Professional Registrations

What is a Legal Document Assistant? (B&P §6400 – 6415)

A legal document assistant (LDA), is a non-lawyer authorized to assist with the preparation of legal instruments. Unlike a paralegal, legal document assistants do not work under the supervision of an attorney. "Legal document assistant" means: Any person who provides, or assists in providing, or offers to provide, or offers to assist in providing, for compensation, any self-help service to a member of the public who is representing themselves in a legal matter, or who holds themselves out as someone who offers that service or has that authority. This shall not apply to any individual whose assistance consists merely of secretarial or receptionist services.

Registering as a Legal Document Assistant

  • Complete registration form (available at the County Clerk's office)
  • Provide all supporting documentation as requested in the application form
  • Legal Document Assistant bond in the amount of $25,000.00 in favor of State with County named in bond:
    • The bond must show date of issuance and date of expiration
    • Different amount for corporations/partnerships dependent on number of employees
    • A separate bond is required for each type of registration (Legal Document Assistant or Unlawful Detainer Assistant)
    • Original or certified copy of the bond with a cover sheet when filing in additional counties
    • Valid California Driver License / Valid government-issued photo identification

  • Applicable fees:
    • $182.00 for the registration and ID card
    • Separate Recorder’s Office fee for bond recordation: $14.00 for first page of bond, $3.00 each additional page and Real Estate Fraud Fee is $3.00.
    • The fee for additional LDA cards issued under the same registration number is $10.00 each
    • Fees can be paid in cash, check made payable to the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. Credit cards are not accepted
  • Your photograph will be taken at the time your application is processed
  • Visit the Clerk's Office in person from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday with all required documents and valid form of payment for all fees

Renewal Information

The Legal Document Assistant registration is effective for a period of two years, or the bond expiration date, whichever occurs first. The renewal can take place up to 60 days prior to the expiration date; the effective date of the renewal will be the date your current registration expires. Renewal will retain the same number provided registration is in the same county and lapsed no more than three (3) years. The above-listed requirements (including fees) still apply when renewing. If the county clerk finds that the applicant has failed to demonstrate having met the requisite requirements, the county clerk, within three business days of submission of the application and fee, shall return the application and fee to the applicant with a notice to the applicant indicating the reason for the denial and the method of appeal.

What is a Professional Photocopier? (B&P §22450 – 22463)

A Professional Photocopier is defined as any person who for compensation obtains or reproduces documents authorized to be produced, and who, while engaged in performing that activity, has access to the information contained therein. A professional photocopier shall be registered pursuant to this Chapter by the County Clerk of the county in which he or she has his/her principal place of business, and in which he/she maintains a branch office.

A professional photocopier shall be responsible at all times for maintaining the integrity and confidentiality of information obtained under the applicable codes in the transmittal or distribution of records to the authorized persons or entities.

Registering as a Professional Photocopier

  • Complete registration form (available at the County Clerk's office)
  • Provide all supporting documentation as requested in the application form
  • Professional Photocopier bond in the amount of $5,000.00 in favor of County:
    • The bond must show date of issuance and date of expiration
    • Valid California Driver License / Valid government-issued photo identification

  • Applicable fees:
    • $182.00 for the registration and ID card
    • Combined registration as a Process Server and Professional Photocopier is $200.00
    • Separate Recorder’s Office fee for bond recordation: $14.00 for first page of bond, $3.00 each additional page and Real Estate Fraud Fee is $3.00
    • The fee for additional professional photocopier cards issued under the same registration number is $10.00 each
    • Fees can be paid in cash, check made payable to the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. Credit cards are not accepted
  • Notary public requirement – At least one person involved in the management of a professional photocopier shall be required to hold a current commission from the Secretary of State as a notary public in this state
  • Your photograph will be taken at the time your application is processed
  • Visit the Clerk's Office in person from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday with all required documents and valid form of payment for all fees

Renewal Information

A certificate of registration is effective for a period of two years or until the date the bond expires, whichever occurs first. The renewal can take place up to 60 days prior to its expiration date and the effective date of the renewal will be the date the current registration expires. Renewal will retain the same number provided registration is in the same county and lapsed no more than three (3) years. The above-listed requirements (including fees) still apply when renewing.

What is a Process Server? (B&P §22350 – 22360)

Process servers deliver legal documents to parties involved in court matters. California process servers must be 18 years old and must not be a defendant, plaintiff, petitioner, respondent or otherwise involved in the case. Process servers registered in California may serve legal documents anywhere in the state

About being a Process Server

Any person who makes more than 10 services of process within this state during one calendar year, for specific compensation or in expectation of specific compensation, shall file a certificate of registration as a process server with the county clerk of the county in which he or she resides or has his or her principal place of business. Any corporation or partnership that derives or expects to derive compensation from service of process within this state shall also file a certificate of registration as a process server with the county clerk of the county in which the corporation or partnership has its principal place of business

Persons Exempt from Registration

  • Any sheriff, marshal, or government employee who is acting within the course of his or her employment
  • An attorney or his or her employees
  • Any person who is specially appointed by a court to serve its process
  • A licensed private investigator or his or her employees

Registering as a Process Server

  • Complete registration form (available at the County Clerk's office)
  • Live Scan fingerprint records for each registrant on the form
  • Process Server bond in the amount of $2000.00 in favor of County:
    • In the name of the person, partnership or corporation that is registering
    • The bond must show date of issuance and date of expiration
    • Valid California Driver License / Valid government-issued photo identification

  • Applicable fees:
    • $125.00 for the registration and ID card
    • Separate Recorder’s Office fee for bond recordation: $14.00 for first page of bond, $3.00 each additional page and Real Estate Fraud Fee is $3.00
    • The fee for additional Process Server cards issued under the same registration number is $10.00 each
    • Fees can be paid in cash, check made payable to the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. Credit cards are not accepted
  • Visit the Clerk's Office in person from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday with all required documents and valid form of payment for all fees

Fingerprinting:

LiveScan fingerprinting is required for new registrants and if there has been a lapse in registration. You may pick up a Live Scan form from the County Clerk’s Office at 1021 I Street, Modesto, CA or download the form here.

Renewal Information

A certificate of registration is effective for a period of two years or until the date the bond expires, whichever occurs first. The renewal can take place up to 60 days prior to its expiration date and the effective date of the renewal will be the date the current registration expires. Renewal will retain the same number provided registration is in the same county and lapsed no more than three (3) years. The above-listed requirements (including fees) still apply when renewing.

What is an Unlawful Detainer Assistant? (B&P §6400 – 6415)

An Unlawful Detainer Assistant is an individual who for compensation renders assistance or advice in the prosecution or defense of an unlawful detainer claim or action, including any bankruptcy petition that may affect the unlawful detainer claim or action.

Registering as an Unlawful Detainer Assistant

  • Complete registration form (available at the County Clerk's office)
  • Provide all supporting documentation as requested in the application form
  • Unlawful Detainer Assistant bond in the amount of $25,000.00 in favor of State with county named in bond:
    • Different amount for corporations/partnerships dependent on number of employees
    • The bond must show date of issuance and date of expiration
    • A separate bond is required for each type of registration (Legal Document Assistant or Unlawful Detainer Assistant)
    • An Unlawful Detainer Assistant is not the same as a Legal Document Assistant; each requires its own application and bond
    • Original or certified copy of the bond with a cover sheet when filing in additional counties
    • Valid California Driver License / Valid government-issued photo identification

  • Applicable fees:
    • $182.00 for the registration and ID card
    • Separate Recorder’s Office fee for bond recordation: $14.00 for first page of bond, $3.00 each additional page and Real Estate Fraud Fee is $3.00
    • The fee for additional Unlawful Detainer Assistant cards issued under the same registration number is $10.00 each
    • Fees can be paid in cash, check made payable to the Clerk-Recorder’s Office. Credit cards are not accepted
  • Your photograph will be taken at the time your application is processed
  • An Unlawful detainer Assistant is not the same as a Paralegal. Pursuant to §6401(b), a Paralegal does not have to register as an Unlawful Detainer Assistant while acting on behalf of a member of the State Bar. A Paralegal, acting independently must register as an Unlawful Detainer Assistant if performing those services
  • No person who has been disbarred or suspended from the practice of law pursuant to Article 6 (commencing with §6100) of chapter 4 of the Business and Professions Code shall, during the period of any disbarment or suspension, register as an Unlawful Detainer Assistant
  • You are encouraged to read Sections 6400 through and including 6416 of the Business and Professions Code concerning the requirements of an Unlawful Detainer
  • Visit the Clerk's Office in person from 8:00 am to 4:00 pm Monday through Friday with all required documents and valid form of payment for all fees

Renewal Information

The Unlawful Detainer Assistant registration is effective for a period of two years, or the bond expiration date, whichever occurs first. The renewal can take place up to 60 days prior to the expiration date; the effective date of the renewal will be the date your current registration expires. Renewals will retain the same number provided registration is in the same county and lapsed no more than three (3) years. The above-listed requirements (including fees) still apply when renewing. If the county clerk finds that the applicant has failed to demonstrate having met the requisite requirements, the county clerk, within three business days of submission of the application and fee, shall return the application and fee to the applicant with a notice to the applicant indicating the reason for the denial and the method of appeal.