Posted November 2, 2012 in Registration
Currently, NC does not require process servers within the state to be licensed or registered. Only 7 states, (Alaska, Arizona, California, Illinois, Montana, Nevada and Oklahoma) require a license to serve process. Many more states require their servers to be registered with the state, but not necessarily be licensed.
North Carolina does not require either and states in Rule 4 “In this State, such proper person shall be the sheriff of the county where service is to be made or some other person duly authorized by law to serve summons. Outside this State, such proper person shall be anyone who is not a party and is not less than 21 years of age or anyone duly authorized to serve summons by the law of the place where service is to be made.”
Attorneys, other servers, and courts outside of NC often ask about registration numbers when sending documents to be served in NC. This raises many issues and one goal of our association is move towards the registration of anyone who serves process. The registration is beneficial in ways to help protect the server, the client, and the entity being served. It will raise the standards for our profession and keep servers accountable for their actions and practices.
Certain states require that process servers be authorized to serve within that state. The only answer from a NC server should be “No, I am not authorized”. The client will have to take the appropriate steps in order to ensure a good serve. This means either have the server appointed in the originating state or send the documents to the Sheriff’s department first.
When a NC server is asked for a registration number, either when appointed to serve or when completing an affidavit, “NA in NC” seems to the most used response. This suffices with many courts and attorneys, but occasionally it does raise a a few eyebrows. Hopefully with the strong presence and progress of our association, legislation will be changed and NC will have registered process servers.