Notary Bulletin

Grow Your Business: Serving Court Documents

Earn Extra Income  As a Process Server Process Serving can be a great way to earn extra income without sacrificing the flexibility and convenience of your current mobile Notary work schedule. Whether you’ve seen the role played out on a legal crime drama, or perhaps you’ve been served papers yourself as part of a legal case, process servers fill a valuable role in serving legal documents to individuals. While licensing standards and fees vary from state to state, process serving can be a great way for Notaries to add an extra service for their clients and generate extra income.

Becoming a Process Server

The laws regulating process servers vary greatly from state to state, so it’s pertinent to know and follow all state laws. Start by researching whether your state requires specific licensing. The Nationwide Process Servers Association (NPSA) provides information on how to become a process server, including a drop-down menu allowing you to access your state’s laws and qualifications. Several jurisdictions require fees in order to become a server, as well as other costs such as those incurred for a background check, surety bond, or testing and licensing costs, so be aware that an upfront investment may be necessary to embark on this career opportunity.

Finding Work as a Process Server

“The best way to find work [as a process server], is to network,” says Virginia Notary and Process Server Asiyah Ali. “Utilize LinkedIn and other networking sites to connect with office managers, paralegals, and others that would schedule process servers.”

You can start building a client base by reaching out to local businesses, such as legal firms. State or nationwide associations, which may require annual fees, often provide resources, training, networking opportunities, and valuable directory listings that could provide you with work. Here are a few options:

  • Nationwide Process Servers Association (NPSA): Offers nationwide exposure through their directory, and also provides you with a webpage link off of their website that links to your business website.
  • National Association of Professional Process Servers (NAPPS): Requirements include $200 annual dues (incl. $25 application fee), and a minimum of one-year professional experience. The website provides resources, including information on their education seminars and Annual Conference.
  • State Associations: Google your state and keywords “Process Server Association” to find a local organization to join.

Ali suggests offering competitive rates for bulk business as a way to bring in and retain new clients. As your business base grows, solicit positive recommendations and testimonials from satisfied customers, for use in gaining future clients.

Why Process Serving Can Be a Great Option for Notaries

According to the NPSA, process serving is a rewarding career for honest, hardworking and reliable individuals — all of which are qualities inherent to the notarial role.

Self-motived people who are able to work unusual (non-9-to-5) hours and who have good “people” skills are generally a good fit for this role, as it is important to remain calm and professional when serving, as you may experience challenging situations with individuals you are serving. Many Notaries, particularly NSAs or small business owners, are able to add process serving to their list of current client services, offering additional value and convenience for their customers.

“I have several clients for whom I notarize and serve process,” shared Notary Rebecca Kelley in a recent NNA Facebook discussion. Kelley is a private process server for the Superior Court of Arizona. “I love the freedom and self-employment opportunities it allows me.”

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Quiz: The Many Types Of Notarial Acts

Notaries perform many different duties for the public — and it’s easy to lose track of the different acts and what states they’re authorized in. Test your familiarity with common — and uncommon — notarial acts.

(A link to the correct answers is provided at the end of the quiz.)

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