1. To submit a complete certification application packet, an applicant must first successfully complete a 12-hour pre-certification training as approved by the AOC.
2. Upon successful completion of the 12-hour pre-certification training, the applicant will receive a certificate of completion from the instructor.
3. Pre-certification training curriculum (12 hours) shall include:
a. Regulation of process serving (.5 hour): an overview of O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4.1 and these rules
b. Ethics and Professionalism (1.5 hours)
c. Process Server Liabilities and Responsibilities (1 hour):
i. The content of Article 3 of these rules and of O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4.1, including but not limited to, a review of the following topics in detail:
1. All work shall be performed in a lawful, professional, and ethical manner, and a certified process server shall do all things possible to protect the rights and confidentiality of a client and of any person to whom legal process is directed.
2. A certified process server shall maintain high personal standards that do not impugn upon the reputation of the process service profession.
3. A certified process server must be a citizen of the United States, at least 18 years of age, and not be a party to the case. The process server must not have an interest in the outcome of the case or be related by blood or marriage to someone who has such an interest.
4. A certified process server shall attempt to perfect service within five days from receipt of a summons and complaint, but if unable to do so, shall engage in diligent efforts to perfect service.
5. A certified process server must supply and file a proof of service with the court in the county in which the action is pending within five business days of the service date. A certified process server shall not falsify or misrepresent the facts surround the delivery of legal process to any person or entity. The proof of service must be signed in the presence of a notary public and should never be signed in blank.
6. A certified process server shall display credentials at all times while engaged in service of process as stated in O.C.G.A. § 9-11-4.1(h)(3) (i) and said certified process server shall report lost or stolen credentials to the certifying county Sheriff’s Office within three days of discovery of the loss.
7. A certified process server shall fulfill all the criminal background requirements in Article 7.
8. A certified process server must maintain a commercial surety bond in an amount not less than the amount required by the rules set forth by the Judicial Council.
d. Constitutional Law and Georgia Law relevant to service of process (6 hours):
i. Knowledge and understanding of the applicability of the relevant Georgia code sections. A current list of relevant Georgia code sections shall be maintained by the AOC and shall be available upon request.
e. Personal Safety (1 hour)
f. Best Practices: Practical Exercises on Process Serving (2 hours)