Passport Translation: Requirements for the US & Mexico
By Gilbert at Legal Language
Posted on 03/25/2014
In Legal Translation
When traveling abroad, no matter what the destination, the possession of a valid passport is required. This is true whether you are traveling as a tourist, for business or for residency.
What’s more, if you are planning to travel to any country with an official language different from the languages used in your passport, you might need your passport translated.
Make sure you check your destination country’s rules before you travel, or you may not be allowed to enter — a tourist group in Libya found this out the hard way.
As with any kind of translation, the safest and most reliable method is to submit your passport to a professional service for translation.
Because a passport is an important legal document, opting for a professional certified translation is the best choice.
Requirements for Translation of Passports and Other Travel Documents
Depending on the purpose, many countries require visitors’ passports or other personal legal documents to be translated if they were not originally written in the destination country’s official language.
The United States and Mexico each have specific rules regarding this matter:
Translated documents being submitted to the US from another country, including passports, must be notarized.
However, if submitted in the US, notarization is not necessarily required. Instead, a signed statement from the translator indicating that the translation is accurate and that the translator is competent to translate in the languages in question must be included.
Additionally, the document must be translated accurately and completely. Translations must match the visual formatting of the original document, which means any signatures, stamps, seals and numbers from the original must appear in the translation. Having your passport translated through a professional agency ensures all of these requirements are met.
Currently, Mexico does not have a policy on passport translation, but it does have some specific requirements for supporting documents. Documents such as birth certificates, marriage certificates and death certificates must be translated into Spanish if they are being submitted.
For example, if you are planning a destination wedding and intend to get married Mexico, you will need to have your birth certificate translated. You will also need the marriage certificate issued in Mexico translated when you return home.
If you are traveling to Mexico with a minor and you are not the parent or legal guardian, you will need to provide a permission letter from the child’s parents and it must be translated into Spanish. If these requirements are not met, the child will not be able to leave Mexico.
Why You Should Consider Having Your Passport Translated
Translation of travel documents such as passports might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you are planning international travel, but it is very possibly necessary.
Passports are important legal documents which must be translated accurately and completely. Submitting your travel documents to a reputable professional translation service will ensure that your documents are handled with care.