Legal Language Services ranks Arizona as a state with moderately regulated legal interpreting requirements.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Arizona

Arizona does not require certified interpreters for any legal proceeding, however, all court interpreters in Arizona are strongly encouraged to participate in Arizona’s credentialing program.

The Arizona Court Interpreter Credentialing Program (ACICP) divides court interpreter certification using a tier system.  There are Tiers 1-4, but you must be a Tier 3 or 4 to work as a certified court interpreter in the state.

Arizona offers certification in the following 20 languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bosnian/Croatian/Serbian
  • Cantonese
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Hmon
  • Ilocano
  • Khmer
  • Korean
  • Laotian
  • Mandarin
  • Marshallese
  • Polish
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Somali
  • Spanish
  • Tagalog
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Arizona interpreters for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.

Classification of Interpreters in Arizona

The State of Arizona defines interpreters in the following ways:

Tier 1: An interpreter who has completed an ethics class, passed the English Written Exam with a score of 80% or better, scored an advanced level or higher on the oral proficiency interview, passed a criminal background check, and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.

Tier 2: An interpreter who as completed an ethics class, passed the English Written Exam with a score of 80% or better, received a score of 60-69% on each component of the oral court interpreter exam, passed a criminal background check, and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics. The tier 2 credential is valid for 24 months from the date it is issue. When the tier 2 credential expires, the interpreter now possesses a tier 1 credential.

Tier 3: An interpreter who as completed an ethics class, passed the English Written Exam with a score of 80% or better, received a score of 70-79% on each component of the oral court interpreter exam, passed a criminal background check, and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics. Tier 3 is a permanent credential.

Tier 4: An interpreter who as completed an ethics class, passed the English Written Exam with a score of 80% or better, received a score of 80% or higher on each component of the oral court interpreter exam, passed a criminal background check, and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics. Tier 4 is a permanent credential.

Tier A*: An interpreter who has completed an ethics class, passed the English Written Exam with a score of 80% or better, achieved the highest level on the oral proficiency interview, passed a criminal background check, and who abides by the Court Interpreter Code of Professional Ethics.

*Tier A credential is only available for languages in which there is no Oral Court Interpreter Exam.

Common Languages Spoken in Arizona

According to a recent American Community Survey, approximately 27.1% of the Arizona population speaks a language other than English.

What’s more, almost 91% of the non-English speaking population in Arizona speaks one of the following 10 languages:

  • Spanish
  • Navajo
  • German
  • Tagalog
  • Chinese
  • Vietnamese
  • Other specified North American Indian languages
  • French
  • Arabic
  • Apache

Other languages spoken in Arizona include Korean, Italian, Hindi, Russian, Polish, Japanese, Serbo-Croatian, Romanian and Persian.

Judicial Districts in Arizona

Legal interpreting requirements can vary by district in Arizona. This state has 3 judicial districts that encompass 15 counties:

Phoenix Division
Counties: Gila, La Paz, Maricopa, Pinal, Yuma

Prescott Division
Counties: Apache, Coconino, Mohave, Navajo, Yavapai

Tucson Division
Counties: Cochise, Graham, Greenlee, Pima, Santa Cruz

Please Note

The content provided on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as legal advice. The information about legal interpreting guidelines in Arizona is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.