The definition and requirements of a certified translation changes in almost every country according to the purpose of use. In some countries or at some government agencies, certification by a qualified translator will be enough. However, certain types of documents may require notarization by a public notary. If the original document was issued by a foreign government, that document needs to be authenticated by an embassy, consulate or via a process called apostil.

Dragoman offices can provide certified, notarized and apostilled translations in many regions and languages of the world. We prepared this article to inform you about whether you need a certified translation, which kind you need and how can you obtain it.


In the United States any translator or translation office can certify a translation. American Translators Association (ATA) explains how it works and gives guidance.

Typically, a translation agency can certify documents by putting their stamp and signature on the translation.

Many states encourage certification of professionals for public service interpreting and also for interpreting at the courts. This certification process involves a course followed by a set of exams. Rules and procedures depends on the individual state. When required, you must hire a certified interpreter / translator.

Government institutions may inquire reputation of the translation agency or translator you have hired before accepting their document certification.


United Kingdom is a common law country and simply any translator or translation office can certify a translation. However, many government and private institutions prefer the translations to be performed or reviewed by translators holding either an ITI or CIOL certification. These certifications are valid across the UK.

Translators (or interpreters) are required to pass exams and obtain additional certification to work at the police, hospitals or courts.


Certified translators are called ‘sworn translators’ in Turkiye because they swear an oath in front of a public notary promising that they will always translate truthfully. Many government institutions also require the certified translations to be notarized. In this case you need to take the certified (sworn) translation to the notary office where your translator submitted their oath. The translator’s signature is only recognized at the very same notary and is not valid in other notary offices, not even in the same city or district.

Notarization is an extra layer of authentication required for critical documents like a birth certificate, diploma, marriage certificate, title deed, etc.


In Montenegro a translator needs to prove five years of active work as a translator in order to obtain a court certification. Certifications are nationally recognized.

Rental contracts, investor documents, documents related to obtaining a residence permit and any personal or family record must also be notarized in addition to certification. In most cases you will need a certified interpreter to accompany you to the notary office while you submit translated documents in order to make sure that you fully understand and agree with the content of certified translations.


Each European country have seperate certification procedures. There is no EU-certification in document translation. Contact us via email or phone to discuss your specific needs.


Individual translators cannot certify documents in China. Only companies registered with the State Administration for Industry and Commerce are authorized to provide certified translation services. Translation must be listed in their business scope. Translations of all documents issued by foreign institutions that are required for administrative procedures in China must be certified. 


Certification rules and procedures are similar to the USA or UK, which means any translator can self-certify their translations. However, NAATI certified translators and interpreters are highly recommended. NAATI is the national standards and certifying authority for translators and interpreters in Australia. It is the only organisation to issue certification to practitioners who wish to work in this profession in Australia.

Feel free to contact our offices to get proper guidance on your individual needs.