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Information for Current Court Interpreters

The information on this page is primarily for those interpreters who have either been approved to be an unclassified interpreter or are already on the roster of interpreters for the judicial branch of the State of Iowa. If you have not yet submitted an application to become an interpreter for the State of Iowa, then you can find the information you need by clicking here.

How do I get listed on the roster of authorized interpreters?

To be listed on the Roster of Interpreters for the Iowa Judicial branch you will need to have at least a Class "C" rating. To obtain such a rating you need to pass the NCSC written examination. Once you have passed, you must attend the orientation program. Finally, you must achieve a minimum score of 55% on the NCSC oral examination (if the NCSC oral exam is not offered in your language, you must achieve a score of 11 on the ALTA oral proficiency interview in both English and your non-English language). Specifics regarding the testing dates can be found here. To receive a Class "B" or "A" rating, you must achieve scores of 65 and 70, respectively, on the NCSC oral examination.

How do I get paid?

Administrative Directive on Court Interpreter and Translator Compensation (PDF)(January 2023) 
All interpreters and translators should read this directive issued by the state court administrator. It governs all aspects of interpreter and translator compensation.  

Instructions for Interpreters on How to Get Paid (PDF)
This document provides a very helpful step-by-step guide on how to get paid. 

Forms for Obtaining Payment

These are the forms court interpreters and translators need to obtain payment for services:

  1. Fee Itemization Form for Court Interpreter Services (PDF), (updated 12-01-2021)
    This form is required by all offices that pay court interpreters.
  2. Fee Itemization Form for Written Translation of Court-Related Materials (PDF), (updated 12-01-2021)  
    This form is required by all offices that pay for written translations of court-related materials (e.g., court-related documents, translation of audio recordings of bi-lingual communications)
  3. Substitute W9 Form (PDF)
    It must be submitted the first time an interpreter submits a fee claim for services to the State Public Defender’s Office or to State Court Administration – and -- any time an interpreter changes her or his mailing address.
  4. Direct Deposit Form (PDF)                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                               Banking information and direct deposit authorization form.

What are the specific Iowa rules regarding court interpreters?

Chapter 48 of the Iowa Court Rules establishes a Code of Professional Conduct for Court Interpreters and Translators. It includes ten canons of ethics and extensive comments on each canon.  Interpreters must abide by these canons of ethics. 

Chapter 47 of the Iowa Court Rules (PDF) sets forth detailed rules governing a wide range of issues regarding court interpreters and translators.

How can I learn more about interpreting?

The following documents contain very useful information for court interpreters and translators, including bi-lingual glossaries of legal terms, interpreter training institutions, test preparation materials, and more: 

  1. NCSC Resource Guide for Court Interpreters (PDF)
  2. In the Loop: Reference Guide to American English Idioms and Slang (PDF)
  3. National Center for State Courts: Resources for Court Interpreters
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