The Ultimate Guide to Process Service in New Jersey


At DGR Legal, we’ve successfully completed service of process all across the world for more than forty years—but we’ll always have a special place in our hearts for our home state of New Jersey. 

If you have questions about completing service in New Jersey, look no further. The following guide has everything you need to know about serving documents in the state, along with tips on how to find the best process server and get the job done right.

Service of Process in New Jersey

The laws governing process service vary significantly from state to state—and New Jersey has its own unique set of rules and requirements. Here are a few of the key things to know about serving documents in the state.

Who can serve documents in NJ?

New Jersey rules allow any individual above the age of eighteen to serve legal documents, provided that they have no direct interest in the case. 

This means that, technically speaking, almost anyone can serve documents in New Jersey—but that doesn’t mean you should entrust service of process to just anyone. There are specific requirements for how documents may be legally served, as well as additional requirements for recordkeeping and documentation. A professional NJ process server will be able to ensure that service is effectuated successfully and in accordance with the law.

When can documents be served?

While a number of states have laws forbidding service of process on Sundays, New Jersey allows for documents to be served on any day of the week. 

What are the methods of service in NJ?

Personal service (when documents are served in-person directly to an individual) is always the preferred method of service in New Jersey. Serving documents in-person is as close as you can come to a guarantee that service will be considered valid in court. Typically, an experienced process server will first attempt to make contact with an individual by waiting in a place they are likely to be and physically serving them the documents.

In some cases, however, it may not be possible to effectuate personal service, especially if an evasive individual is intentionally avoiding service. If a process server is unable to effectuate service after several attempts, it’s possible to file a motion for alternate service. 

If alternate service is approved by a judge, a process server may then pursue completion of service through less traditional means, including service by mail, service through publication in a newspaper or periodical, or service through electronic messaging such as email. The process servers at DGR Legal have extensive experience with both personal and alternate methods of service—in fact, we even completed the first instances of service via social media through Instagram and LinkedIn.

New Jersey and the UIDDA

The Uniform Interstate Deposition and Discovery Act (UIDDA) was initially created to ease and standardize the process of serving subpoenas across state lines. Under the UIDDA, subpoenas can be served in participating states through a much more streamlined process that doesn’t require local counsel in the state of deposition or discovery.

New Jersey joined the UIDDA in 2014, meaning that out-of-state litigants can now serve subpoenas in New Jersey without the need to retain local NJ counsel. However, the rules for serving subpoenas across state lines can still be quite complex, and not every state is currently a member of the UIDDA—as such, it’s still recommended to work with a professional NJ process server.

How long does service of process take in New Jersey?

Unfortunately, there’s no single answer as to how long service of process will take—it all comes down to the specifics of the case at hand and whether or not the individual in question is trying to avoid service.

At DGR Legal, we’ve successfully completed service in as little as an hour, and service of process can typically be completed within two or three days. However, it can also take significantly longer in cases where an individual is actively avoiding service or an incorrect address is provided. 

Working with an experienced NJ process server is the best way to speed the process and ensure that documents are served as quickly as possible.

What should I look for in an NJ process server?

The right process server can be the difference between efficient, successfully effectuated service and service that never gets completed—or that won’t hold up in court. Here are a few things to look for as you consider hiring a New Jersey process server.

Experience is vital

Look for a process server with years of experience successfully completing service in New Jersey. A process server with a history of effectuating service in-state will know the local rules and regulations—and have the necessary experience to handle service for evasive or hard-to-find individuals. 

Process servers should be transparent about costs

A professional process server should be up-front and transparent about the costs of service—be wary of process servers who are reluctant to give you a specific price or who offer no-serve, no-pay pricing. Often, this can be a sign that these servers may give up after one or two attempts.

Look for open communication

A good process server will always go the extra mile to keep you in the loop. Look for a process server who offers timely updates throughout the process and responds consistently and promptly to your messages. 

Get started with fast and reliable NJ process service

The New Jersey process servers at DGR Legal have over forty years of experience effectuating service throughout the state—we also have an extensive track record of successfully completing service across state lines and internationally. 

We offer automatic status updates through our online portal, trained process servers with years of local experience, and fast, efficient turnaround times. If you’re looking to serve legal documents in New Jersey, we have the tools and the know-how to get the job done.

DGR Legal offers service of process in every county of New Jersey, including:

  • Atlantic 
  • Bergen 
  • Burlington 
  • Camden
  • Cape May
  • Cumberland 
  • Essex 
  • Gloucester 
  • Hudson 
  • Hunterdon
  • Mercer 
  • Middlesex 
  • Monmouth 
  • Morris 
  • Ocean
  • And More

If you need documents served in New Jersey, contact our team today. 

The staff of DGR Legal are not lawyers, nor is our organization a law firm. The information provided on this website does not, and is not intended to, constitute legal advice. Rather, all information, content, and materials available on this site are for general informational purposes only. Information on this website may not constitute the most up-to-date legal or other information.  

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