payable to the NYC DCA. Take your payment and forms to:
DCA Licensing Center 42 Broadway, 5th Floor New York, NY 10004
Go to the Department of Consumer Affairs Licensing Center to be fingerprinted. If you have applied online this must be completed within five business days. Pay the processing fee with check or money order made payable to the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.
Bring a current color passport sized photo of yourself. When sending in your application online, upload a photo as instructed or bring it in with you at the time of fingerprinting. If you do not have a picture, the DCA Licensing Center will photograph you free of charge.
Obtain your New York City Process Servers Registry Ledger. This is a bound book that must be maintained per your license. The NYC DCA lists the following company as one of the book manufacturers for your consideration:
Fairmont Press, Inc. 121 Varick Street, 9th Floor New York, NY 10013
In April 2010, Proposed Bill 6-A was signed which added new requirements to the New York City licensing laws, one of which requires mandatory bonding. As of the date of this article, the necessary public hearing that must be held before the Bill can be enacted has not been documented by NYSPPSA as having occurred.
If you choose not to obtain a license you will be unable to serve more than 5 processes in New York City which will limit your earning potential.