I bought all the process server training I could find when I was first starting out. I bought books, ebooks, training programs, and I also downloaded free trials of process server software to track my serves. I also joined a forum to be able to ask questions and run ideas by people that are already doing what I wanted to do. It's nice to know you are heading in the right direction and later you will be able to help other people do the same.
If your state is regulated it can be easier to get started, but you might find more competition. If you are in a state like mine, Maine, then it can feel like you trying to get entry into a secret club. No one talks about being a process server where I'm from and there are only a handful of us doing it. The upside is there is less competition. Let's take a look at the different types of training available.
The best process server training is on the job training. I can hear you now. But if I don't know how to do it how do I get the experience. The best way is to ask questions of people that already serve process to get a foundation and go out and serve your first paper. Call another process serving company and ask if they have a need for a process server. Let them know you are new. They will find out anyway by the questions you ask. It won't be as scary after you get the first one under your belt.
Here was my process server training. I remember my first serve. I got a call from an out of state process serving company that needed papers served in my state. I quoted to price, he agreed, and then he sent me the papers by email. That's when all the questions started to floud in. What information do I need to get from the defendant? Is there anything they need to sign? What about the proof of affidavit, who supplies that me or the process server company. First thing I needed to do was google the person because I had a company name but not the owner's name. Whew! Found that. The address was correct. So far so good. Now what? I went online to the process server software I had a free trial with and entered the information. The information that it asked for answered more of my questions. It asked for a description of the defendant. Good. I almost forgot I needed to do that. Date and time of service. Would have forgotten that too. Pretty much everything I needed was asked and it reminded me what to do. I decided I would serve the papers in the morning when they opened. I went to the business address and went upstairs. It was still kind of early so I didn't expect anyone to be there. I wanted to get a feel for the place. I had another errand to run so I did that and came back. I had purchased a video camera that looks like a car alarm. You know the kind that hang on your keys. I got my papers and my video camera and headed upstairs. My heart was pounding and as I approached I heard someone inside. I knocked on the door and opened it. The gentleman asked if he could help me, I introduced myself and said, "I'm sorry What was your name"? I needed his name for proof of service. He told me his name and that's when I handed him the papers and said, "I have some court documents for you". He said, "Oh, from... and said the name of the plaintiff. I said, "Yes". I told him if you had any questions there was a number on the last page. I always give them something to do as I'm walking away in case they are not happy they are being served. He said, "Thank you", and then I left. It couldn't of gone more smoothly. This was my very first served. I was soooo psyched. I got home called the process serving company and let them know that the defendant was served, sent him the sign affidavit, sent him my invoice and was paid that day. Too cool. Not only had I served the papers in less than 24 hours that day. bit I was a professional process server. Getting paid to do something that is exciting and fun to do is the best. And that was my on the job process server training.
Online process server training materials can be hard to trust. You aren't really sure who is writing it and if they have experience. There were a couple of good ebooks that I found. You could tell that they had some experience and then there was the hyped up generalized ebook that was researched without any experience. It's great to have background knowledge, learn some terminology, but in the end nothing beats experience. Even if you find someone who has written material from experience you will learn the most from hands on, day to day experience.