Certified translation—This is the key to acceptance of foreign credentials. These credentials include birth certificates, marriage licenses, divorce decrees, driver’s licenses, death certificates, identification cards, visas, academic records and passports. Individuals who immigrate to another country or emigrate to the US and businesses functioning internationally usually must supply translated credentials that are ensured accurate and authentic. Such a guarantee requires certification that the translated documents are reliable sources of evidence to establish identities, commitments and responsibilities in places where English is not the recognized language.
Consider any individuals or businesses, famous or unknown: in today’s global mobile economy, at any moment they may need to enter into agreements, establish their identities, share their credentials, prove their trustworthiness, and substantiate their reputation. Others, like governments, financial institutions, health care providers, educational organizations, and anyone else with an interest or concern, needs reassurance that the translated information submitted to them is credible. Certified translations ensure that vital information is presented honestly, accurately, legally and ethically.
Maybe your lawyer told you to get a certified translation, or a friend or an acquaintance who had the same needs as you. They needed to submit to USCIS for immigration, a foreign government for a work visa, the department of motor vehicles or some other agency. These days, there are more reasons why you may need a certified translation than we can list here. The purpose of this article is to help you decide who you should trust for your certified translation requirements, how much you should pay, how long it should take and whether it should be notarized. We also discuss the process that a translation goes through to become certified.
What Is a Certified Translation?
A certified translation requires that the translator, upon completion of the translation, sign a certificate or affidavit of translation accuracy. By signing the affidavit, the translator attests that the translation is an accurate and true representation of the original source document. The certificate of translation accuracy or affidavit of translation is usually printed on a separate page on official company stationary and includes the translation company’s mailing address, phone number and other contact information. Sometimes these certificates are also notarized. For a certificate to be notarized, the translator must sign the affidavit in the presence of a public notary, who then records the signing, applies a notary stamp to the certificate and signs and dates the certificate.
How to Choose a Certified Translation Service?
Many Houston translation services offer certified translations at what they promote at low prices. But beware if this is your first time needing a certified translation and you really don’t know who to trust or anything about your requirements. It’s easy to find a Certified Translator. Just search Google for “Certified Translation,” or “Certified Translation Houston” and you are certain to find several pages of companies offering these services.
In reviewing your options for certified translation services, you will run across many companies claiming to be local. They list local addresses and phone numbers but do your research carefully because many of these companies aren’t local. Thus they must mail the translation to you, which adds shipping costs and time to the process.
That’s why we recommend doing your research carefully. Even if companies tell you they are in Houston, it’s a good idea to plug their addresses into Google and see if they have a physical location. Many of these companies have only a UPS mailbox or a virtual office. They promote their addresses as physical locations even when they have no actual employees in the state. Be particularly cautious if you need a certified translation quickly for an immigration hearing or an upcoming filing date.
Should Certified Translations Be Notarized?
These days, most local translation services offer notarization services. In the past, translations for immigration (USCIS) and other government agencies did not always require notarization. However, notarizing certified translations is becoming a standard practice. Also, for the legal translation of evidentiary materials to be used in court, it must be certified and sometimes notarized.
Also, if the translation will be used for official purposes in another country, it needs to be certified, notarized and apostilled. An apostille is a higher form of authentication from the Secretary of State’s office, located in the capital of each state. The purpose of the apostille is to confirm that the notary public who recorded the signing holds a valid commission in that state. Therefore, acquiring an apostille in Texas requires notarization by a Texas notary public. Documents notarized in Florida, New York and California, for example, cannot be apostilled in Texas.
How Much Should a Certified Translation Cost?
Over the past few years, the pricing of certified translations has become increasingly complicated. Many firms promote $20 or $25 per page. Pay careful attention to companies that promote prices based on the number of pages. Because these companies usually define a page as 200 or 250 words, only very rarely will you ever pay $20 or $25 for a certified translation. Most certified translations have between 300 and 350 words. So you will pay for 2 pages. Often these same companies also charge a credit card processing fee and perhaps even a handling fee.
A more honest approach bases pricing on the number of words. 24 Hour Translation, for example, offers rates from $0.10 per word. At this price, a 350-word translation costs $35, significantly less than most companies offering per-page pricing.
How Long Does a Certified Translation Take to Complete?
Most companies should complete a certified translation within 24 hours. Some companies charge you an express fee for 24-hour service. Other companies like 24 Hour Translation include this service in their standard pricing.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Certified translations are usually needed for legal or official reasons. Therefore, certified translations are often required when translating birth certificates, marriage licenses, financial statements, medical reports, death certificates, diplomas and transcripts, immunization records, legal contracts and filings, and driver’s licenses.
No. For a translation to be notarized the certification or affidavit of translation accuracy must be signed by the translator in the presence of a public notary. Upon witnessing the signing by the translator, the notary public will then stamp and sign the certificate or affidavit. Therefore, the certification and notarization must be completed at the same time and is usually done by the translations company.
Any document, recording or other content that must be translated and will be used for legal document or official purposes may need to be certified. The most requested types of certified translations include vital records such as birth certificates and marriage certificates for immigration filings; legal documents including contracts and evidentiary support; academic records including diplomas and transcripts; financial records; driver’s licenses; and medical records. Often these documents will need to be both certified and notarized. If you are required to present certified translations in a foreign country for a visa or other official purpose, the certified translations will likely need to be notarized and either apostilled or authenticated by the Secretary of State.
No. An apostille is a form of authentication that is issued by the Secretary of State. The Secretary of State can only Apostille or Authenticate a certified translation that has been notarized by a Public Notary that they have commissioned. Therefore, the Texas Secretary of State will only Authenticate or Apostille certified translations that have been notarized by a duly sworn Public Notary from Texas.
The average cost for a certified translation of a birth certificate or marriage certificate is $30. However, pricing is dependent on the number of words a document contains and the language that it must be translated into.
A certified translation is a type of translation where upon translating a document, the translator signs a certificate or affidavit of translation accuracy. By signing the affidavit, the translator confirms that the translation is accurate and that it correctly represents the source document.
Call 24 Hour Translation Services in Houston today for more details.
|24 Hour Translation Services|
2020 Montrose Blvd #202
Houston, TX 77006
Houston: (713) 589-3112
Fax: (281) 843-9196
E-Mail: [email protected]
I never really understood the importance of certified translations before reading this article. As someone preparing to travel overseas for awhile, perhaps it is something I should look into for the vital records I am bringing. I can think of many instances where having a certified, authenticated copy might be handy.
Can I use an online notarization service for a certified translation I already have? The cost of some of these Houston-based services seems reasonable, thankfully, as I have a feel more legal documents I need to have certified to submit to immigration services. Happy to hear 24-hour options exist if need be.
That’s a great question. People often get confused about what it means to have a translation notarized. When the translator signs an affidavit of translation accuracy, they are testifying that the translation is accurate. To be notarized, the translator needs to do this in front of a public notary. The public notary is there to observe the translator sign the affidavit and record the signing in a journal.
If you are preparing to travel overseas, you may need to start thinking about it quickly. Depending on where you are going and what you are going for, you may need to get a visa and that will likely require the certified translation and notarization of certain documents that may include a birth certificate or marriage license.
What a great article and this is very helpful. I’m in the middle of helping my sister and she’s preparing for a new venture overseas and I have been researching sites to help her and preparing her documents. I’m definitely going to send her this article and have her look it over and again thanks. This info is very well thought out and organized.