There are several avenues for certification as a court interpreter, all including a written and oral examination. The Federal Court Interpreter Certification Exam (FCICE) is offered by the Administrative Office of the U.S. Courts and it provides national certification for Spanish interpreters in federal and state courts. Most states accept the National Center for State Courts’ Consortium for Language Access in the Courts examination. The Consortium examinations are available in Arabic, Bosnian/Serbian/Croatian, Cantonese, French, Haitian Creole, Hmong, Ilocano, Khmer, Korean, Laotian, Mandarin, Marshallese, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, Somali, Spanish, Tagalog, Turkish, and Vietnamese. Some states will also offer certification or licensing programs, including:

California: In California you must successfully pass written and bilingual interpreter exams, complete the “Orientation to Working in the California Courts” online course, and file for certification with the Judicial Council.

New Mexico:To become a certified court interpreter in New Mexico, you must complete the online orientation course offered by the New Mexico Center for Language Access.

Texas: As of October 2012, the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation has implemented an orientation course requirement for all applicants.