It happens: you need a sworn translation for an official body so that you can obtain a driving licence, diploma or legal document or deed. And both domestic and foreign authorities often require sworn translations of official or legal documents, such as your birth certificate, marriage certificate, degree or diploma, driving licence, employment contract, deed of incorporation, etc.
What is a sworn translation?
A sworn translation is a translation produced by a qualified sworn translator. The finished document includes the details and signature of the translator. A sworn translator is accredited by and registered with the courts and a sworn translation is one that can be officially ‘trusted’ by the authorities.
A sworn translation usually suffices for government departments and local authorities in Belgium. But increasing numbers of official bodies also require a legalisation.
What is a legalisation?
When you are required to present the legalisation of a particular document, there are two steps you have to go through:
- You need to have the document translated by a sworn translator.
- Then you need to present the sworn translation to the clerk of a court of first instance, or a county court to be certified.
At the court, the necessary stamps and signatures confirm that the sworn translator is recognised by them. Once that is established, your document can be legalised.
Very often, any official documents intended for use abroad (embassies and consulates, schools or universities, etc.) require legalisation.
What is an apostille?
With an apostille, an additional legalisation is required by the Ministry of Justice and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs after the sworn translation has been legalised. Foreign embassies sometimes ask for an apostille.
Not entirely sure what you need?
Always ask the official body or authority in question exactly what they need: a sworn translation, a legalised translation or an apostille. That way you can avoid incurring unnecessary costs and spending a great deal of time obtaining the wrong document!
But once you are sure about what you need, Dynamics Translations works with a team of sworn translators in just about every language combination. Also, if you’d like, we can handle any additional legalisation processes for you – or else we can give you the information you need so that you can do it yourself.
Some of the documents we provide sworn translations for include:
- Birth certificates
- Marriage certificates
- Death certificates
- Diplomas and degrees
- Driving licences
- Bank guarantees
- Extracts from the criminal records
- Court rulings