2012 Changes to New York Process Server Laws

By: Rus @ Writ Legal / July 24 2012

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Laws surrounding the process server industry are always changing. If you’re a part of the industry, you absolutely must keep up with these changes, or you may find that you’re no longer in compliance with your states’ individual process server laws. At Writ Legal, we do our best to keep our readers informed of these changes as they occur. This post details the changes to the process server laws in New York City – always a busy and tricky area for process servers!

License Renewal

New York City set the date of February 29th, 2012 for all current process servers to renew their licenses. If they didn’t do so, they’ll technically be operating illegally if the new process server licensing guidelines are not followed. The primary reason why they set this date was so they can apply a new set of (stricter) guidelines for obtaining a process server license in New York City.

Passing the Test

All current NYC process servers and those who are applying in the future have to pass a written test. The questions are aimed at ensuring that each process server has a thorough understanding of process serving laws in NYC and any other laws related to process serving.

Insurance/Bond Requirement

Insurance is a good idea for any business, because hey, you never know! Now, in New York City, insurance is now a requirement for individual process servers and process serving agencies. The surety bond that’s required must be for a minimum of $10,000 and they’ll ask for a copy of it when you apply for or renew your license.

GPS & Electronic Reporting

As of November 12, 2011, all licensed process servers in New York City are now required to carry a GPS device which reports all process serving activity to a 3rd party system. They must electronically track all attempts and successful serves. It’s always nice to have an organized, electronic record of your work, but most individual process servers will have to fork over a monthly fee to use these 3rd party systems.

Background Checks & Fingerprinting

The personal information that NYC wants on process servers is getting, well, more personal. All applicants must now complete a form with personal information so that the NYC Department of Consumer Affairs can run a background check. If you need access to the form, or simply want to check it out, you can view/download the PDF here: http://www.nyc.gov/html/dca/downloads/pdf/process_server_background_information_sheet.pdf

They’re also looking to get your fingerprints – at the cost of $75 out of your own pocket for processing. Your fingerprints will be checked against their databases to see if you have any criminal records. The NYC Department of Consumer Affairs website stats the following regarding fingerprinting:

“Your fingerprints will be checked for any criminal record that you may have. Note that a conviction will not necessarily prevent you from being granted a license. However, failure to reveal a conviction can constitute grounds for the denial of your application.”

What does this mean for the process serving industry in New York City? Prices are going up! With all the added expenses and time costs for individual process servers and agencies, consumers can expect to pay a higher price for their service.