How to Become a Process Server in California: The Civil Process Service Educational Course to Take

How to Become a Process Server in California

Civil process servers in the State of California must apply and be registered in the county they serve in. Registration is statewide, and you must have lived in the state for at least one year before you can apply.

Taking a civil process service educational course and other pieces of training that come with it is imperative for individuals who want to become a process server in California, and for registered parties who already serve process and want to enhance their skills and keep up to date with the latest practices and regulations.

Whether you seek an initial or renewal application, continuing education courses and progressing your process server certification is the best way to stay ahead in this dynamic and competitive profession.


Why Enroll in a Civil Process Service Educational Course?

Being certified is the best way to ensure your process server career and business will continue to flourish in California.

The state has designed and developed an educational process with busy professionals and aspiring process servers in mind. With such, you will have the freedom to apply online and complete the self-study at your own pace on your favorite device. You will receive a certificate of completion once you successfully complete the online courses.

All process server educational programs in the state are digitally verified and have been created to supplement your education and your career, regardless of your current certification.

Courses to Take to Become a Process Server

A civil process service educational course is a certification system provided for anyone who wants to become one of the best certified process servers. This orientation course certificate is for those planning to make a process server application and for process servers who want to advance their understanding of civil procedure on the go.

Primary Process Service Educational Course

This course will mainly cover how one can become a registered process server and what the registration process will be. Topics will usually include the following areas.

  • Where do I obtain my bond?
  • What are the requirements?
  • How do I obtain business?
  • Difference between being a process-serving firm owner and being an independent contractor.
  • Obtaining business as an independent contractor.
  • The laws pertaining to a process server.
  • How to serve the documents?
  • Preparing proofs of service and proper use.
  • Bank levies, earnings withholding orders, and how to serve.
  • Requirements for the “sheriff’s returns”.
  • Dealing with difficult serves.
  • The proper preparation of the summons and proof of service for most of the “typical” parties that a registered process server will encounter.
  • Proper service of unlawful detainers including tenants.
  • Proper service of small claims orders to defendants.
  • Order of examination and possible criminal penalties to the process server if the document is not served properly.

Bank Levies and Earnings Withholding Orders Training Course

This training is for registered process servers that want to provide bank levies and attachment order services to their clients.

As several sheriff departments in California no longer provide service for these documents, clients must utilize a certified process server to get the job done. Remember—if you are in one of these counties that do not serve these documents, then this will be a great opportunity for your business!

The bank levies and earnings withholding orders training course typically covers the following topics.

  • Documents that process servers require from their clients.
  • Documents that process servers must prepare and serve.
  • Opening a civil file with the county sheriff.
  • What fees the sheriff will charge?
  • Serve documents after the process server has acquired a civil number from the sheriff.
  • Preparing proofs of service and other forms needed.
  • Required time when filing for proof of service with the sheriff’s department.

Skip Tracing Training Course

This course is typically limited to registered process servers and/or licensed private investigators. Interested participants who have not completed the primary process server course are strongly encouraged to gain a foundational understanding of the civil process and process service first. Once your certificate is issued, you will be prepared for continuing education.

The skip tracing course will generally cover the following topics.

  • Use of data sources (public and non-public).
  • Laws around the using of GPS tracking devices.
  • Public safety.
  • Fair Debt Collection Practices Act.
  • Fair Credit Reporting Act.
  • 1978 Right to Financial Privacy Act.
  • Drivers’ Privacy Protection Act (DPPA).
  • Gramm-Leach-Bliley Act (GLBA).
  • California Private Investigators Act.
  • The use of VOIP devices.

Who Provides Process Server Training Courses in California?

How to Become a Process Server in California

Civil process service training courses are usually provided by third-party organizations, such as the National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS) and other authorized paralegal education institutions.

It is important to research which provider best suits your needs. This way, you can proceed with your career with updated knowledge in serving processes.

Invest some time and effort into researching civil process service educational courses and other resources available to help you accomplish your goals. With the right training and understanding, you will be well on your way toward becoming a successful process server.


Registering with the NAPPS

After you have completed the required civil process service educational courses, the next step is to register with NAPPS, which provides a nationwide certification program that verifies your qualifications as a civil process server.

The certification exam covers civil process service topics that include the following.

  • Issuance, return, and execution of civil processes
  • Court rules
  • Civil procedure codes
  • Special services (including levies)
  • Skip tracing and investigative techniques
  • Ethical considerations related to civil process service
  • Customer relations practices

Registering with the NAPPS not only confirms your credentials but also helps potential clients find you more easily. Being affiliated with the organization can increase your business opportunities and demonstrate your commitment to professional standards and civil process service practices.


Where to Next?

As state laws develop and process server regulations and practices evolve, continuing education and marketing your services are two of the critical factors that keep process servers thriving in a competitive industry. Once you have completed your process server application and are a registered process server in the State of California, you need to consider how you will advance your career.

The best way to do this is by enrolling in a civil process service educational course so your industry knowledge and best practices stay fresh and up to date.

You should also ensure that potential clients in your area are aware of your services by using law firm search engine optimization. This strategy supplies process servers with a constant and reliable stream of new customers to keep your business thriving as you enhance your education and competency.



Becoming a process server requires rigorous training and dedication to civil process service in California. It is essential that a civil process service educational course is taken for certification, and the NAPPS provides a standard by which you can demonstrate your competencies and qualifications.

Continuing education, marketing your services effectively, and staying up-to-date on civil process service laws will help you succeed as a qualified civil process server in California.

For more information on business and law, please check out the other articles on our site!