Process Server Certification

Frequently Asked Questions 

Certification & Renewal

  1. The Application for Certification is available on the Forms page of our website. Please download the application and follow the instructions carefully. Alternatively, you can apply online. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page

    Under section 3.2 (c) of the JBCC Rules, you must apply for renewal via our online licensing and certification system. The online system will only accept credit card payments. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page. You cannot do part of the renewal process online and part of it by mail, email, or fax.

    The Commission will not process incomplete applications. 

  2. Please refer to the Initial Certification page of our website for information on what paperwork and documentation to submit when applying to initially become a process server.

    Please refer to the Renewals page of our website for information on what paperwork and documentation to submit when applying to renew an existing, or expired, certification.

     

  3. You must contact an approved course provider directly to find out about specific class offerings. You may check the list on the Initial Certification page of our website for courses approved by the Commission.

  4. No. The course must be taken prior to applying with the Commission, and it must have been taken within the prior year.

  5. Barring any insufficiencies, applications are generally processed within 30 business days.

    Once your paperwork is processed, an automated email will be sent to the address on file. You can also track your status and confirm receipt via our online system. We strongly recommend that you check your email  (including your spam folder) and/or the online system, prior to reporting to work to ensure you are certified or renewed to provide service. Providing services without a valid certification is a violation of the rules and may result in disciplinary actions.

  6. Applications are processed in the order received. Processing of applications may be delayed due to applications are incomplete, or review of criminal history background checks, etc. 

  7. No. We issue certification cards to certified process servers upon initial certification; and upon renewal of certification.

    Anyone can confirm the status of a certified process server by checking the online licensing system on the homepage of our website. 

  8. Under section 3.2 of the JBCC Rules, it is due on or before the  certification expiration date. Do not wait until the day before your certification expires to submit your renewal application. We strongly recommend submitting at least 45 days before expiration to allow ample time for processing and to remedy any (potential) insufficiencies prior to your expiration date. 
    It is your responsibility to ensure, prior to serving any process under statewide certification, that your statewide certification remains in effect. 

  9. Process servers whose certification was active as of September 1, 2014 do not need to complete continuing education (CE) for their first renewal under the JBCC. If your certification expires between September 1, 2014 and August 31, 2017, a renewal during that timeframe is your first renewal period. You do not need CE until your second renewal period; that is, on or after September 1, 2017. Remember: this applies only if your certification was active as of September 1, 2014.

    Here are some examples:

    • A process server who was originally certified in June 2008, has remained certified, and whose current certification will expire on 6/30/2017.
      Continuing education not required when renewing for the 7/1/2017 through 6/30/20 period (first renewal under JBCC) because the process server was certified as of September 1, 2014. Continuing education is required for all subsequent renewals.
    • A process server who was originally certified in November 2014 and whose current certification will expire on 11/30/2017. Continuing education is required when renewing for the 12/1/2017 through 11/30/2020 period (the first renewal period) because the process server was NOT certified as of September 1, 2014.
    • A process server who was originally certified in March 2011, whose certification expired on 3/31/2014, and who applies for late renewal in October 2016. Continuing education is required in order to late renew (first renewal under JBCC) because the process server was NOT certified as of September 1, 2014.
    • A process server who expired on or after 09/01/14 that is late renewing and it is their first renewal under the JBCC. Continuing education is not required for the first renewal under the JBCC, but will be required for all subsequent renewals.

Criminal History

  1. To complete the criminal history background check you must be fingerprinted by the designated vendor for the State of Texas. Staff will email the required form needed to schedule their fingerprinting appointment to applicants who have not yet been fingerprinted for the JBCC, after we’ve received their applications.. Please be sure to follow the step-by-step instructions on the form to help ensure you complete the fingerprinting process successfully. 
    For a list of locations and hours of operation, please visit the vendor's website (located on the Texas Fingerprint Service Code Form). You must schedule an appointment by visiting their website or calling using the contact information indicated on the form. All fees are paid to the vendor at the time your fingerprints are taken. Do not submit any fees to the JBCC with your application packet.

  2. If there is an incident in your past that you are concerned may cause a problem with your becoming a Certified Process Server, and you are enrolled or planning to enroll in a civil process orientation, you may first request a criminal history evaluation letter from the JBCC. Under section 3.5 of the JBCC Rules, you may request a criminal history evaluation letter by a written request in which you state the basis for your potential ineligibility. The Commission will notify you in writing of its determination. If you wish to take the civil process orientation course before a determination has been made you may do so, with the understanding that a certification will not be issued until the Commission makes a determination on your eligibility status. Also, if you take the course and the Commission then determines you are not eligible, you will not receive a refund of the application fee.

  3. Under section 3.5 (a) of the JBCC Rules, an initial or renewal application may be denied, and a regulated person may be disciplined, if the person's criminal history or other information indicates that the person lacks the honesty, trustworthiness, or integrity to hold the certification, registration, or license.

  4. Under Rule 3.1 (b) of the JBCC Rules, an applicant must provide the Commission with his or her Texas and national criminal history records by fingerprint search according to directions published on the Commission's website. The criminal history searches cannot be conducted until after an application is submitted.

Continuing Education

  1. Effective 04/12/2018, to renew a certification, a process server must have completed 8 hours of approved continuing education. Please refer to sections 4.0 and 8.5 of the JBCC Rules for additional information on continuing education requirements.

  2. First, check the list of programs that have been approved by the Commission via the online certification and licensing system located on our home page. It is not a complete list of all programs in the State of Texas. Rather, it is just a list of courses submitted to us and approved. 

    If a course you want to take is not on the list, you must submit an application for course approval to the Commission. Your application will be reviewed to determine if, based on the rules, it would be approved and, if so, for how many hours. You can apply for course approval through the online certification and licensing system on our home page or by mail. To apply by mail, forms are located on the Forms page of our web site.

  3. No. Attendees can submit their applications prior to or after the program.

  4. Turnaround times can run up to 30 days from receipt of a complete application.

  5. No, you do not. You would just submit one application for the entire conference. So, on the course approval form, in the field for the program name, you’d enter the name of the actual conference. For example, Jane Doe’s 2016 Annual Process Server Conference.

  6. Section 4.3(c) of the JBCC Rules establishes the requirements for applying for course approval. The course approval form provides additional information on what to submit. We recommend referring to those items for details, however, essentially, you would submit the course approval form, and copies of documentation (e.g., course outline or agenda or brochure) that provides descriptions and the start/end times of each session of the program, and the speaker bios. You can generally obtain the documentation from the course provider.

  7. Sections 4.0 and 8.5 of the JBCC Rules establishes the requirements for continuing education. Please refer to those sections for this information.

Miscellaneous

  1. Under Rule 103 of the Texas Rules of Civil Procedure, process may be served by any person "authorized by law or by written order of the court who is not less than eighteen years of age." Thus, a trial court may elect to continue its current practice of authorizing service of process. Check with your local court if you are uncertain.

  2. Yes, a certified process server may serve process by certified mail, see Rules 103 and 106. Also, upon request, the clerk of court must effect service by certified mail.

  3. You must notify us in writing within 30 days of the change.  You can apply by mail or via our online licensing and certification system. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page. To apply by mail submit the Change of Name and/or Address Form located on the Forms page of our website.

     

     

  4. The Commission is a licensing and disciplinary body, not an advisory body. Therefore, staff and individual members cannot give advice or legal opinions, perform legal research, or respond to general procedural inquiries from licensees, and the public. Because such matters are not in the scope of the Commission's authority and statutory responsibilities, we are not able to provide such assistance. You may be able to contact your educational course provider if they have offered you that service. Links to statutes are provided for your personal reference on the Rules page of our website.

  5. The complaint form and procedures for complaints against a certified process server are available on the Complaints page of the JBCC website.

    The Commission cannot decide whether a defendant or witness was or was not validly served with process in any case filed in court; you must file the appropriate documents with the relevant court if you wish to respond to or to challenge any action in a particular court case. If you believe a certified process server has committed a criminal act, please contact your local law enforcement agency.

  6. No. Payment issues are not considered for disciplinary action by the Commission. State law does not authorize the Commission to seek or obtain restitution on your behalf. You should always consult with an attorney to determine if you have any rights or remedies under Texas law.

  7. You must be certified by the JBCC or a local court order if you were hired to serve process outside of your official capacity. You also must not wear your uniform when serving process as a certified process server if the process you are serving was issued to you in any capacity other than your official capacity.

  8. Local Government Code 86.021(d) addresses process served by a constable, both on and off-duty

  9. You can search for licensees via our online certification and licensing system. For information on our system, please refer to the home page our website in the section titled “New Online Certification and Licensing System”. Please refer to the “Guide to Using the Online System” for step-by-step instructions on how to search for licensees. 

  10. You can apply for a name change by mail or via our online licensing and certification system. To apply online, please go to the online certification and licensing system on our home page. To apply by mail submit the Change of Name and/or Address Form located on the Forms page of our website. Additionally supporting documentation will be required (e.g., copy of marriage certificate, divorce decree, or court order).

  11. You can track your status and confirm receipt using the online certification and licensing system on our home page, or by submitting items using a method that will allow for confirmation on your end.