Affidavit of Diligent Search & Inquiry and Service by Publication

Instructions for Completing an Affidavit of Diligent Search and Service by Publication (if necessary)


Service by Publication is used when service has been returned indicating that the other party could not be located. You must prove to the Court that you have made a reasonable effort to locate him/her.

Follow these instructions to complete a Diligent Search and Inquiry. The form lists places to search for the other party. 

The five places listed below are the minimum requirements that must be done:

A.   United States Post Office [Instructions & Forms]
B.   Internet Search or www.switchboard.com [Instructions]
C.   Department of Motor Vehicle [Instructions & Forms]
D.   Department of Corrections Inmate Search databases [Instructions]
E.   Letters to the Armed Forces of the U.S. [Instructions & Forms]
       Certificate of Military Service & Military Verification of Service


You are required to file written proof of your search efforts such as payment receipts, printed search results, letters from companies/organizations/businesses and/or other proof of your attempts to locate information on the other party.


Form 12.913(b) Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry (PDF) has more places to search that may be needed for you to complete your diligent search.

Follow through on all leads that you discover as a result of your search.

On the other hand if, during your search for the other party, you locate his/her address, then you must have him/her served by personal service as provided for in Chapter 48 of the Florida Statutes. It will then be unnecessary to file the Affidavit of Diligent Search and Inquiry.

THESE INSTRUCTIONS ARE NOT INTENDED TO SUBSTITUTE FOR LEGAL ADVICE. IF YOU HAVE QUESTIONS ABOUT THE LAW AND SEEK LEGAL ADVICE, YOU MUST CONSULT A LAWYER.