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License Application Checklist

PROCESS SERVER INDIVIDUAL (110)

DCA Licensing Center
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004
For more information, call 311 (or 212-NEW-YORK outside of New York City). 


LICENSE DESCRIPTION:
You must have a Process Server Individual license if you serve personally or by substituted service five (5) or more processes in any one-year period.

You do not need a Process Server Individual license if:

  • You are an attorney admitted to practice in New York State.
  • You are an employee of a city, state, or federal department or agency acting within the scope of your employment.   

This description is only a general explanation of which individuals need to have a Process Server Individual 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.  

When You File Your DCA License Application:
Below are requirements when filing your license application:

  • Basic Individual 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 Individual License Application 

  • Photo Identification (ID) of License Applicant.
    Acceptable forms of ID include:
    • driver’s license or a non-driver’s license identification issued by a State Department of Motor Vehicles
    • license or permit issued by a government agency
    • passport
    • alien card/green card
    • a City, State, or Federal employee ID card 
       
  • Process Server Individual Background Information Form (download)
    All applicants must complete the Process Server Individual Background Information Form.

  • Current color passport-size photograph of License Applicant
    License Applicants can be photographed in the DCA Licensing Center at no cost. 

    Please note that you can upload an image file if you submit your license application online. 
     
  • Process Server Individual Bond Requirement
    Process server individuals must post a surety bond for the duration of the license period. Submit ONE of the following as proof of bond requirement:
    • Copy of $10,000 Surety Bond, properly signed
      The copy of the bond must name the Department of Consumer Affairs as the Certificate Holder. Your name and 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. 
         
      Note: You must notify DCA if your bond is cancelled, expired, or was terminated for any reason. Notification must be in writing and submitted in person OR by mail to:

      Attn: Licensing Center
      New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
      42 Broadway, 5th Floor
      New York, NY 10004

      OR
       
    • Process Server Individual Trust Fund Enrollment Form (download) AND Proof of Bond Denials
      If you are unable to obtain a bond, you must pay into a Trust Fund established by DCA. Submit the following documents:
      • Completed Process Server Individual Trust Fund Enrollment Form. The fee for joining the Trust Fund is $1,000, payable by check or money order to the Department of Consumer Affairs. Please note that you will be required to pay the Trust Fund and license fees as one total fee payment if you submit your license application online. 
      • Copies of applications submitted to TWO different surety bond companies
      • ORIGINAL denial letters from the two sureties

    OR  

    • Process Server Individual Employee Bond Exemption (download)
      If you serve process exclusively as an employee of a process serving agency:

Note: You must notify DCA in writing when you no longer serve process exclusively as an employee of a process serving agency. You must also provide proof of Process Server Individual Bond Requirement. Notification and proof must be submitted in person OR by mail to:

Attn: Licensing Center
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004 

  • Roster of Process Serving Agencies (download)
    Applicants must complete the roster. 

Note: You must notify DCA within five (5) days of any changes to the Roster of Process Serving Agencies. Notification must be in writing and submitted in person OR by mail to:

Attn: Licensing Center
New York City Department of Consumer Affairs
42 Broadway, 5th Floor
New York, NY 10004 

  • Process Server Individual Exam and Exam Fee
    Process Server Individual applicants must take the Process Server Individual exam. The exam consists of 30 multiple choice questions. You must answer a minimum of 21 questions correctly to pass. The exam will be given between 9:00 a.m. and 3:00 p.m. Monday through Friday at the DCA Licensing Center. The fee is $75. The exam fee is separate from the license fee and is non-refundable. If you fail the exam two times, you must reapply for the license and pay the license and exam fees again.

    DCA prepared Educational Materials for Process Servers that include relevant City and State laws and rules you need to know to serve process properly. Materials are not a “study guide” exclusively for the exam. 

    An additional resource is the New York City Marshals HandBook of Regulations, in particular Chapter IV, Section 2-2 and Section 5. 

    Please review Frequently Asked Questions: Process Server Individual Exam
     
  • Electronic Device Certification (download)
     
  • Recordkeeping Certification (download)
      
  • Child Support Certification Form (download)
     
  • 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
    Process Server Individual applicants must be fingerprinted at the Department of Consumer Affairs (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. You must visit the DCA Licensing Center, located at 42 Broadway, 5th Floor, in lower Manhattan, and pay a $75 processing fee by check or money order, payable to NYC Department of Consumer Affairs. 

    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 Server Individual License   
License Term 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 $340
    From September 1 in an even year to February 28 in an odd year $255
    From March 1 in an odd year to August 31 in an odd year $170
    From September 1 in an odd year to February 28 in an even year $85
OR
*$425

 

 

 

 

 

 

 
 

*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: 

ONLINE SUBMISSION:

  1. Please review requirements for the license and gather all materials before clicking the button below.
  2. 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.
  3. After you submit the online application, follow the instructions on the confirmation page. DCA cannot process incomplete applications.
  4. Important: If you need to file another license application, return to the DCA Business Toolbox to read requirements and proceed to the online application.

IN-PERSON SUBMISSION:
You can file applications in person at the DCA Licensing Center, 42 Broadway, 5th floor, 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.

IMPORTANT INFORMATION

  • New York City Process Server’s Registry Ledger
    This is a bound book that you must maintain in accordance with the regulations of this license. See New York General Business Law § 89-cc and Title 6, Rules of the City of New York § 2-233 for requirements.
  • Electronic Records 
    You must maintain records in an electronic format that is resistant to tampering. You 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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