Many people have an inherent perception that translation means translating written content from one language into another. Certified translation indicates even more. A certified translation produces a legal record. Various governmental organizations and agencies and also non-governmental organizations like private universities will have special prerequisites for certified translations.

In the United States, for a certified translation, the translation should consist of:

  1. The source document (copy) which is present in the original language.
  2. The translated document of the target language.
  3. An affidavit (written legal declaration) signed by the translator or translation company delegate, with his or her signature certified by a Notary Public, certifying that the translator or translation company delegate affirms the target language text to be correct and it is the complete translation of the original language material.

A translator does not essentially be certified in order to provide a certified translation. It is also very important to understand that the Notary Public seal affirms only that the signature is that of the person who handed over him or herself to the notary.

In the United States, federal or state licensing or certification for translators is not present. Even though the American Translators Association provides translator certification in some language pairs, but it is just an option, and is not necessarily be accepted by any government agency or university.

Documents which may need certified translations are academic records, academic transcripts, birth certificates, customs’ documents, driver’s licenses, financial records, immigration and naturalization papers, marriage certificates, medical records, passports, recommendation letters, visas.