I've been told I should try wearing a disguise in order to trick hard-to-serve subjects. But I think that just ruins the whole point of a costume, since people evading service are on the watch for obvious ploys.
Other process servers seem to agree. The topic recently came up on a LinkedIn message forum frequented by process servers, and those who commented agreed that disguises and costumes are not necessary, and even more hassle than they're worth.
And in some states, like Arizona and New York, it's actually against the law to use disguises, some said.
But whether or not wearing deceptive disguises is legal in certain states, many registered process servers question the professionalism of the practice anyway. They said being honest, professional and dressing in business attire is a better idea. Also, understanding that the people they're serving may just be going through a rough patch. Respecting them and the neighbors who protect them are what keeps most servers safe.
That said, the use of props can sometimes be useful, some servers feel. In my case, I keep a cardboard box covered with postage tape in my trunk for those times I feel it might help to create a certain illusion. Otherwise, I find a stake-out to be the best tactic for evasive subjects.