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Posted Tuesday, February 20, 2024
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Become an Interpreter

New Candidates

Have you ever wanted to be part of the court process as a certified or registered court interpreter? Working directly with court customers of limited English proficiency, court interpreters play an integral role in one of the largest and most diverse judicial branch court systems in the nation.

To find out if this profession is for you, view the videos below:

Is Court Interpreting for you?
Interpreter Candidate Self-Assessment

Overview of a Career in Court Interpreting (2:51)

Getting Started in Court Interpreting (2:17)

Interpreters certified in other states
If you have passed an oral interpreting exam developed by the Consortium for Language Access in the Courts (CLAC) or are a federally certified court interpreter you may qualify for reciprocity from the Judicial Council of California’s Court Interpreters Program.

California will reciprocate (honor) your scores on a Consortium oral interpreting exam taken outside of California, provided the criteria established by California are met. You will find information on the requirements here: Reciprocity FAQs.

Federally Certified Interpreters:
Interpreters holding a current federal court interpreter certification in Spanish are eligible to become California certified court interpreters. 

To be added to the Master List of Certified Court and Registered Interpreters, federally certified interpreters must request an enrollment packet at courtinterpreters@jud.ca.gov and follow the instructions provided upon receipt.

For more information, contact the Court Interpreters Program at courtinterpreters@jud.ca.gov.

Becoming a California Certified and/or Registered Court Interpreter

To be a California certified and/or a registered court interpreter, a person must be at least 18 years old and possess applicable language skills. Specifically, an applicant must be able to facilitate communication to flow between the court and court customers in a court setting. This includes the ability to interpret with high accuracy and the ability to accurately translate content from one language to another in a judicial setting.

New Testing Candidates: If you are just getting started in court interpreting and have general questions, please contact the court interpreters program: courtinterpreters@jud.ca.gov.

What to Expect When Taking the Oral Proficiency Exam

To become a certified court interpreter, you'll need to take Oral Proficiency Exams, the English-Only Written Exam, and the Bilingual Oral Interpreting Exam. Some languages also require certification status.

To become a registered interpreter, you need to pass Oral Proficiency Exams and the English-Only Written Exam.

To prepare for test day, view the videos below:

The Oral Proficiency Exam (3:22)

The Written Exam (2:41)

The Bilingual Oral Interpreting Exam (2:48)

Exam Preparation & Next Steps

Stay Updated

If you would like to receive Court Interpreters Program updates, exam news, and resources, please e-mail us at courtinterpreters@jud.ca.gov.