Translation of Vital Records

 Docsbase is a Certified Translation, Apostille, and Consular Services provider with offices in the UK, Ireland, the US, and Switzerland, as well as a network of skilled translators and document localisation experts all over the world. One of the tasks we are most often called upon to perform for our customers is a certified translation of vital records and similar documents.

Why is Certified Translation necessary?

Virtually all of the world’s countries recognise the necessity of using official documents originating in other countries in their own courts, regulatory bodies, and businesses. This is especially important when it comes to things like vital records.

Vital records include all of the certifications that mark important events and changes of status in your life. Your birth certificate, for example, not only proves your age but also your nationality and in many cases your citizenship. Likewise, a marriage certificate is proof of a legal relationship, both in your home country and wherever you may travel, live or work. In the same way, a certificate of divorce or marriage annulment indicates that such a legal relationship no longer exists.

Imagine if you could not prove some of the most basic facts about yourself or your legal status in an overseas court! The modern global economy would collapse. Therefore, the process of the certified translation was developed, both as a general principle of international law and as a separate legal standard in each of the world’s many nations.

What is Certified Translation?

When you need to use documents from one country in an official capacity in another country, there is often a need for a reliable, accurate, and trustworthy translation of the content of those documents into a new language. Each country has its own standards for what might make a translation ‘good enough to be officially accepted, and that means the very definition of a ‘Certified Translation’ can vary from country to country.

To make matters even more confusing, some countries (such as the UK and many others) have no concrete set of standards for what constitutes an acceptable certified translation. In a case like that, having a deep understanding of the procedures actually followed by that country’s embassies and a close working relationship with its ambassadorial staff is absolutely vital to providing a fast and reliable document translation and legalisation service.

That is what Docsbase really provides. We not only have expert translators with true native fluency in most of the world’s major languages on staff, we also have document legalisation experts who know exactly what each of the world’s governments requires for a translation of legal documents to be accepted.

When Might I Need Certified Translation of Vital Documents?

There are a number of scenarios where the certified translation of documents regularly becomes necessary. For example, let us imagine that you have married and then divorced in your home country. Years later, when visiting or even living overseas, you decide to marry again. Most countries have very specific requirements about your marital status and will need to have accepted proof that any prior marriage is legally ended before they will certify a new marriage.

Likewise, let us imagine that you marry in Country A and have one or more children. Later in life, you and your family move to Country B and become citizens. If your children are to be able to travel, they may well need passports issued by Country B. Part of the process of getting one will involve proving both their current legal status and the fact of their relationship to you. That will require Country B to recognise a birth certificate issued by Country A. As part of the document legalisation process, you might very well need a certified translation of the birth certificate and other documents.

In another example, perhaps you wish to qualify for a trusted professional status in Country B. You will very likely have to prove your good character, and part of that will be getting a certified translation of your criminal records (or proof that you have no such records) from every country in which you have lived.

What Types of Vital Records are Commonly Translated?

We are regularly called upon to deliver certified translations of:

  • Birth Certificates
  • Certificates of Paternity
  • Marriage certificates
  • Divorce Certificates
  • Divorce Settlement Terms
  • Court Decrees of Parental Rights
  • Death Certificates
  • Certificates of Settlement
  • Certificates of Permanent Residence
  • Certificates of Naturalisation
  • Certificates of Citizenship

How Does Docsbase Actually Conduct Certified Translation?

Again, the exact process varies from country to country, and sometimes even from individual embassy to embassy.

Many countries with a civil law tradition (including France and Spain, but also Romania, Slovenia, and many more) require the translation itself to be conducted by a sworn or otherwise officially recognised translator. This is often a blessing, as the signature of the sworn translator alone is enough to certify the translation.

Sometimes a document will need to be translated after it has already been through the country of origin’s apostille process. We would then have the document contents translated by whatever process the receiving country requires. This often requires the signature and/or stamp of a notary or a similar official.

No matter what the requirements of the country in question, we follow them to the letter. Many documents are rejected for very minor paperwork errors, such as a signature or stamp being in the wrong place, or a failure to enter a date properly. This can trigger expensive delays. Docsbase makes sure you get fast and accurate service.