When does a translation need to be notarised?

When does a translation need to be notarised?

Notarised translation refers to the in-depth and meticulous translation of official documents from the source into the target language, which is then authenticated by a notary public. Generally, a notarised document is better accepted abroad, as it has been certified by a government worker. Any institution or organisation may request a notarised translation, and such may require notarised translation for passports, real estate purchases, diplomas or birth certificates.

It is important to note that notarisation does not necessarily indicate a higher quality of translation but rather stands as a legal requirement. A notarised translation is a translation that has been signed and stamped by a notary public. The Notary Public checks the identity of the translator or translation company representative and attaches a notarial certificate to the translation.

It is also important that the notarial certificate does not endorse the quality of the translation itself, rather it can only confirm that the identity of the translator/translation company representative were verified by them.

Understanding Notarisation

If you are dealing with an overseas legal matter, you may be interested in learning the difference between the various types of translation - and where they might come into play. In the UK, a certified translation is carried out by a qualified professional and includes a signed declaration of confirmation. A certified translation can be produced under one of three conditions: when the document has been signed by an “official translator”, authenticated by a translation company, or certified in front of a solicitor or notary. 

In contrast, a notarised translation is always overseen by a notary public, who has been authorised by the government to administer legal formalities. This is a more secure option and is often the requisite for when the legitimacy of the document is of high importance, although the costs and waiting time for such are usually much lengthier in this type of certification. The notary also keeps a record of each notarial act they perform, in case any questions arise in future. Sometimes, a document will require further ‘legalisation’ by an apostille or another stamp from the issuing country’s government, however this is a separate step to notarisation. 

Circumstances of Notarisation

The most common purpose for notarised documents is under the circumstance of immigration. All émigrés are expected to provide valid identification, including passports, birth certificates, marriage certificates, and court and prison records. In addition, immigration papers are signed and executed by a notary. For those who are looking to work abroad, delivering attestation of academic certificates is necessary. 

UK embassies, high commissions, and consulates may also provide support for those who are getting married, entering into a civil partnership, or registering a civil partnership conversion abroad. Émigrés need ID documentation (passport, birth certificate) at hand before jetting off to tie the knot, whilst marriage documents should be authenticated by a notary. Those who want to take children with them also need to prepare a consent to travel, including evidence of their familial relationship (birth certificates, passports).

Notarised translation plays an important role in protecting the rights of citizens. The process can be complicated and time-consuming - so it’s important to talk things through with clients and notaries every step of the way, and stay curious and up-to-date about documentation laws in other countries.