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STUDY MATERIALS FOR THE CERTIFICATION EXAM ARE LINKED BELOW under "LIBRARY OF HELPFUL INFORMATION"
The GA Judicial Council of Georgia Administrative Office of the Courts has not yet scheduled the 2019 quarterly exam dates. The first will likely be in February.
Counties that accept application for annual/permanent ORDER OF APPOINTMENT: (This is NOT on the exam, but is crucial to getting your business started!)
Cobb, Clayton (not Magistrate), Dawson, DeKalb, Douglas (not State), Forsyth, Fulton, Gwinnett (not Superior), Hall, Henry (not Magistrate), Paulding (not State) - all other county courts require per case appointment for all process servers, even certified.
The result is that the statute OCGA 9-11-4.1 stands as it naturally reads. Sheriffs do NOT have to approve your Form 4 authorizing you to serve process in civil cases filed in the courts in the county they represent. This is a separate decision from acknowledging your application for state-wide certification showing that you have met those qualifications. You will still need a single Sheriff's review and approval of your complete application to be CERTIFIED! However, the Sheriffs WILL approve complete applications, so don't be discouraged by the drama, nor confused by the convoluted procedures. Call me and ask if you have questions about it.
Certification does help separate the professionals from the un-trained in the process service industry! Most courts that offer permanent or annual orders of appointment will require proof of the education or full certification on their applications.