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Swearing in as an interpreter and/or authorisation as a translator with professional qualifications from abroad


For 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 upon request.

The work of interpreters includes oral and written transmission. In principle, the activity of the translator means only the written translation of one or more languages. Language in this sense is also a sign language.

You have the opportunity to be sworn or authorized in general as:

  • Court interpreter in court proceedings
  • Interpreter for official and notarial purposes
  • Sign language interpreter
  • Translator

The prerequisites for a general swearing-in as an interpreter and/or authorisation as a translator are personal reliability and professional suitability. Proof of this must be attached to the application. Professional aptitude can also be proven with professional and educational qualifications from abroad.

From 01.01.2023, the general swearing-in of court interpreters will take place in accordance with the Court Interpreters Act (GDolmG). The required language skills must be regularly proven by a state or state-approved interpreter examination. The general swearing-in as a court interpreter ends after five years, but can be extended repeatedly for five years at a time upon request if certain conditions are met.

General swearing-in ceremonies issued between 01.01.2011 and 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 authorisation 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 and/or authorisation for Lower Saxony takes place on application to the Regional Court of Hanover.

A list of sworn interpreters and authorised translators is kept which can be viewed by courts and authorities as well as by notaries with their official headquarters in Lower Saxony.

Add to the directory

  • Name
  • Address
  • Telephone
  • Fax
  • e-mail address,
  • Occupation
  • any additional qualifications,
  • the respective language, as well as
  • the date of swearing-in and/or authorization

affiliated. Any remuneration agreement that may have been concluded in accordance with Section 14 of the Judicial Remuneration and Compensation Act (JVEG) will also be included.

In Lower Saxony, the Regional Court of Hanover is responsible for general swearing-in and/or authorisation. This is also where the entries in the directory and in the automated retrieval procedure are posted.

The directory is also published on the Internet. Excluded from this are the details of 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 made public for the publication or posting of which consent has been given.

Process flow

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, for which a special certificate is issued under the NJG and a certificate under the GDolmG, or the handing over of the certificate of authorisation is also carried out by the President of the Regional Court of Hanover.

In each case, the swearing-in and/or authorisation is accompanied by an explicit obligation under the Obligations Act and the ordinances issued thereunder, with reference to the criminal consequences of a breach of duty, in particular according to the relevant provisions of the Criminal Code.

After handing over the certificate according to the GDolmG,

  • the interpreter is referred to as "Generally sworn court interpreter for (indication of the language for which she is sworn)",
  • the interpreter shall be referred to as 'Sworn court interpreter for (specifying the language for which he or she is sworn)';

lead.

After the certificate according to the NJG has been issued,

  • the interpreter is referred to as "Interpreter generally sworn by the Regional Court of Hanover for the ... Language",
  • the interpreter shall bear the designation "Interpreter generally sworn by the Regional Court of Hanover for the ... Language",
  • the translator is referred to as "Translator authorised by the Regional Court of Hanover for the ... Language" and
  • the translator is entitled to the designation "Translator authorised by the Regional Court of Hanover for the ... Language"

lead.

If a stamp is issued, this designation must be reproduced in its entirety and unchanged. The shape should be as round as possible. Size and font can be freely chosen. You will receive a sample after your swearing-in and/or authorization appointment.

They are included in a list of sworn interpreters and authorised translators, which can be consulted by courts and authorities as well as by notaries' offices. Registration takes place immediately after the general swearing-in and/or authorisation. The directory is also published on the Internet.

Requirements

The prerequisites for personal reliability are the following:

  • 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 will be led in orderly economic circumstances,
  • Self-disclosure from the central electronic register of debtors in accordance with Section 882b of the Code of Civil Procedure,
  • assurance that no insolvency proceedings have been opened against the assets of the applicant, that they have been rejected due to lack of assets and that no discharge of residual debt is outstanding,
  • Assurance that the applicant has no criminal record, that no preliminary proceedings are pending against him or her and that no penalty or measure of correction or security has been imposed on him or her in the five years prior to the filing of the application, and
  • Permission from the Foreigners' Registration Office for self-employment (possibly included in the residence permit), provided that the applicant does not have German citizenship or a nationality of the EU member states.

Prerequisites for professional aptitude are

  • Language skills that enable the applicant to easily understand practically everything he/she hears or reads, to express themselves spontaneously, very fluently and accurately, and to 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 mediation skills as an interpreter as well as
  • Knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology). They must be able to correctly understand and accurately translate legal terms from the various areas of judicial proceedings, especially 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 register of debtors in accordance with Section 882b of the Code of Civil Procedure
  • Certificate from the competent insolvency court stating that no insolvency proceedings have been opened against the assets of the applicant or that the opening of insolvency proceedings has been rejected due to 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 nationality of EU member states Proof of professional aptitude according to §§ 3 (2), (4) GDolmG and § 23 (2) - 4 NJG:

From 01.01.2023, the professional qualification of a court interpreter is based on the Court Interpreters Act (GDolmG). Professional aptitude in both German and foreign language requires:

  • Proof of a state or state-approved interpreter exam or
  • Proof of recognition of an interpreting 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 from a state-recognised language institute,
  • Proof of the existence of a state procedure for verifying language proficiency
  • Proof of knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology) by submitting qualified certificates or certificates 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 the interpreting or translation studies at a university or certificate of passing a state or state-recognized interpreter or translator examination, or
  • Certificates of successful attendance at a state-approved language school (for German and foreign languages) or
  • Certificate from the Chamber of Commerce and Industry for an interpreter or translator examination
  • at a higher education institution in a Member State of the European Union or an interpreter or translator examination passed in a Member State of the European Union, provided that these are recognised as equivalent, or
  • Certificate of acquisition of the general higher education entrance qualification
  • Proof of language proficiency and skills
  • Proof of knowledge of German legal language (legal terminology)

All documents must be enclosed in the original or as photocopies or digital images certified by an authority or a notary. If there are doubts about the authenticity of electronically attached evidence, it can be requested in the original or certified photocopy.

If documents are written in a language other than German, translations must be German, the accuracy and completeness of which has 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.

The following documents must not be older than 6 months at the time of the general swearing-in and/or authorisation:

  • Certificate of good conduct
  • Reprint of the information from the central electronic register of debtors
  • Certificate from the competent insolvency court

If the procedure is delayed because missing documents have to be submitted, this evidence must be provided anew.

What are the fees?

The Act on Costs in the Administration of Justice provides for fees for both the general swearing-in of interpreters and the authorisation to certify the accuracy and completeness of translations.

If both the general swearing-in as an interpreter and the authorisation as a translator for the same languages are requested, the fee is only charged once.

The fee is due upon submission of the application. The application as well as the required supporting documents will only be reviewed after payment of the fees.

In case of rejection of an application, the fees will not be refunded. If the application is withdrawn before a decision is taken, the fee is reduced to EUR 100.00 for the first language and EUR 60.00 for each additional language.

Fee: 150,00 EUR
Payment in advance: Yes
for the first language

Fee: 100,00 EUR
Payment in advance: Yes
for each additional language

What deadlines do I have to pay attention to?

In principle, there are no deadlines for submitting applications. However, the general swearing-in and authorisations made before 01.01.2011 expired at the end of 31.12.2015. This also applies if they have been issued for an indefinite period or for a limited period beyond that date. The group of persons concerned can submit a new application at any time.

General swearing-in ceremonies issued between 01.01.2011 and 31.12.2022 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.

Processing duration

Applications for general swearing-in and authorisation must be decided on without delay, at the latest within three months.

Applications / forms

The application for general swearing-in and/or authorisation can be submitted both electronically and in writing. The application must be in writing, i.e. it must be signed or authenticated by an electronic identity 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 submit an exclusively electronic application, you must identify yourself with an electronic identity card. You can find this option in the online ID function 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 authorisation according to the NJG, the proof of professional aptitude 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 submitted electronically. If there are doubts about the authenticity of electronically attached evidence, it can be requested in the original or certified photocopy.

Appeal

If your application has been rejected, you may appeal against the decision to the administrative court responsible for your place of residence within one month of notification.

Technically approved by

Lower Saxony Ministry of Justice

Author

The text was automatically translated based on the German content.

Source: Serviceportal Niedersachsen (Portalverbund des Bundes und der Länder)