California Process Server Bonds Explained
To work as a process server in a given county in California you must be licensed. One of the most important licensing requirements is posting a process server bond. This bond, like other surety bonds, does not act as insurance to the bondholder (principal)– but to the state and the public instead.
More specifically, process server bonds guarantee that principals will comply with applicable laws and regulations, such as Chapter 16, Section 22350, Division 8 of the California Business and Professional Code. A claim can be filed against a process server if they use unlawful business practices or violate the bond agreement in other ways, causing damage or loss to third parties.
If you want to learn more about these types of surety bonds continue reading the Q&A section below. If you still have questions, we’ll be more than happy to help. Just call us at (877)-514-5146.
Frequently Asked Questions
Who is required to get bonded as a process server in California?
The bonding requirement extends to all process servers in the state. California defines a process server as “any natural person who makes more than 10 services of process within this state during one calendar year, for specific compensation or in expectation of specific compensation, where that compensation is directly attributable to the service of process.”
There are few exceptions, however, including attorneys, sheriffs (and other government employees), licensed private investigators, private photocopiers and others.
How much does a process server bond cost in California?
This bond’s penal sum is set at $2,000, which means that a claim against the process server cannot exceed that amount.
However, this is not the cost of getting bonded. Unlike most bonds, process server bonds in California don’t require a complicated underwriting process. If your credit score is good, you can expect to pay around $100-$150 every two years. If your have a low credit score, the premium can go up to $300 for the 2-year period.
What’s the application process like?
We offer a secure online application and one of the fastest approvals in the market. Just submit our online application and we take care of the rest. One of our agents will get in touch with you and let you know what paperwork we need in order to finalize your application.
After you pay for your premium, we’ll do our best to get your bond issued in as little as one or two business days. We will mail you the original bond form with the surety’s signature, and we can also send you digital copies via email.
If you need any assistance whatsoever throughout the bonding process, our experts are there to help at (877)-514-5146.
How do I get a California process server license?
There are a number of important requirements for becoming a process server in California. You must:
- Have been a permanent resident of California for at least a year prior to applying
- Have not been convicted of felony
- Pay a $100 fee and other related fees
- Submit a copy of your fingerprints
Licensing requirements may vary by county, so be sure to check with your local representatives prior to submitting an application.
Once issued, your license is valid for two years or until your process server bond expires, whichever comes first. You must file a renewal request at least 60 days prior to the expiration date of your license.
Renewing your bond is easy and if you work with Lance Surety Bonds, we will make sure you don’t miss your deadline by sending you reminders ahead of time.
What do I need to do to stay out of claims?
It is important to understand all applicable rules, laws, and regulations, to ensure that you are running your business accordingly. As already mentioned, the most important one of them is Chapter 16, Section 22350, Division 8 of the California Business and Professional Code. However, there are usually local regulations that you also need to be aware of.
Violating the law can lead to a claim, whose purpose will be to provide compensation to a third party to whom you may have caused damage or loss. You are legally obliged to pay any valid claims. Failure or refusal to pay for your claims means the surety will need to cover for you initially. However, you will still need to reimburse it later on.