FLORIDA PROCESS SERVER RULES AND REQUIREMENTS

Under Florida law, only sheriffs and certified process servers can serve civil process. Fla. Stat. § 48.021; Fla. Stat. § 48.27. Requirements for certification vary by county and judicial circuits, but many judicial circuits have become involved in oversight of process servers. For example, the second and fifth judicial circuits have each adopted rules regarding certification and have Certified Civil Process Server Review Boards. (See, e.g., Fifth Circuit appended court order.) The circuits have also imposed education requirements. New applicants for certification must attend a two- to three-hour seminar and take a 45-question, multiple choice exam. The exam is given once a year. Upon renewal of their certification on their second year, process servers must take again the seminar and exam.1 

Applicable Provisions: 

Florida Statute § 48.021 – process; by whom served
Florida Statute § 48.27 – certified process servers
Florida Statute § 48.29 – certification of process servers
Florida Statute § 48.31 – removal of certified process servers; false return of service Florida Rule of Civil Procedure 1.070 – process 

Florida Second Judicial Circuit AO 2008-21 (2008) 

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