go backBack

Circuit Court Clerk's Office

Service of Process

Service of Process is the formal delivery of a writ, summons or other legal process to another party as required by law. To perfect legal service the following types of service are available. A Prince William Service Request Form must be filed indicating what method of service will be used and the name and address of the person to be served. It is the responsibility of the parties or their counsel to advise the Clerk’s Office about the method of service to be used.
Service by Virginia Sheriff – Virginia Code § 17.1-272, § 8.01-293 and § 8.01-295.
Fee: $12.00 – Requires an original pleading and one copy of each pleading.
Fee: $17.00 – Subpoena Duces Tecum original and two copies for each pleading.
Department of Motor Vehicles – Virginia Code § 8.01-308 and § 8.01-310.
Fee: $28.00 – Requires original and three copies of pleading and affidavit (if affidavit is required). Counsel to prepare an Affidavit of Residency. 


Affidavit for Service of Process on the Virginia Department of Motor Vehicles - Motor Vehicle Accident - Required documents:  a completed Affidavit, a copy of the documents to be served, a check payable to DMV or Commissioner of DMV for $28.00 (per defendant). 
Secretary of the Commonwealth – Virginia Code § 2.2-409, § 8.01-301, § 8.01-310, § 8.01-329, § 55-218.1 and § 57-51.
Fee: $28.00 – Requires an original and two copies of the pleading and two copies of the affidavit.  When a court is the plaintiff in a case, then the fee is waived when serving through the Secretary of Commonwealth.
Forms: Affidavit for Service of Process on the Secretary of the Commonwealth (Instructions)
State Corporation Commission – Virginia Code § 12.1-19 (g), § 12.1-19.1 and § 13.1-637.
Fee: $30.00 – Requires an original and two copies of the pleading. See Virginia Code § 12.1-19.1 for other requirements.
Forms: Service of Process

Service Other than by Sheriff - Virginia Code § 8.01-293.
No fee. Requires an original and one copy of each document to be served. Please leave a telephone number and e-mail when waiting on service to be prepared. You will be contacted immediately when the service information is ready. The parties or their counsel are responsible for obtaining a Private Process Server.
Forms: Service Other Than By Sheriff (Instructions)

Service by Publication - Virginia Code § 8.01-316, § 8.01-317 and § 8.01-324.
A publication can be done in any newspaper where the newspaper has been authorized by this Court to print legal notices and publications in accordance with Virginia Code § 8.01-324. An Order of Publication shall be published in a newspaper prescribed by the court pursuant to Virginia Code § 8.01-317. The amount of times that the publication is printed in the newspaper is prescribed by statute.
Forms: Service by Publication

Acceptance/Waiver of Service of Process and
Waiver of Future Service of Process and Notice
Forms: Acceptance/Waiver of Service of Process (Instructions)

Other Information

  • If you have not officially requested and paid for a second attempt of sheriff's service on an individual, there is not a second attempt made by the Sheriff’s Department.  To reissue service by the Sheriff to a new address, it is $12.00 which is made payable to the Clerk of Circuit Court.
  • If you are requesting out-of-state service on a case which is filed here in Prince William County, submit a request with the defendant's address and request private process by a special process service.  You will be called when the complaint is ready to be picked up. 
  • Service returns are logged in the Sheriff's Office several days before the Clerk's Office receives them. You access the Sheriff's System at civildatabase.
  • You can check status of service on our Case Management website. The following codes are used to indicate service method:

   BU - business

   CN - cancelled

   CS - certificate of service

   FM - family member

   IP  - in person

   MA - mailed

   NF - not found

   NS - not served

   OP - order of publication

   PO - posted

   RA - registered agent


Please notify the Circuit Court Clerk's Office by email if you find that any of the links on this page do not work.