Brief definition

A Certified Translation is a document that combines translation of the source document(s) following with a legal affidavit, declaring its accuracy and completeness.As a result, such translation becomes a legally binding document.

According to law, anyone can certify a translation in the United States

The translator does not need to be recognized or certified by an institution or an authority before providing a certified translation. In other words, a translation company or an individual can provide a certified translation.

What should be on the certification statement?
The certification section should state the following information:

  • The statement of certification must specify whether the signer has translated the translation.
  • Naming the source and target languages of translation
  • A clear statement about the integrity of translation such as completeness, accuracy and truthfulness
  • A statement about the competence of the translator or translation firm
  • The full name and signature of the translator or authorized company representative, and the date it is signed
  • Page number and sequence indicated in each page
  • Notarization section and space where notary applies his/her seal and signature.
  • If translation performed by a translation service company, company’s letterhead is useful, which clearly displays the company’s name, address, phone number, website

What is the difference between a certified translation and a notarized translation?
Sometimes, people get confused and ask “the translation be notarized”.

This is a wrong request, as a translation cannot be notarized. It is important to understand that a notary public legally acknowledges (notarizes) the identity of the individual signing on the certification statement.

A Certified Translation should not be changed after being certified.

What kinds of documents need a certified translation?
People need certified translations for a variety of reasons, such as:

  • Legal cases (i.e. civil, marriage, divorce, criminal)
  • Procedures with government offices (example: visa applications, driver’s license, immigration, naturalization).
  • Educational institutions require foreign candidates / students to submit certified translations of application documents (example: diplomas, certificates, transcripts)

Is recognition by a translation association necessary?
No, but certainly useful.

For example, a certified or corporate member of ATA (American Translators Association) certainly helps for the recognition of a certified translation document.

We suggest asking if there are special requirements by the party requesting a certified translation. For example, some requesters may require specific phrases to be used or may refuse signatures if anything other than blue and black ink.

It is useful to understand that it is your responsibility to know or make sure about the requesting party’s requirements. (i.e. USCIS Translations, Legal Document Translations)

CBS Translation provides all personal document translations in its own certification format that is compatible with the requirement of the U.S. government departments as well as other official organizations or institutions.