National Association of Professional Process Servers

How to Become a Process Server in Illinois

What Is A Process Server?

Process servers deliver legal documents to parties that are involved in legal proceedings. These court summons can range from: subpoenas; complaints; private lawsuits; to other court dealings. Process servers are required to follow federal and state laws.

How Do I Become an Illinois Process Server

You do not need to be licensed in Illinois to be a process server. Currently, there is no statewide licensing law in Illinois. A “private detective” licensed in Illinois may serve original process in all counties except for Cook County without designated appointment.

A court may appoint a “private detective agency” to serve original process in Cook County in lieu of an individual. However, persons over the age of 18, upon motion, may be court-appointed to serve original process.


If you are private detective, you are permitted to process serve in all Illinois counties except for Cook county. Cook county requires process to be served by a private detective agency.

If you are not a private detective, you must:

  1. Present legal photo identification.
  2. Complete an application for appointment. Applicants should file their application at the county court in which they reside.
  3. Undergo a criminal background check and get fingerprinted.
  4. Pay for processing fees. You may also be required to pay a fee for process server training. This is county and court specific.

Getting Started

Once you’re a professional process server, it’s time to connect with other professional process servers and continue your education.

NAPPS provides membership to its national association which provides exclusive membership benefits, including opportunities to further your education, grow your network and get listed on a national database of professional process servers. To learn more about NAPPS benefits, click here.

NOTE: Illinois requirements for process serving may change. Stay up-to-date on Illinois process serving requirements by contacting your county clerk or recorder.

If you have questions or want to learn more, contact us.

For more information

Illinois Association of Professional Process Servers