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California Certified Court Interpreter

Certified Languages

Currently, court interpreters in the following 14 spoken languages must be certified: Arabic, Eastern Armenian, ​Farsi, Punjabi (Gurmukhi), Western Armenian, Cantonese, Japanese, Khmer, Korean, Mandarin, Portuguese, Russian, Spanish, Filipino (Tagalog), and Vietnamese. Certified languages may change periodically, depending on the results of studies of language use in the courts and other administrative factors. There is no “Registered” status for these languages.

Candidates must first pass the Written Exam as a prerequisite before they may take the Bilingual Interpreting Exam. Only interpreters of certified languages who pass the Bilingual Interpreting Exam and submit an application to the Judicial Council are referred to as “certified court interpreters.”

Required Elements Certified Status
1) Written Exam tests three primary content areas: English language, court-related terms and usage, and ethics/professional conduct.

2) Bilingual Interpreting Exam tests interpreting skills in simultaneous and consecutive interpreting and in sight translation. (Passing the Written Exam is a prerequisite for the Bilingual Interpreting Exam)

3) Submit a complete application including certificate of completion for the online course “Interpreter Orientation: Working in the California Courts”.

4) Attend a Judicial Council Code of Ethics Workshop (within the first two-year compliance period).

 

    Review the Candidate Information Bulletin

Before you sign up to take any California court examination, please review the Candidate Information Bulletin. This bulletin will provide you with important information about each examination including requirements, testing windows, what to expect on test day, rescheduling/cancellation policy and much more.

    Reciprocity

Effective January 1, 2011, the California Court Interpreters Program will offer test reciprocity to court interpreters who passed Consortium-developed oral interpreting exams administered in member states. Please note that the California Court Interpreters Program will only recognize oral interpreting exam standards and scores that meet or exceed the requirements in California.

If you believe you may be eligible for reciprocity in California because you have passed federal court certification exams, or certification exams in other states, please contact the Judicial Council Court Interpreters Program at 866-310-0689 to clarify.

    Testing Accommodations

If you require testing accommodations such as those necessary for disabilities, please complete an accommodation request form or contact Prometric at 866-241-3118 for assistance. You will need to provide professional medical documentation of your disability to help us determine the necessary testing arrangements. Advance notice is required for all special testing arrangements; please make your request at least 30 days in advance of your desired testing appointment.

    Register and Schedule Your Written Exam

Identification

You may contact Prometric at 1-866-241-3118 to register and schedule your Written Exam appointment. When you register for any exam, be sure to use your legal name as listed on your official ID. Your official ID should meet these three requirements:

  • A valid, non-expired form of identification;
  • Be government-issued (e.g., driver’s license, passport, state-issued identification card or military identification card); and
  • Contain both a current photo and your signature (refer to the Candidate Information Bulletin if your official ID does not meet this requirement for further instructions).

Register with your full name exactly as it appears on your ID. Upon registration, Prometric’s data management system assigns a unique identification number, often called a Prometric ID number, to every candidate. You must use your Prometric ID number when registering and scheduling for any of the exams.

Location

Your Written Exam will be given by computer at a Prometric Test Center in California. A complete list of the test center locations in California may be found by going to https://www.prometric.com/cacourtint, selecting the Written Exam, and clicking on the “Locate A Test Center” button.

If you need to change your appointment, please review the policies in the Candidate Information Bulletin.

To register/schedule click here.

    Prepare for Your Written Exam

The content of the Written Exam questions is the National Center for State Courts’ Court Interpreter Written Examination, and is used with their permission. As of January 1, 2018, all previously taken written exams and exams taken moving forward are valid for 4 years. Please review the below resources in preparation for your exam.

 

    Take your Written Exam

Confirm the Test Center address and review directions provided.

You must present a valid, non-expired form of identification before you can test. That identification document must:

  • Be government-issued (e.g., driver’s license, passport, state-issued identification card or military identification card);
  • Contain both a current photo and your signature (if it does not, you must present two government-issued identification cards: one with your photo and one with your signature);
  • Have a first and last name that exactly matches the first and last name used to register for the examination. Review Test Center Procedures in the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Arrive at the Test Center 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

If you need to change your appointment, please review the policies in the Candidate Information Bulletin.

You must successfully pass your Written Exam before moving on to the next step in the certification process. You will receive your Written Exam Score Report at the test center at the end of your exam.

  • You will receive your results on the Written Exam before you leave the Test Center.  Once you pass the Written Exam, you are permitted four attempts to take and pass the Bilingual Interpreting Exam. There is no time limit to take or complete the four attempts, and you may take the Bilingual Interpreting Exam in a particular language once during any exam cycle.
  • If you are unsuccessful in passing your Written Exam on your first attempt, you must wait a minimum of 90 days before taking the written exam again. Candidates are limited to two attempts to pass a written exam within a one year period (365 days).

    Register and Schedule Your Bilingual Interpreting Examination

The Bilingual Interpreting Exam is an exam that is only given twice a year – typically March and September – at specified dates and locations in the state.  You can register and schedule your exam via telephone at 1-866-241-3118. The office is open Monday - Friday, 5:00 A.M. - 6:00 P.M. Pacific Time.

We understand that many interpreters speak multiple languages.  When you contact us to register and schedule your exam, you will be asked to identify up to five languages of intent; you will also be asked to identify the specific language(s) that you want to test in right now.

Identification

When you register for this exam, be sure to use your legal name as listed on your official ID.  Your official ID should meet these three requirements:

  • A valid, non-expired form of identification;
  • Be government-issued (e.g., driver’s license, passport, state-issued identification card or military identification card); and
  • Contain both a current photo and your signature (refer to the Candidate Information Bulletin if your official ID does not meet this requirement for further instructions).

Register with your full name exactly as it appears on your ID.

Location

Locations and dates are subject to change for each exam administration window. Please go to the Bilingual Interpreting Exam page for details on upcoming administrations.

    Prepare for your Bilingual Interpreting Exam

Please review the below resources in preparation for your exam.

    Take your Bilingual Interpreting Exam

Confirm the Test Site address and review directions provided.

You must present a valid, non-expired form of identification before you can test. That identification document must:

  • Be government-issued (e.g., driver’s license, passport, state-issued identification card or military identification card);
  • Contain both a current photo and your signature (if it does not, you must present two government-issued identification cards: one with your photo and one with your signature);
  • Have a first and last name that exactly matches the first and last name used to register for the examination. Review Test Center Procedures in the Candidate Information Bulletin.

Arrive at the Test Center 30 minutes prior to your scheduled appointment.

If you need to change your appointment please review the policies in the Candidate Information Bulletin

You will receive your Bilingual Interpreting Exam Score Report within 90 days of your exam via US Mail.

  • If you do not pass the Bilingual Interpreting Exam within four attempts, you must retake and pass the English-only Written Exam before taking the Bilingual Interpreting Exam again.

    After the Exam

Once you’ve passed all exams, you will receive an enrollment packet from the Judicial Council.  Please wait 30 days before contacting the Judicial Council at 866-310-0689 if you do not receive the packet as expected.

You must submit a complete application including certificate of completion for the online course “Interpreter Orientation: Working in the California Courts”.

You must also attend a Judicial Council Code of Ethics Workshop (within the first two-year compliance period).

If at any time your address changes, please ensure you reach out to Prometric to update your profile.

If at any time your language of intent changes, please ensure you reach out to Prometric to update your profile.