Disclaimer: Due to the law’s rapidly changing nature, there will be times when the material on this site will not be current. It is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended as legal advice. It should not be considered comprehensive or exhaustive and is not a substitute for advice from your attorney. We make no express or implied warranty as to the material’s accuracy, reliability, completeness, timeliness, or appropriateness for a particular purpose, including applicability to your jurisdiction or circumstances. We assume no liability whatsoever for any direct, indirect, or consequential damages resulting from your reliance on this material; you do so at your own risk. Seek the advice of an attorney. Comments, corrections, or suggestions should be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The information listed below may have been amended. For updated process serving legislation, please visit the Nevada Courts, Judiciary and Laws website.
Nevada Process Server Licensing Requirements
It is required that all process servers are licensed and 21, or over, two-years experience as a process server and insurance against liability to third persons with limits of no less than $200,000. No bonding is required. However, applicants must deposit $750 upon submitting their application to pay for a background investigation; the maximum an applicant can be charged for a background check is $1500. Applicants must also pass a written application and may be required to pass an oral exam as well. Licenses are issued by the Nevada Private Investigator’s Licensing Board. Nevada is the most expensive state in the nation to get licensed. [Nevada Revised Statutes §648.110 and §648.135]
Rule 4. Process
(a) Summons: Issuance. Upon filing the complaint, the clerk shall forthwith issue a summons and deliver it to the plaintiff or to the plaintiff’s attorney, who shall be responsible for service of the summons and a copy of the complaint. Upon request of the plaintiff, the separate or additional summons shall issue against any defendants.
(a) Same: Form. The summons shall be signed by the clerk, be under the seal of the court, contain the name of the court and county and the names of the parties, be directed to the defendant, state the name and address of the plaintiff’s attorney, if any, otherwise the plaintiff’s address, and the time within which these rules require the defendant to appear and defend, and shall notify him that in case he fails to do so judgment by default will be rendered against him for the relief demanded in the complaint. When service of the summons is made by publication, the summons shall, in addition to any special statutory requirements, also contain a brief statement of the object of the action substantially as follows: “This action is brought to recover a judgment dissolving the contract of marriage (or bonds of matrimony) existing between you and the plaintiff,” or “foreclosing the mortgage of the plaintiff upon the land (or other property) described in the complaint,” or as the case may be.
(c) By Whom Served. The process shall be served by the sheriff of the county where the defendant is found, or by his deputy, or by any citizen of the United States over eighteen years of age, except that a subpoena may be served as provided in Rule 45; where the service of process is made outside of the United States, after an order of publication, it may be served either by any citizen of the United States over eighteen years of age or by any resident of the country, territory, colony or province, who is over eighteen years of age.
(d) Summons: Personal Service. The summons and complaint shall be served together. The plaintiff shall furnish the person doing service with such copies as are necessary. Service shall be made by delivering a copy of the summons attached to a copy of the complaint as follows:
(1) If the suit is against a corporation formed under the laws of this state; to the president or other head of the corporation, secretary, cashier, managing agent, or resident agent thereof; provided, when for any reason service cannot be had in the manner hereinabove provided, then service may be made upon such corporation by delivering to the secretary of state, or his deputy, a copy of said summons attached to a copy of the complaint, and by posting a copy of said process in the office of the clerk of the court in which such action is brought or pending; defendant shall have twenty (20) days after such service and posting in which to appear and answer; provided, however, that before such service shall be authorized, plaintiff shall make or cause to be made and filed in such cause an affidavit setting forth the facts showing that personal service on or notice to the officers, managing agent or resident agent of said corporation cannot be had within the state; and provided further, that if it shall appear from such affidavit that there is a last known address of a known officer of said corporation outside the state, plaintiff shall, in addition to and after such service upon the secretary of state and posting, mail or cause to be mailed to such known officer at such address by registered mail, a copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint, and in all such cases defendant shall have twenty (20) days from the date of such mailing within which to answer or plead.
(2) If the suit is against a foreign corporation, or a nonresident partnership, joint-stock company or association, doing business and having a managing or business agent, cashier, or secretary within this state; to such agent, cashier, or secretary or to an agent designated for service of process as required by law; or in the event, no such agent is designated, to the secretary of state or the deputy secretary of state, as provided by law.
(3) If against a minor, under the age of fourteen years, residing within this state, to such minor, personally, and also to his father, mother, or guardian; or if there be none within this state; then to any person having the care or control of such minor, or with whom he resides, or in whose service he is employed.
(4) If against a person residing within this state who has been judicially declared to be of unsound mind, or incapable of conducting his own affairs, and for whom a guardian has been appointed, to such person and also to his guardian.
(5) If against a county, city, or town, to the chairman of the board of commissioners, president of the council or trustees, mayor of the city, or other head of the legislative department thereof.
(6) In all other cases to the defendant personally, or by leaving copies thereof at his dwelling house or usual place of abode with some person of suitable age and discretion then residing therein, or by delivering a copy of the summons and complaint to an agent authorized by appointment or by law to receive service of process.
(e) Same: Another service.
(1) Service by Publication.
(i) General. When the person on whom service is to be made resides out of the state, or has departed from the state, or cannot, after due diligence, be found within the state, or conceals himself to avoid the service of summons, and the fact shall appear, by affidavit, to the satisfaction of the court or judge thereof. It shall appear, either by affidavit or by a verified complaint on file, that a cause of action exists against the defendant in respect to whom the service is to be made and that he is a necessary or proper party to the action, such court or judge may grant an order that the publication makes the service of summons. Provided, when said affidavit is based on the fact that the party on whom service is to be made resides out of the state, and the present address of the party is unknown, it shall be a sufficient showing of such fact if the affiant shall state generally in such affidavit that at a previous time such person resided out of this state in a certain place (naming the place and stating the latest date known to affiant when such party so resided there); that such place is the last place in which such party resided to the knowledge of affiant; that such party no longer resides at such place; that affiant does not know the present place of residence of such party or where such party can be found; and that affiant does not know and has never been informed and has no reason to believe that such party now resides in this state; and, in such case, it shall be presumed that such party still resides and remains out of the state, and such affidavit shall be deemed to be a sufficient showing of due diligence to find the defendant. This rule shall apply to all manner of civil actions, including those for divorce.
(ii) Property. In any action which relates to, or the subject of which is, the real or personal property in this state in which such person defendant or corporation defendant has or claims a lien or interest, actual or contingent, therein, or in which the relief demanded consists wholly or in part of excluding such person or corporation from any interest therein, and the said defendant resides out of the state or has departed from the state, or cannot after due diligence be found within the state, or conceals himself to avoid the service of summons, the judge or justice may make an order that the publication makes the service of summons; said service by publication shall be made in the same manner as now provided in all cases of service by publication.
(iii) Publication. The order shall direct the publication to be made in a newspaper, published in the State of Nevada, to be designated by the court or judge thereof, for a period of four weeks and at least once a week during said time. In addition to in-state publication, where the present residence of the defendant is unknown, the order may also direct that publication be made in a newspaper published outside the State of Nevada whenever the court thinks that such publication is necessary to give notice that is reasonably calculated to give a defendant actual notice of the proceedings. In case of publication, where the residence of a nonresident or absent defendant is known, the court or judge shall also direct a copy of the summons and complaint to be deposited in the post office, directed to the person to be served at his place of residence. When a publication is ordered, personal service of a copy of the summons and complaint, out of the state, shall be equivalent to completed service by publication and deposit in the post office, and the person so served shall have twenty days after said service to appear and answer or otherwise plead. The summons’ service shall be deemed complete in cases of publication at the expiration of four weeks from the first publication and in cases when a deposit of a copy of the summons and complaint in the post office is also required, at the expiration of four weeks from such deposit.
(2) Personal Service Outside the State. Personal service of summons upon a party outside this state may be made by delivering a copy of the summons, together with a copy of the complaint, to the party served in the manner provided by statute or rule of court for service upon a party of like kind within this state. This service method may be used only where the party being served has submitted to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state as provided by NRS 14.065. The service methods are cumulative and may be utilized with, after, or independently of other service methods.
(3) Statutory Service. Whenever a statute provides for service, service may be made under the circumstances and in the manner prescribed by the statute.
(f) Territorial limits of effective service. All processes, including subpoenas, may be served anywhere within the State’s territorial limits and, when a statute or rule so provides, beyond the territorial limit of the state. A voluntary appearance shall be equivalent to personal service of process upon him in this State.
(g) Return. The person serving the process shall make proof of service thereof to the court promptly and in any event, within the time during which the person served must respond to the process. Proof of service shall be as follows:
(1) If served by the sheriff or his deputy, the affidavit or certificate of such sheriff or deputy; or
(2) If by any other person, his affidavit thereof; or
(3) In case of publication, the affidavit of the publisher, his foreman or principal clerk, or other employee knowing thereof, showing the same, and an affidavit of a deposit of a copy of the summons in the post office, if the same shall have been deposited; or
(4) The written admission of the defendant. In case of service otherwise, then by publication, the certificate or affidavit shall state the date, place, and manner of service. Failure to make proof of service shall not affect the validity of the service.
(h) Amendment. At any time in its discretion and upon such terms as it deems, the court may allow any process or proof of service thereof to be amended unless it clearly appears that material prejudice would result in the party’s substantial rights against whom the process issued.
(i) Summons: Time Limit for Service. If a service of the summons and complaint is not made upon a defendant within 120 days after the filing of the complaint and the party on whose behalf such service was required cannot show good cause why such service was not made within that period, the action shall be dismissed as to that defendant without prejudice upon the court’s own initiative with notice to such party or upon motion.
(Amended eff. 3-16-64; Amended eff. 9-27-71; Amended eff. 1-8-79; Amended eff. 12-13-85, eff. 2-11-86; Amended 4-9-86, eff. 6-9-86; Amended 6-8-94, eff. 8-7-94; Amended 10-12-94, eff. 12-11-94; Amended 12-23-94, eff. 2-21-95; Amended eff. 2-28-97.)
Rule 45. Subpoena.
(a) For attendance of witnesses; forms; issuance. The clerk shall issue every subpoena under the court’s seal, shall state the name of the court and the title of the action, and shall command each person to whom it is directed to attend and give testimony at a time and place therein specified. The clerk shall issue a subpoena, or a subpoena for the production of documentary evidence, signed and sealed but otherwise in blank, to a party requesting it, who shall fill it in before service.
(b) For the production of documentary evidence. A subpoena may also command the person to whom it is directed to produce the books, papers, documents, or tangible things designated therein; but the court, upon motion, made promptly and in any event at or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance therewith, may
(1) quash or modify the subpoena if it is unreasonable and oppressive or (2) condition denial of the motion upon the advancement, by the person on whose behalf the subpoena is issued, of the reasonable cost of producing the books, documents, or tangible things.
(c) Service. A subpoena may be served by the sheriff, by his deputy, or by any other person who is not a party and is not less than 18 years of age. Service of a subpoena upon a person named therein shall be made by delivering a copy thereof to such person and by tendering to him the fees for one day’s attendance and the mileage allowed by law. When the subpoena is issued on behalf of the State or an officer or agency, fees and mileage need not be tendered.
(d) Subpoena for taking depositions; place of examination.
(1) A request of a party constitutes a sufficient authorization for the issuance, by the clerk of the district court for the district in which the action is pending, of subpoenas for the persons named or described therein. The subpoena may command the person to whom it is directed to produce and permit inspection and copying of designated books, papers, documents, or tangible things which constitute or contain matters within the scope of the examination permitted by Rule 26(b). Still, in that event, the subpoena will be subject to the provisions of Rule 26(c) and subdivision (b) of this rule. The person to whom the subpoena is directed may, within 10 days after the service thereof or on or before the time specified in the subpoena for compliance if such time is less than 10 days after service, serve upon the attorney designated in the subpoena written objection to inspection or copying of any or all of the designated materials. If an objection is made, the party serving the subpoena shall not be entitled to inspect and copy the materials except under the court’s order from which the subpoena was issued. The party serving the subpoena may, if an objection has been made, move upon notice to the deponent for an order at any time before or during the taking of the deposition.
(2) A resident of the district in which the deposition is to be taken may be required to attend an examination only in the county wherein he resides or is employed or transacts his business in person, or at such other convenient place as is fixed by order of the court. A nonresident of the district may be required to attend only in the county wherein he is served with a subpoena or within 40 miles from the place of service or at such other convenient place as is fixed by order of the court.
(3) If the action is pending out of the state, the subpoenas may be issued by the clerk of any district court, and the court in the district in which the deposition is being taken shall, for these rules, be considered the court in which the action is pending.
(e) Subpoena for a hearing or trial.
(1) At the request of any party, subpoenas for attendance at a hearing or trial shall be issued by the district court clerk for the district in which the hearing or trial is held. A subpoena requiring a witness’s attendance at a hearing or trial may be served at any place within the State.
(f) Contempt. Failure by any person without adequate excuse to obey a subpoena served upon him may be deemed a contempt of the court from which the subpoena was issued.
(Amended eff. 9-27-71; Amended 4-4-96, eff. 5-1-96.)
NRS 14.020 Foreign corporations, limited liability companies, limited liability partnerships, limited partnerships, business trusts, and municipal corporations doing business in a state to appoint resident agents; service of process, demand, or notice.
1. Every corporation, limited-liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, business trust, and municipal corporation created and existing under the laws of any other state, territory, or foreign government, or the Government of the United States, doing business in this state shall appoint and keep in this state a resident agent who resides or is located in this state, upon whom all legal process and any demand or notice authorized by law to be served upon it may be served in the manner provided in subsection 2. The corporation, limited-liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, business trust, or municipal corporation shall file with the secretary of state a certificate of acceptance of appointment signed by its resident agent. The certificate must set forth the full name and address of the resident agent. The certificate must be renewed in the manner provided in Title 7 of NRS whenever a change is made in the appointment, or a vacancy occurs in the agency.
2. All legal process and any demand or notice authorized by law to be served upon the foreign corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, business trust, or municipal corporation may be served upon the resident agent personally or by leaving a true copy thereof with a person of suitable age and discretion at the address shown on the current certificate of acceptance filed with the secretary of state.
3. Subsection 2 provides an additional mode and manner of serving process, demand, or notice and does not affect the validity of any other service authorized by law.
[1911 CPA § 82; A 1933, 191; 1939, 66; 1931 NCL § 8580] – (NRS A 1969, 570; 1989, 952; 1991, 1309; 1993, 556; 1999, 1631)
NRS 14.030 Service of process, demand, or notice when a foreign corporation, limited liability company, limited liability partnership, limited partnership, business trust, or municipal corporation fails to appoint a resident agent.
1. If any artificial person described in NRS 14.020 fails to appoint a resident agent, or fails to file a certificate of acceptance of appointment for 30 days after a vacancy occurs in the agency, on the production of a certificate of the secretary of state showing either fact, which is conclusive evidence of the fact so certified to be made a part of the return of service, the artificial person may be served with any legal process, or demand or notice described in NRS 14.020, by delivering a copy to the secretary of state, or, in his absence, to any deputy secretary of state. Such service is valid to all intents and purposes. The copy must:
(a) Include a specific citation to the provisions of this section. The secretary of state may refuse to accept such service if the proper citation is not included.
(a) Be accompanied by a fee of $10. The secretary of state shall keep a copy of the legal process received under this section in his office for at least 1 year after receipt thereof and shall make those records available for public inspection during normal business hours.
2. In all cases of such service, the defendant has 40 days, exclusive of the day of service, within which to answer or plead.
3. Before such service is authorized, the plaintiff shall make or cause to be made and filed an affidavit setting forth the facts, showing that due diligence has been used to ascertain the officers’ whereabouts of the artificial person be served. The facts showing that direct or personal service on, or notice to, the artificial person cannot be had.
4. If it appears from the affidavit that there is a last known address of the artificial person or any known officers thereof, the plaintiff shall, in addition to and after such service on the secretary of state, mail or cause to be mailed to the artificial person or the known officer, at such address, by registered or certified mail, a copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint, and in all such cases, the defendant has 40 days after the date of the mailing within which to appear in action.
5. This section provides an additional manner of serving process and does not affect any other valid service’s validity.
[1911 CPA § 83; A 1921, 107; 1939, 66; 1931 NCL § 8581] – (NRS A 1960, 226; 1969, 17, 95; 1997, 472; 1999, 404, 1632)
NRS 14.050 Service by publication on unknown parties generally. If any plaintiff alleges that there are, or that he verily believes that there are, persons, other than heirs, interested in the subject matter of the complaint, whose names he cannot insert therein because they are unknown to him, and shall describe the interest of such persons and how derived, so far as his knowledge extends, the court or the judge thereof shall make an order for the publication of summons, reciting, moreover, the substance of the allegations of the complaint about the interest of such unknown parties; and, after the completion of service by such publication, the court shall have jurisdiction of such persons, and any judgment or decree rendered inaction shall apply to and conclude such persons concerning such interest in the subject matter of the action.
[1911 CPA § 88; RL § 5030; NCL § 8586]
NRS 14.060 Proceedings where there are several defendants, and part only are served. Where the action is against two or more defendants and the summons is served on one or more but not on all of them, the plaintiff may proceed as follows:
1. If the action be against the defendants jointly indebted upon a contract, he may proceed against the defendant served, unless the court otherwise directs; and if he recovers judgment, it may be entered against all the defendants thus jointly indebted, so far only as that it may be enforced against the joint property of all and the separate property of the defendant served; or
2. If the action is against defendants severally liable, he may proceed against the defendants served in the same manner as if they were the only defendants.
[1911 CPA § 89; RL § 5031; NCL § 8587]
NRS 14.065 Exercise of jurisdiction on any basis consistent with state and federal constitutions; service of summons to confer jurisdiction.
1. A court of this state may exercise jurisdiction over a party to a civil action on any basis not inconsistent with the constitution of this state or the Constitution of the United States.
2. Personal service of summons upon a party outside this state is sufficient to confer upon a court of this state jurisdiction over the party so served if the service is made by delivering a copy of the summons, together with a copy of the complaint, to the party served in the manner provided by statute or rule of court for service upon a person of like kind within this state.
3. The method of service provided in this section is cumulative and may be utilized with, after, or independently of other methods of service.
(Added to NRS by 1969, 845; A 1983, 1503; 1993, 865; 1995, 1041)
NRS 14.070 Exercise of jurisdiction on any basis consistent with state and federal constitutions; service of summons to confer jurisdiction.
1. The use and operation of a motor vehicle over the public roads, streets or highways, or in any other area open to the public and commonly used by motor vehicles, in the State of Nevada by any person, either as principal, master, agent or servant, shall be deemed an appointment by the operator, on behalf of himself and his principal or master, his executor, administrator or personal representative, of the director of the department of motor vehicles and public safety to be his true and lawful attorney upon whom may be served all legal process in any action or proceeding against him, his principal or master, his executor, administrator or personal representative, growing out of such use or resulting in damage or loss to person or property, and the use or operation signifies his agreement that any process against him which is so served has the same legal force and validity as though served upon him personally within the State of Nevada.
2. Service of process must be made by leaving a copy of the process with a fee of $5 in the hands of the director of the department of motor vehicles and public safety or in his office. The service shall be deemed sufficient upon the operator if notice of service and a copy of the process is sent by registered or certified mail by the plaintiff to the defendant at the address supplied by the defendant in his accident report if any, and if not, at the best address available to the plaintiff, and a return receipt signed by the defendant or a return of the United States Postal Service stating that the defendant refused to accept delivery or could not be located, or that the address was insufficient. The plaintiff’s affidavit of compliance is attached to the original process and returned and filed in the action in which it was issued. Personal service of notice and a copy of the process upon the defendant, wherever found outside of this state, by any person qualified to serve as the process in the State of Nevada is the equivalent of mailing and may be proved by the affidavit of the person doing the personal service appended to the original process and returned and filed in the action in which it was issued.
3. The court in which the action is pending may order such continuances as may be necessary to afford the defendant a reasonable opportunity to defend the action.
4. The fee of $5 paid by the plaintiff to the director of the department of motor vehicles and public safety at the time of the service must be taxed in his costs if he prevails in the suit. The department of motor vehicles and public safety shall keep a record of all service processes, including the day and hour of service.
5. The foregoing provisions of this section concerning the service of process upon an operator defendant are not exclusive, except if the operator defendant is found within the State of Nevada, he must be served with process in the State of Nevada.
6. The provisions of this section apply to nonresident motorists and resident motorists who have left the state or cannot be found within the state following an accident which is the subject of an action for which process is served under this section.
[1:275:1953; A 1955, 453] + [2:275:1953] + [3:275:1953] + [4:275:1953] + [5:275:1953] – (NRS A 1957, 628; 1961, 155; 1963, 800; 1969, 95, 611; 1981, 1591; 1985, 1971)
NRS 14.080 Service of process on foreign manufacturers, producers, and suppliers of products.
1. Any company, firm, partnership, corporation, or association created and existing under the laws of any other state, territory, foreign government, or the Government of the United States, which manufactures, produces, makes, markets, or otherwise supplies directly or indirectly any product for distribution, sale or use in this state may be lawfully served with any legal process in any action to recover damages for an injury to a person or property resulting from such distribution, sale or use in this state by mailing to the last known address of the company, firm, partnership, corporation or association, by registered or certified mail return receipt requested, a copy of the summons and a copy of the complaint.
2. In all cases of such service, the defendant has 40 days, exclusive of the day of service, within which to answer or plead.
3. This section provides an additional manner of serving process and does not invalidate any other service.
(Added to NRS by 1961, 57; A 1969, 18, 95; 1997, 473)
NRS 14.090 Service of process at residence accessible only through the gate.
1. A person who resides at a location to which access is not reasonably available except through a gate may be lawfully served with any legal process in the manner provided in this section. If there is:
(a) A guard posted at the gate, and the guard denies access to the residence for service of process; service of process is effective upon leaving a copy thereof with the guard.
(b) No guard posted at the gate and entry through the gate is not reasonably available; the court may, if it is satisfied by affidavit that those facts are true, allow service of process by mailing a copy thereof to the residence by certified or registered mail.
2. The manner of service authorized by this section is supplemental to and does not affect the validity of any other manner of service authorized by law.
NRS 174.345 Service of subpoena.
1. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 174.315 and subsection 2, a subpoena may be served by a peace officer or by any other person who is not a party and who is not less than 18 years of age. Service of a subpoena must be made by delivering a copy thereof to the person named.
2. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 174.315, a subpoena to attend a misdemeanor trial may be served by mailing the subpoena to the person to be served by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested from that person, in a sealed postpaid envelope, addressed to the person’s last known address, not less than 10 days before the trial which the subpoena commands him to attend.
3. If a subpoena is served by mail, a mailing certificate must be filed with the court within 2 days after the subpoena is mailed.
(Added to NRS by 1967, 1421; A 1977, 638; 1989, 685)
NRS 648.014 “Process server” defined. “Process server” means a person, other than a peace officer of the State of Nevada, who engages in the business of serving legal process within this state.
(Added to NRS by 1967, 1363; 1985, 1333)
NRS 648.110 Qualifications of applicants; issuance of the license.
1. Before the board grants any license, the applicant, including each director and officer of a corporate applicant, must:
(a) Be at least 21 years of age.
(b) Be a citizen of the United States or lawfully entitled to remain and work in the United States.
(c) Be of good moral character and temperate habits.
(d) Have no conviction of a felony or a crime involving moral turpitude or the illegal use or possession of a dangerous weapon.
2. Each applicant, or the qualifying agent of a corporate applicant, must:
(d) If an applicant for a process server’s license has at least 2 years’ experience as a process server, or the equivalent thereof, as determined by the board
(h) Meet other requirements as determined by the board.
3. The board, when satisfied from recommendations and investigation that the applicant is of good character, competency, and integrity, may issue and deliver a license to the applicant entitling him to conduct the business for which he is licensed for the period which ends on July 1 next following the date of issuance.
4. For this section’s purposes, 1 year of experience consists of 2,000 hours of experience.
[9:85:1947; A 1953, 323] – (NRS A 1967, 1360; 1971, 1088; 1973, 684; 1977, 1567; 1981, 1637; 1983, 735; 1985, 1337; 1997, 209)