Certification means a court interpreter or translator has been tested by a clearly defined method and has demonstrated a minimum level of competence. Several different organizations and government entities have set up certification programs for court and legal interpreters and translators. In addition, each state and the federal government has its own unique set of requirements that judiciary interpreters must meet in order to practice in their courts. The question of which certification to obtain can be a confusing one.

IBelow you will find brief summaries (with links) of the major judiciary interpreter certification programs.

NAJIT -- Court Interpreter and Translator Certification Program

Members of the National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators are not required to be certified (although all members of NAJIT must abide by the terms of NAJIT's Code of Ethics).

The National Center for State Courts Program

The National Center for State Courts has a certification program in Spanish that is recognized by many states.

Federal Court Interpreter Certification Requirements

Federal courts have a certification program for interpreters working in federal courts. Certification is available in Spanish, Navajo, and Haitian Creole. The examination for Spanish interpreters is the only one administered regularly. Check the link above for more information.

The American Translators Association

The American Translators Association offers a generalist translation certification in various languages. ATA's certification is not specifically designed for court and legal interpreters and translators.

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf

The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf offers a generalist certification for sign language interpreters as well as a specialist certification in legal interpreting. National Consortium of Legal Interpreting has best practice information for American Sign Language interpreters working in legal and quasi-legal settings.