Process Server Certification

Frequently Asked Questions 

Certification & Renewal

  1. Applications are available on the Forms page of our website. Please download the application and the instruction sheet and checklist. Follow the instructions carefully. Your application will be rejected if it is not completed properly. The Commission will ONLY accept the most current version found on its website.

  2. In addition to your application, you must submit an original certificate of completion from the director of a Commission-approved civil process course. To avoid delay in processing your application, submit all required information in one complete packet.

  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.

    Status checks are not conducted unless deemed necessary by staff, for example, if it has been longer than 30 business days since you submitted your application. Requests for status checks must be submitted in writing via email, mail, or fax.

  6. Applications are processed in the order received. Approval of applications may be delayed when applications are incomplete. 

  7. Once your paperwork has been reviewed and processed, you will either receive notification indicating any corrections that need to be made or your name will be posted to the list of Certified Process Servers on the Home page of our website. We strongly recommend that you refer to the list on the website to check your status prior to contacting the Commission. Requests for status checks must be submitted in writing via email, mail, or fax.

  8. No, but we will issue certification cards to certified process servers upon initial certification; and renewal of certification. Additionally, anyone wishing to confirm your status as a certified process server may do so by checking the list of certified servers on the homepage of our website. 

  9. If you wish to avoid any lapse in certification during the renewal process, you should submit a completed application no later than 45 days before the expiration date. However, this provision does not guarantee that a timely filed renewal application will be approved prior to expiration of an existing certification, and it is your responsibility to ensure, prior to serving any process under statewide certification, that your statewide certification remains in effect. Do not wait until the day before your certification expires to submit your renewal application.

  10. 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. The required Texas Fingerprint Service Code Form you will need to complete is located on the Forms page of our website. 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. If your criminal history reflects legal proceedings for which a final disposition is not clearly shown, you bear the burden of establishing that you have not been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. The Commission may deny certification if you have been convicted of a felony or of a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude. If your criminal history reflects that you were charged with a felony or a misdemeanor involving moral turpitude and the charges resulted in an outcome other than acquittal or conviction (such as pretrial diversion, probation, deferred adjudication, community supervision, or similar result), the Commission may consider such history in determining whether your application should be granted.

  4. Under Rule 3.1 (c) (certification applications) and 8.3 (c) (renewal applications) of the JBCC Rules, you must fingerprinted no earlier than 90 days before you submit your application. 

Continuing Education

  1. You must obtain 12 hours over your 3-year certification period.

  2. First, check the Continuing Education page of our website, which has a link to Approved Continuing Education Seminars. This a current list of programs that have been approved by the Commission. 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 may obtain the CE approval form from the Continuing Education section of 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.


  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. All requests to update contact information must be submitted in writing using the contact information update form located on the Forms page of our website or by email to Please do not send the same request multiple times (i.e. via fax and email). The list of Certified Process Servers is only updated one time per month.

  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. No. Section 86.021(d), Local Government Code, provides that all civil process served by a constable at any time or place is presumed to be served in the constable's official capacity if under the law, the constable may serve that process in the constable's official capacity. The statute further provides that a constable and the constable's deputies may not, under any circumstance, retain a fee paid for serving private civil process in the constable's official capacity other than the constable's regular salary or compensation. The statute also requires that any fee paid to a constable or the constable's deputies for serving civil process in the constable's official capacity must be deposited with the county treasurer of the constable's county.