California Court Interpreters – How To Find

In California, the most diverse state in the country:

  • Over 200 languages are spoken.
  • 44% of households speak a language other than English.
  • Nearly 7 million speak English “less than very well.”
  • 19% of Californians cannot access the court system without language help.

Source: U.S. Census Bureau (2015)

Court interpreters

The California court system is aware of the diversity that exists within our state and is taking steps to provide services to all.  The California Judicial Council has a web page that allows you to search for a language interpreter who is in good standing with the court systems.

The search function available on the site allows you to search by language (including American Sign Language) and county.  The complete list of languages falls into two categories – certified and registered.

The results list provides name and contact information for the professional.

Use the Judicial Council Master List to search for court certified, registered and enrolled interpreters who are in good standing with the Judicial Council.  Interpreters included on the Master List have passed the required exams and officially applied with the Judicial Council.  For more information about the certification/registration process refer to California Government Code Sections 68561- 68562.

Written documents

Government Code §27293 permits California county clerks to certify documents translated into English only if the document has been translated by American Translators Association certified translators, California Certified Court Interpreters, or California Registered Interpreters.  California Certified Court or Registered Interpreters are authorized in a judicial proceeding to interpret orally the verbal content of documents, but the Judicial Council does not otherwise test or certify an interpreter’s written translation skills.

Complete information can be found on the California Judicial Council’s website at http://www.courts.ca.gov/35273.htm.

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