CIT: Cal Interpreting & Translations Serving A Global Business Market

What is the Difference Between a Certified vs Notarized Translation?

At CIT, we understand that you rely on us for perfection and efficiency. CIT’s translation experts can help you determine if you need a certified or notarized translation. Here, we have compiled some basic information regarding the differences between certified translations and notarized translations. In addition, we strive for excellence in providing certified translations for USCIS, as we frequently work in the area.

Certified Translations

A certified translation is accompanied by a signed statement from the translator, indicating that the translation is a true and accurate representation of the original document. Certified translations are often required for legal documents including court transcripts, adoption agreements, business contracts, immigration documents, and birth, death, or marriage certificates.

Do I need a Certified Translator for a Certified Translation?

This may seem like a tricky question. At CIT, translation clients often come to us confused, having been told that they need a certified translator to complete a certified translation. This is actually not the case. The certified translators at CIT are professionals who have passed a translation exam and received their translation certification from an organization like the American Translators Association. However, a certified translation does not need to be done by a certified translator. A certified translation refers to a translation completed by a qualified professional interpreter who then completes the certification process. The translation includes a signed Certificate of Accuracy, testifying to this. A certified translation functions as a legal record, which is why government and legal entities always require certified translations.

Notarized Translations

A notarized translation requires official procedures that must be strictly adhered to. A notarized translation must be completed by a notary public. A notary public is a person who has been authorized by the government to oversee and authenticate legal documents, including notarized translations. Notarized translations are often needed for education-based documents, including high school transcripts and foreign diplomas.

Do I Need a Certified Translator for a Notarized Translation?

A notarized translation should be completed by a professional translator. However, the translator does not need to be a certified translator to provide a notarized translation. The completed translation is viewed by a notary public, who swears an oath to its accuracy and signs an affidavit with their official seal.

Should My Document be Certified and Notarized?

In most cases, only one is required to obtain either a notarized translation or a certified translation. However, just a few years ago the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) required that all certified translations also be notarized. Recently, the USCIS has changed the rules, no longer requiring the translation to be notarized, only certified. Since regulations and requirements are constantly changing, it is important to work with an adept and up-to-date agency like CIT.

The professional translators and notary publics at CIT attend conferences and events to stay up to date on the most recent regulations, ensuring that your document is translated as needed. USCIS translators at CIT understand that the immigration process can be very scary, confusing, and overwhelming. At CIT we have completed hundreds of USCIS certified translations, so we can help you through this difficult process.

What is USCIS?

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. They are a component of the Department of Homeland Security. 


Single Documents Accepted
No Minimum Project Size
No Extra Fee For Certified
24 Hour Follow-Up M-F
24 hour


Single Documents Accepted
No Minimum Project Size
No Extra Fee For Certified
24 Hour Follow-Up M-F
24 hour
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Cal Interpreting & Translations Local Offices

12304 Santa Monica Blvd. #300 Los Angeles, CA 90025

Cal Interpreting & Translations Corporate Offices

2501 W. Burbank Blvd. Ste 311, Burbank, CA 91505

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