Brief definition

A Certified Translation is a document that combines a translation of the source document(s) followed by 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 approved 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 certification statement 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 on each page
  • Notarization section and space where the notary applies their seal and signature.
  • If a translation service company performs translation, the company’s letterhead is valid, which 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 essential 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 (for example, diplomas, certificates, transcripts)

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

For example, ATA (American Translators Association) certified or corporate member certainly helps recognize an accredited 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.

Understanding that it is your responsibility to know or ensure the requesting party’s requirements is helpful. (i.e., USCIS Translations, Legal Document Translations)

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