Professional aptitude as an interpreter and translator Determination
For the purpose of language transmission for judicial, official and notarial purposes, interpreters are generally sworn in and translators are authorised for the territory of the State of Lower Saxony.
The work of interpreters includes oral and written transmission. In principle, the work of translators only means the written translation of one or more languages. Language in this sense is also a sign language.
Acting as an interpreter in a court hearing requires an oath to translate faithfully and conscientiously. Instead of taking an oath separately for each court hearing, you can take a general oath and subsequently invoke it.
In the case of documents drawn up in a foreign language, a court may order the submission of translations whose accuracy and completeness have been certified by an authorised translator.
You have the opportunity to have your suitability determined for the job as:
- Court interpreter
- Interpreter for official and notarial purposes
- Sign language interpreter
The general swearing-in of court interpreters will take place from 01.01.2023 in accordance with the Court Interpreters Act (GDolmG). The required language skills must regularly be proven by a state or state-approved interpreter examination. The general swearing-in as a judicial interpreter ends after five years, but can be extended repeatedly by five years upon request if certain conditions are met.
General swearing-in ceremonies issued before 01.01.2023 in accordance with §§ 22 - 31 of the Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG) continue to apply. In court, interpreters can invoke this general swearing-in until 31.12.2026.
The general swearing-in of interpreters for official and notarial purposes and sign language interpreters as well as the authorization as translators for the territory of the state of Lower Saxony is carried out in accordance with §§ 22 - 31 of the Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG).
The general swearing-in of interpreters and the authorisation of translators to transmit languages for judicial, official and notarial purposes for the territory of the State of Lower Saxony shall be carried out upon written application to the Regional Court of Hanover.
Prerequisites are personal reliability and professional aptitude. Proof of this must be attached to the application. For a general swearing-in as an interpreter for official and notarial purposes, as a sign language interpreter and as a translator, you do not have to prove your professional suitability again if you are already generally sworn in and/or authorized in another federal state. In this case, it is sufficient if you submit the certificate of your general swearing-in or your authorization as proof of professional competence.
On the basis of the information provided by the applicant and the documents submitted for this purpose, the President of the Regional Court of Hanover decides on the applications. The general swearing-in, on which a special certificate is issued according to the NJG and a certificate according to the GDolmG, or the handing over of the certificate of authorization is also carried out by the President of the Hanover Regional Court.
The swearing-in and/or authorization is accompanied in each case by an express obligation under the Obligations Act and the ordinances issued thereunder, with reference to the criminal consequences of a breach of duty, in particular under the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code.
After handing over the certificate in accordance with the GDolmG,
- the interpreter shall be called "Sworn Court Interpreter for (indication of the language for which she is sworn)",
- the interpreter shall be called "Sworn court interpreter for (indication of the language for which he or she is sworn)",
After handing over the certificate in accordance with the NJG,
- the interpreter is called "Interpreter generally sworn by the Regional Court of Hanover for the ... Language",
- the interpreter is called "Interpreter generally sworn by the Regional Court of Hanover for the ... Language",
- the translator is called "Translator authorised by the Regional Court of Hanover for the ... Language" and
- the translator uses the designation "Translator authorised by the Regional Court of Hanover for the ... Language"
If a stamp is made, this designation must be reproduced in full and unaltered. The shape should be as round as possible. Size and font can be chosen freely. You will receive a sample after your swearing-in and/or authorization date. They are included in a list of sworn interpreters and authorised translators, which can be consulted by courts and authorities as well as notaries' offices.
In the directory
- E-mail address,
- any additional qualifications,
- the respective language as well as
- the date of swearing-in and/or authorization
affiliated. The same applies to any remuneration agreement concluded in accordance with § 14 of the Judicial Remuneration and Compensation Act (JVEG).
The directory is also published on the Internet. This does not apply to information on any remuneration agreement, the existence or non-existence of which will not be published or discontinued under any circumstances. Otherwise, only those data will be disclosed for the publication or discontinuation of which consent has been given.
Who should I contact?
The jurisdiction lies with the Regional Court of Hanover.
Hanover Regional Court
Prerequisites for personal reliability are the
- Submission of a curriculum vitae,
- Submission of a police clearance certificate, which must be suitable for submission to an authority (document type "O"),
- assurance that a life is led in orderly economic conditions,
- Self-disclosure from the central electronic list of debtors in accordance with Section 882 b of the Code of Civil Procedure,
- assurance that no insolvency proceedings have been opened against the applicant's assets, that they have been rejected for lack of assets and that no discharge of residual debt is outstanding,
- assurance that the applicant has no criminal record, that no investigation proceedings are pending against him or her and that no penalty or measure of improvement or security has been imposed on him or her in the last five years prior to the application, and
- Permission from the Foreigners' Registration Office to pursue self-employment (possibly included in the residence permit), provided that the applicant does not have German citizenship or citizenship of EU member states.
Prerequisites for professional aptitude are:
- language skills with which the applicant can easily understand practically everything he/she hears or reads, express himself or herself spontaneously, very fluently and accurately, and make finer nuances of meaning clear even in more complex situations, both in German and in the foreign language at language level C 2,
- language skills as an interpreter as well as
- Knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology). They must be able to correctly understand and translate legal terms from the various areas of judicial proceedings, in particular in the fields of civil, criminal and administrative law.
Proof of this must be attached to the application.
Which documents are required?
Proof of personal reliability:
- Curriculum vitae
- Police clearance certificate, which must be suitable for submission to an authority (document type "O")
- Self-disclosure from the central electronic list of debtors pursuant to Section 882 b of the Code of Civil Procedure
- Certificate from the competent insolvency court stating that no insolvency proceedings have been opened against the applicant's assets or that the opening of insolvency proceedings has been rejected for lack of assets
Certificate from the Foreigners' Registration Office stating that self-employment is permitted (possibly included in the residence permit), provided that the applicant does not have German citizenship or a citizenship of the EU member states Proof of professional competence in accordance with §§ 3 para. 2, 4 GDolmG and § 23 para. 2 - 4 NJG:
From 01.01.2023, the professional suitability of a court interpreter will be governed by the Court Interpreters Act (GDolmG). Professional aptitude in both the German and foreign languages requires:
- Proof of a state or state-approved interpreter's examination, or
- Proof of recognition of an interpreter's examination taken abroad, or
- Certificate of completion of studies at a state-recognized university abroad,
- C2 language certificate of the Common European Framework of Reference for Languages of a state-recognized language institute,
- Proof of the existence of a state procedure for checking language proficiency
- Proof of knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology) by submitting qualified certificates or attestations of a university degree completed in this field, vocational training, many years of professional practice or the successful completion of a separate course.
Applications under the Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG) for interpreters for official and notarial purposes and sign language interpreters require:
- Certificate of successful completion of studies as an interpreter or translator at a university or certificate of passing a state or state-recognised interpreter or translator examination, or
- Certificates of successful attendance at a state-approved language school (for German and foreign languages) or
- Certificate of examination from the Chamber of Industry and Commerce for an interpreter or translator examination
- at a university in a Member State of the European Union or an interpreter's or translator's examination passed in a Member State of the European Union, provided that they are recognised as equivalent in each case, or
- Certificate of acquisition of the general university entrance qualification
- Proof of linguistic knowledge and skills
- Proof of knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology)
All documents must be enclosed in the original or as copies or digital images certified by an authority or a notary. If there are doubts as to the authenticity of electronically attached evidence, these can be requested in the original or certified photocopy.
If documents are written in a language other than German, translations must be enclosed whose correctness and completeness have been certified by a translator authorised in Germany (not the applicant himself).
Foreign documents that do not originate from a member state of the European Union must be provided with an apostille or legalisation to prove their authenticity. Further information can be found on the website of the Federal Foreign Office.
The following proofs must not be older than 6 months at the time of the general swearing-in and/or authorization:
- Certificate of good conduct
- Reprint of the information from the central electronic debtor register
- Certificate from the competent insolvency court
If the procedure is delayed because missing documents have to be submitted later, this evidence must be provided again.
What are the fees?
The Law on Costs in the Administration of Justice provides for fees both for the authorisation to certify the accuracy and completeness of translations and for the general swearing-in of interpreters.
If both the general swearing-in as an interpreter and the authorization as a translator for the same languages are requested, the fee is incurred only once.
The fee is due upon submission of the application. Fees are due in advance. The application, as well as the required supporting documents, will only be considered after the fees have been paid.
In case of rejection of an application, the fees will not be refunded. If the application is withdrawn before a decision is issued, the fee is reduced to EUR 100.00 for the first language and EUR 60.00 for each additional language.
Fee: 150,00 EURPayment in advance: Nofor the first language
Fee: 100,00 EURPayment in advance: Noin each case for each additional language
What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?
In principle, there are no deadlines for submitting an application. However, the general swearing-in of interpreters and authorizations of translators made before 01.01.2011 expired at the end of 31.12.2015. This also applies if they have been granted for an indefinite period or for a limited period beyond this date. The group of persons concerned can submit a new application at any time.
General swearing-in ceremonies previously granted in accordance with §§ 22 - 31 of the Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG) continue to apply. In court, interpreters can invoke this general swearing-in until 31.12.2026.
A decision on applications for general swearing-in and authorisation must be made without delay, at the latest within three months.
§§ 22 -31 Lower Saxony Justice Act (NJG)
Applications / forms
The application for general swearing-in and/or authorization can be made both electronically and in writing. The application must be in writing, i.e. it must be signed or authenticated by an electronic identification document.
The link to the online application can be found on this page. The prerequisite for using the online application is the use of a service account. You can also register a service account via the online application. To apply electronically, you must identify yourself with an electronic identity card. You can find this option in the Online ID function section of logging in to the service account. With a foreign electronic identity card, you can use the Federal Service Account for registration and identification.
If you do not have an electronic identity card, the application must also be printed out and signed and sent by post after electronic transmission.
For the swearing-in and/or authorization according to the NJG, the proof of professional competence must currently still be submitted in the original. The evidence must therefore be sent by post to the Regional Court of Hanover after the online application has been submitted. For a swearing-in as a court interpreter, all evidence can be transmitted electronically. If there are doubts as to the authenticity of electronically attached evidence, these can be requested in the original or certified photocopy.
The form for download with further information can be found here.
If your application has been rejected, you can appeal against the decision to the administrative court responsible for your place of residence within one month of notification.
What else should I know?
More information can be found at the Hanover Regional Court.
Technically approved by
Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice
The text was automatically translated based on the German content.