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Information for Current Court Interpreters

The information on this page is primarily for those of you that 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 attend the two day orientation and pass three tests: the NCSC written examination, the Iowa interpreter ethics examination and an ATLA Oral Proficiency interview administered by state court administration. Specifics regarding the testing dates can be found here. To receive a Class "B" or "A" rating, you will also need to take and pass an oral examination of your sight translation and oral interpretation skills.

How do I get paid?

Administrative Directive on Court Interpreter and Translator Compensation (PDF)(September 2017) 
All interpreters and translators should read this directive issued by the state court administrator. It governs all aspects of interpreter and translator compensation.  

Determining Who Pays Court Interpreters (PDF)
Three different offices pay court interpreters and translators.  This document identifies which office pays an interpreter depending on the type of case, whether the person needing an interpreter is indigent, and whether the interpreter is an oral or sign language interpreter..  

Instructions for Interpreters on How to Get Paid (PDF)
There are also some differences in the types of documents each of the three offices requires.  This document provides a very helpful step-by-step guide on how to get paid.  This document offers step-by-step instructions on which documents to submit to each office.

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 7-12-17)
    This form is required by all offices that pay court interpreters.
     
  2. Fee Itemization Form for Written Translation of Court-Related Materials (PDF), (updated 7-12-17)  
    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. Miscellaneous Fee Claim Form (PDF)
    It is required only by the State Public Defender’s Office.
     
  4. 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.

What do I need to do to remain on the roster of interpreters?

Iowa Court Rule 47.7 requires interpreters who are on Iowa’s Roster of Court Interpreters to obtain six hours of continuing education (CE) each year, including one hour of ethics.  Interpreters must submit an annual CE report to the Office of Professional Regulation by May 15 each year.

Educational events, programs, or courses sponsored by the Iowa Interpreters and Translators Association (IJTA), American Translators Association (ATA), National Association of Judiciary Interpreters and Translators (NAJIT), Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID), the National Center for State Courts (NCSC), the Iowa Judicial Branch, the Office of Professional Regulation, or accredited CLE events for attorneys are automatically approved for continuing education credit. To obtain CEU credit for any other courses, you will need to submit a Request for Accreditation of CEU Activity for Iowa Court Interpreters.

 

For more information, read: Continuing Education FAQs (PDF)

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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