PROCESS SERVING AGENCY (109)
DCA Licensing Center
New York, NY 10004
For more information, call 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside of New York City).
A person or business must have a Process Serving Agency license if the person or business assigns, distributes, or delivers process to another for actual service.
This description is only a general explanation of which businesses need to have a Process Serving Agency license.
Note: New York City businesses must comply with all relevant federal, state, and City laws and rules. All laws and rules of the City of New York, including the New York City Consumer Protection Law and Rules, are accessible using the Public Access Portal.
Electronic Devices Rule
As of November 12, 2011, process servers must carry and operate an electronic device that records Global Positioning System (GPS) location while serving process. Key regulations include:
- The device must make an electronic record of the date, time, and location of where process is served or attempted to be served using GPS or Assisted-Global Positioning (A-GPS) technology.
- If a GPS signal is unavailable, the device must use triangulated cellular tower signals to establish the date and time when the record is made.
- The device must transmit a completed record automatically to an independent third party contractor.
- The contractor must store electronic records for seven years without allowing access for the process server to delete or alter the original records. The contractor must also make the electronic records available to DCA upon request.
Download a list of software companies. The companies have represented that they provide software and services that comply with the Rules.
For convenience, a copy of the Electronic Devices Rule is included in the Educational Materials for Process Servers. The handout also includes:
- New York City Laws and Rules regarding Process Servers
- New York General Business Law
- New York Civil Practice Law and Rules
- New York Domestic Relations Law
- New York Real Property Actions and Proceedings Law
- New York Business Corporation Law
Please note that businesses are responsible for knowing and complying with the most current laws, including any City Council amendments. The Department of Consumer Affairs (DCA) is not responsible for errors or omissions in the packet. The information is not legal advice. You can only obtain legal advice from a lawyer.
Before You File Your DCA License Application:
You must obtain the following required documents before filing your application. Although DCA does not require submission of these documents in order to process your application in person or online, DCA reserves the right to request and examine the documents under section 20.104 of the New York City Administrative Code.
- Applicable Business Certificates based on your Business's Legal Structure
- Sole Proprietorships operating under a name other than your own must file a Business/Assumed Name Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
- Sole Proprietorships doing business under your own name—and not under a trade or Doing-Business-As (DBA) name—do not need a Business Certificate.
- General/Business Partnerships must file your Partnership Certificate with the clerk of the county in which your business is conducted.
- Corporations, Limited Partnerships, Limited Liability Companies, or Limited Liability Partnerships must register and remain active with the New York State Department of State. Active status will be verified by DCA prior to license issuance. You can confirm the status of your business entity at NYS Web site. If applicable, you must also file an Assumed Name Certificate for your business.
- Businesses incorporated out of state must obtain a Certificate of Doing Business in Good Standing from your home state’s Secretary of State and file this with an application for Authority to Conduct Business in New York with the New York State Secretary of State.
When You File Your DCA License Application:
Below are requirements when filing your license application:
- Basic License Application
Online submission: After reviewing the application requirements, please click the Apply Online link at the bottom of the Web page to submit your application.
In-person submission: Download the Basic License Application Form.
- Process Serving Agency Background Information Form (download)
All applicants must complete the Process Serving Agency Background Information Form.
- Roster of Process Servers (download)
All applicants must submit a list of process server individuals who will serve process on behalf of the process serving agency.
- Copy of your $100,000 Surety Bond, properly signed
The copy of the bond must name the Department of Consumer Affairs as the Certificate Holder. Your corporate name, Doing-Business-As (DBA) name (if any), and premises address must be exactly the same on all documents. You must also submit a copy of the bond receipt showing that the bond has been paid in full and does not expire before the end of the licensing period. See License Fee section for expiration date. Download a Surety Bond model template
Download a list of bonding companies (in PDF)
The companies listed have provided bonds for licensees, or have communicated to the Department of Consumer Affairs an interest in doing so. The list must not be considered a recommendation of any company, or a complete listing. All applicants are advised to investigate and compare these and other bonding companies. Some companies may provide only certain types of bonds. Companies are listed in alphabetical order.
- Process Serving Agency Compliance Plan Affirmation (download)
- Electronic Device Certification (download)
Agencies must submit this form only if they have entered into a contract with an independent third party to provide to process server individuals the services required by Section 2-233b of Title 6 of the Rules of the City of New York.
- Child Support Certification Form (download)
If your business is a SOLE PROPRIETORSHIP or GENERAL or LIMITED PARTNERSHIP, the proprietor or each individual general partner must submit a Child Support Certification Form.
- Granting Authority to Act Affirmation (download)
If this application will be filed by someone other than the license applicant, the license applicant must submit a Granting Authority to Act Affirmation.
- Fingerprints and Processing Fee
All sole proprietors, general partners, directors, corporate officers, and all shareholders owning 10% or more of the business must be fingerprinted at the DCA Licensing Center. EXCEPTIONS: Any person who currently has fingerprints on file with DCA does not need to be fingerprinted. DCA has fingerprints on file for anyone who provided fingerprints within the last three years and for those who provided fingerprints for an active DCA license. Each person who must be fingerprinted must visit the DCA Licensing Center with photo identification (ID) and pay a $75 processing fee by check or money order, payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs.
Acceptable forms of ID include:
- driver’s license or non-driver’s license identification issued by a State Department of Motor Vehicles
- license or permit issued by a government agency
- alien card/green card
- a City, State, or Federal employee ID card
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.
- License Fee
Must be paid by credit card, money order, or check. Cards accepted at the DCA Licensing Center include Visa, MasterCard, American Express, and Discover Card. Credit card payments are subject to a 2.49% convenience fee. Checks or money orders must be payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. The chart below lists the amount due depending upon when your license application is filed. Note: An odd year is any year ending in an odd digit; for example, 2013, 2015, etc. An even year is any year ending in an even digit; for example, 2014, 2016, etc.
Please note that a 2.49% convenience fee applies if you submit your license application online. A major credit card is required to submit applications online.
|Process Serving Agency License
||License Expiration Date
||If You File Your Application Between These Dates:
||Your License Fee is:
| 2 years
||February 28 in an even year
||From March 1 in an even year to August 31 in an even year
||From September 1 in an even year to February 28 in an odd year
||From March 1 in an odd year to August 31 in an odd year
||From September 1 in an odd year to February 28 in an even year
*If you are applying for the license within three to six months prior to the end of the license period, you can pay the prorated fee for the license period about to end plus the fee for the new license period. If you pay both fees, you will not need to renew the license until the end of the next license period.
APPLICATION FILING PROCESS:
- Please review requirements for the license and gather all materials before clicking the button below.
- If you haven’t registered an account with the City of New York, you will need to register an account before you can proceed to the online application.
- After you submit the online application, follow the instructions on the confirmation page. DCA cannot process incomplete applications.
- Important: If you need to file another license application, return to the DCA Business Toolbox to read requirements and proceed to the online application.
You can file applications in person at the DCA Licensing Center, 42 Broadway, in Manhattan between 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m. on Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, and on Wednesday from 8:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
- Roster of Process Servers
- Process serving agencies must submit an updated Roster of Process Servers to DCA within five (5) days of assigning service to new process server individuals.
- If a process server ceases to serve process exclusively for the agency as an employee, the agency must notify DCA within five (5) days of the change in writing. The notification must include the process server’s name, address, and DCA license number.
- Agencies that do not provide updated information are subject to fines or other sanctions.
- Monthly Compliance Report
DCA created a template that process serving agencies may use to prepare the monthly written report required by law. See Title 6, Rules of the City of New York §2-234a (b).
- Electronic Records.
Your agency must maintain records in an electronic format that is resistant to tampering. Your agency must maintain records by:
- Electronic Devices
Download a list of software companies that sell electronic devices with GPS. The companies have represented that they provide software and services that comply with the Rules. The list must not be considered a recommendation of any company, or a complete listing. All applicants are advised to investigate and compare these and other companies. Companies are listed in alphabetical order.
- Traverse Reports
Under New York City law, licensed process servers and process serving agencies must report a scheduled traverse hearing (hearing contesting service) to DCA within 10 days of receiving oral or written notice. See Title 6, Rules of the City of New York § 2-236(c). Download the Traverse Report Form for Process Servers/Agencies. You can use this form to report the hearing.
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