Candidates must complete the following before receiving accreditation as a registered court interpreter:
- Pass the written examination administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts with a score of 80% or better.
- Attend a one-day orientation program sponsored by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
- Pass language proficiency examinations in English and the language seeking to be registered in, administered by the Administrative Office of the Courts.
- Submit a completed fingerprint card (available from law enforcement agencies) and application fee to the AOC. (The AOC will submit the fingerprint card to the Washington State Patrol for processing.)
- Attend a mandatory class on Court Interpreter Ethics and Protocol.
- Execute the Oath of Interpreter.
- Obtain interpreter ID badge for court proceedings.
Criminal Background Check
A criminal background check will be conducted for each person who complies with the foregoing final requirements. A misdemeanor, gross misdemeanor or felony conviction may be grounds for denial of registration of a candidate. A candidate's history of criminal convictions will be reviewed by the Issues Committee of the Commission, which will consider the relevance of the criminal history to the profession of court interpreting, the period of time since the conviction date(s) and any evidence of rehabilitation submitted by the candidate. Based upon its review, the Committee will decide whether to grant or deny the registration status. If the Committee denies registration based upon a candidate's criminal history, the candidate may appeal the Committee's decision to the entire Commission by filing a written appeal with the AOC within 40 calendar days of the date of the Committee's decision. The Commission shall hear the appeal solely on the written information in the candidate's application file, including information submitted by the candidate, unless, in the Commission's sole discretion, it permits the candidate to file additional written information. The Commission shall issue a written decision on the candidate's appeal.
All candidates granted a registration status will receive an ID badge that includes their picture and a two-year expiration date. At the end of each two-year continuing education reporting period, a registered interpreter in good standing will be issued a sticker with a new expiration date to be placed over the old expiration date.
Interpreters should wear their badge whenever serving as court interpreters and judicial officers are encouraged to check for the interpreter's badge prior to any court proceeding. In the event of a lost badge, replacement badges can be ordered at the interpreter's expense.
Reciprocity with Other States
Reciprocity with other states for interpreters as the registered designation will be determined on a case-by-case basis, by the Issues Committee of the Interpreter Commission.