This article will provide guidance on What Do Process Servers in Washington State Do? It costs ten dollars to register as a process server with the auditor in the county where the process server lives or has a major place of business in Washington. However, the role of a private process server like those at Undisputed Legal in Washington State is a lot more important than that. Click Here for Frequently Asked Questions About Process Servers!

The role of the process server is to ensure that the defendant is properly notified of the legal proceedings and has an opportunity to respond. The process server’s main duties include locating the defendant, serving the legal documents promptly and properly, and preparing an affidavit of service to be filed with the court. In Washington State, our Undisputed Legal process servers comply with the rules and procedures established by the state’s laws, including those relating to the method of service, the completion of the required documentation, and the requirements for becoming a licensed process server.  Click here for information on How Rush Process Service Can Expedite Your Case.


The rules and regulations related to process service are governed by state law and court rules, and the process server must be authorized to perform their duties in accordance with these rules. Summonses, complaints, divorce papers, family court paperwork, subpoenas, citations, small claims court proceedings, orders to show cause, petitions, discovery documents, evictions, landlord/tenant notifications, motions, and more may all be served by our Washington process service. Undisputed Legal is a full-service process-serving company in Washington, DC, and our clients include government entities at all levels, private legal practitioners, and members of the general public. Click here for information on How Service of Process Ensures A Solid Foundation.

The summons must be addressed to the defendant, signed and dated by the plaintiff or his counsel, and state that the defendant is obligated to appear in court to defend the action and to serve a copy of their appearance or defense on the person whose name is on the summons. The summons should compel the defendant to deliver a copy of their defense within twenty days following the service of summons, excluding the day of service. Click here for information on How Process Servers Protect Your Rights: Myths Debunked

If the defendant chooses to file a written notice of attendance, it must be signed by the defendant and served to the person whose name appears on the summons.  Any individual named a party to the action need not be served with a summons to file a counterclaim or cross-claim against the action. 

Process service is a crucial aspect of the legal system as it helps to ensure that all parties are given proper notice of the proceedings and have an opportunity to respond. This is important because it protects the rights of all parties involved in the case and helps to ensure that justice is enacted. It is important to retain trust in your process server, which is why Undisputed Legal ensures that we provide our clients with accountability, speed, and efficiency. 

Anyone intending to serve legal process for compensation in the state of Washington must first register as a process server in the county where they reside or maintain their primary place of business. A law enforcement officer, such as a sheriff, deputy sheriff, marshal, constable, or government worker, is exempt from this rule when performing official duties. Whether a private process server or a sheriff is better in Washington state depends on each case’s specific circumstances and requirements. However, it is preferable to use a private process server like those at Undisputed Legal insofar as they are often able to serve papers more quickly and efficiently than a sheriff. Private Process servers in Washington State can also be more flexible with scheduling and often serve papers outside regular business hours. At Undisputed Legal, we also ensure that our private process servers have more extensive knowledge of the rules and regulations related to the service of process.

A process server’s registration must be renewed every year, and at that time, any changes to the registrant’s name, business name, business address, or business telephone number are required. Within ten days following a change in the process server’s identity, the process server must update the registration if renewal is required. The renewal fee for registration is the responsibility of the process server.

A declaration of service, also known as an affidavit of service or return of service, must be completed by the person or persons affecting service. It is necessary to keep a duplicate of the signed declaration for the server’s records and submit the original to the county clerk’s office.


A summons in Washington state is a legal document that notifies a defendant that they are being sued and are required to appear in court to answer the complaint. It is typically served along with a complaint, which sets forth the allegations and the relief sought by the plaintiff. It is important to note that the service of a summons must comply with the rules and regulations set forth in the Washington state laws and rules of civil procedure. Failure to properly serve a summons can result in the case being dismissed or delayed. It is preferable to involve the abilities of a private process server like those at Undisputed Legal to prevent snags from arising during the suit.

A summons for personal service must include [A.] the name of the court in which the action is brought, [B.] the name of the county designated by the plaintiff as the place of trial, [C.] the names of the parties to the action (plaintiff and defendant); [D.] a direction to the defendant summoning them to serve a copy of their defense within a time stated in the summons; [E.] a notice that, in the absence of such service, judgment will be entered against the defendant; and [F.] a copy of the complaint. The plaintiff must sign and date it and provide their mailing address where they may be served with legal documents.

 A personal summons must include [A.] the cause’s title, which must include the court where the suit was filed, the county where the trial will take place, and the plaintiff’s and defendant’s full legal names; [B.] an order for the defendant to have a copy of their defense served on the plaintiff within the time limit specified in the summons; [C.] a warning that they will face a default judgment if they do not comply.  Within twenty days following the service of this summons, except the day of service, the individual must answer the complaint by stating their defense in writing and delivering a copy to the person signing this summons, or a default judgment may be entered against you without notice. There must be a simultaneous service of the complaint and summons.

Suppose the serving party files an affidavit stating facts from which the court determines that service by mail is just as likely to give actual notice as service by publication. In that case, the court may order that service be made by mailing copies of the summons and other processes to the party to be served at his last known address or any other address. One copy should be sent through regular first-class mail, with postage paid, and the other via a delivery method requiring a signed receipt proving the date and recipient of the package. The sender’s address must be printed on the envelope. The defendant must attend and answer the complaint within ninety days after the mailing date, which will be stated on the summons. The jurisdictional impact of service under this paragraph is the same as that of service by publication.

At Undisputed Legal, we take care of your papers regardless of which means of service you choose. We offer two different speeds of service, being [A.] Routine Service, wherein the server will make their first attempt at service within five to seven days, or [B.] Rush Service, wherein the process server will make its first attempt at service within forty-eight hours. We also offer service by mail, wherein service is sent out within twenty-four hours. 

Process servers in Washington State will make up to three (3) tries to deliver your documents, regardless of your chosen service level. We keep up to date with your due diligence requirements and will ensure that we attempt service in the morning, afternoon, and evening. 


In Washington State, proof of service refers to informing the court and the other parties that a legal document has been delivered to the intended recipient. This process helps to ensure that all parties are aware of the legal proceedings and have an opportunity to respond. Proof of service is usually accomplished by having the person who delivered the document completely sign a Proof of Service form, which is then filed with the court. The Proof of Service form typically includes information such as the date and method of service, the name of the person served, and a declaration that the server has completed service in accordance with the rules of the court.

In Washington State, several methods of service are recognized by the court, including personal delivery, mail, and publication. The method used must be authorized by the court and appropriate for the case’s specific circumstances. The sheriff’s or deputy’s return, endorsed on or attached to the summons if they did service, or the process server’s affidavit of service, endorsed on or attached to the summons, constitute proof of service. If service is made by mail, an affidavit of the party making service stating that copies of the summons and other processes were sent by mail in accordance with the rule and directions of the court and stating to whom and when the envelopes were mailed should be done. 

If service is being made on an out-of-state individual, an affidavit of service executed in front of a notary public with their seal affixed, or a clerk of a court of record, is required. If service was made in a way other than publication, the time, location, and method of service must be included on the return, acceptance, admission, or affidavit. However, the service is still legitimate even if no evidence of service was made.


If a foreign party is required to be served because of a statute or rule and that party is not a resident or citizen of Washington, then service of the summons and complaint can be made in the manner prescribed by the law of the foreign country for service in that country in action in any of its courts of general jurisdiction or as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or a lewd request. Any non-party adult (over 21) or a person authorized by the court or the foreign court may affect service. Service of process in a foreign nation must be lawful under any relevant treaties and a reasonable means, taking into account all the circumstances, of actually notifying the foreign party of the pending legal proceedings.

A signed receipt from the addressee or other evidence of delivery to the addressee may suffice as proof of service where service is made. Any party located outside of the state may be served personally with a summons or other legal procedure. Service within Washington has the force and effect of personal service if made upon a citizen or resident of this state or upon a person who has surrendered to the jurisdiction of the courts of this state. The summons issued on a party outside of the state, must include the same information and be delivered in the same way as a summons served on a party inside the state, with the exception that it must provide a deadline of sixty days following service for the party to attend and answer the complaint.

International service can be done [A.] upon an individual by delivery to them personally, and upon a corporation, partnership, or association by delivery to an officer, a managing or general agent; [B.] as directed by the foreign authority in response to a letter rogatory or a letter of request; [C.] by any form of mail, requiring a signed receipt; [D.] by personal service;

A foreign court may accept proof of service in accordance with the legislation of the receiving nation, the terms of any relevant treaty or convention, or the order of the issuing court. A signed receipt from the recipient or other evidence of delivery to the recipient that is acceptable to the court is required as proof of service.

Washington Process Service is not evaded if the addressee is not at the door. The party being served by Washington Process Service is not obligated to agree to the process server’s request for a certain time and location or to otherwise cooperate with the server. The summons served on the out-of-state party will be identical to the one served on a resident of the state, with the exception that it will require the party to appear and answer within sixty days after such personal service outside of the state.

Our Washington process servers always keep you in the loop regarding your documents. We provide you customized ‘Real-Time’ email status updates of your documents. We also provide GPS Affidavits of Service so that you are aware of where the server is and when they served your papers. We also email you an affidavit even if we conduct service by mail. New clients even get a free basic skip trace. 

Only seasoned process servers in Washington State who have met the most recent license, schooling, and bonding criteria required by the jurisdiction in which they serve process are allowed to do so. Here at Undisputed Legal, Inc., it is our business to track down and serve fugitive defendants and unwilling witnesses with legal documents.


Documents can be faxed at (800) 296-0115, emailed to ps@undisputedlegal.com, or uploaded on our website. We do require pre-payment and accept all major credit and debit cards. Once payment is processed, your sales receipt is immediately emailed for your records.

Drop-offs must call and make an appointment first to be added to building security to permit access to our office. Documents for service must be in a sealed envelope with payment in the form of a money order or attorney check (WE DO NOT ACCEPT CASH) payable to UNDISPUTED LEGAL INC.; Our receptionist receives all documents.


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New York: (212) 203-8001 – 590 Madison Avenue, 21st Floor, New York, New York 10022
Brooklyn: (347) 983-5436 – 300 Cadman Plaza West, 12th Floor, Brooklyn, New York 11201
Queens: (646) 357-3005 – 118-35 Queens Blvd, Suite 400, Forest Hills, New York 11375
Long Island: (516) 208-4577 – 626 RXR Plaza, 6th Floor, Uniondale, New York 11556
Westchester: (914) 414-0877 – 50 Main Street, 10th Floor, White Plains, New York 10606
Connecticut: (203) 489-2940 – 500 West Putnam Avenue, Suite 400, Greenwich, Connecticut 06830
New Jersey: (201) 630-0114 – 101 Hudson Street, 21 Floor, Jersey City, New Jersey 07302
Washington DC: (202) 655-4450 – 1101 Pennsylvania Avenue, N.W. Suite 300, Washington DC 20004

Simply pick up the phone and call Toll Free (800) 774-6922 or click the service you want to purchase. Our dedicated team of professionals is ready to assist you. We can handle all of your process service needs; no job is too small or too large!  For a complete list of our Washington State Process Service Coverage Areas, Click Here!

Contact us for more information about our process-serving agency. We are ready to provide service of process to all our clients globally from our offices in New York, Brooklyn, Queens, Long Island, Westchester, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Washington, D.C.

“Quality is never an accident; it is always the result of high intention, sincere effort, intelligent direction, and skillful execution; it represents the wise choice of many alternatives”– Foster, William A


1. Only a notice of presence has to be sent to the petitioner in a condemnation action.

2. The plaintiff (or his attorney) must sign and date it and provide a street or zip code and post office box where he may be served with legal documents.

3. A copy of the summons may also be served by leaving it at the defendant’s customary residence with a person of sufficient age and discretion who is present at the time.

Those who are to be served with the process are not responsible for arranging a time and location for service or accommodating the process server. Failure to appear at the door to accept service of process does not constitute evasion of service. 127 Wash.2d 726, 903 P.2d 455 (Weiss v. Glemp) (1995).

4. Service of a summons, notice, or order in place of a summons onto a person who is not a resident of nor located within the state may be done under the conditions and in the way authorized by the law or order, or in the absence of either, in the manner stipulated by this rule.

5. The method of service for the summons. Any service rendered in accordance with this provision will be deemed to have been made personally. A copy of the summons must be delivered as specified in the summons. Summons may be served on any county in this state by delivering it to the county auditor or, during regular office hours, to the deputy auditor; in the case of a charter county, it may be delivered to the agent, if any, appointed by the legislative authority.

6. Rule 4 requires filing a petition or serving a copy of a summons and a copy of the petition on the respondent to initiate an action under RCW 26.09. If the respondent makes a written demand, the petitioner has 14 days to submit the summons and petition after receiving the demand before the service is null and invalid. If both parties sign a joint petition or the respondent joins the case in writing, neither party has to issue a summons.

7. If you need a subpoena issued from Washington State to another state for discovery purposes, you must first submit a foreign subpoena to the clerk of the court in the county where the discovery is to be conducted in this state. This is required by the Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act (UIDDA). A person served with a subpoena under this legislation is not required to appear in court in Washington.


The information contained herein has been prepared in compliance with Section 107 of the Copyright Act. Fair use is a legal doctrine that promotes freedom of expression by permitting the unlicensed use of copyright-protected works. The articles/Images contained herein serve as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, educational, and research-as examples of activities that qualify as fair use. Undisputed Legal Inc. is a Process Service Agency and “Not A Law Firm” therefore the articles/images contained herein are for educational purposes only, and not intended as legal advice.