Legal Interpreting Guidelines in Maryland

Regulations for legal interpreters in Maryland differ from those in other states. Legal Language Services ranks Maryland as a state with moderately regulated legal interpreting requirements.

Your legal interpreter must have the appropriate level of certification that meets your language needs. This is especially true if you require an interpreter who will be working in a courtroom. This does not mean, however, that you should hire a certified interpreter for every situation.

Whether or not an interpreter is certified — let alone the level of certification — will have an effect on how much you are charged for legal interpreting services.

Due to the added cost of certified professionals, it may not be a sound strategy to use certified legal interpreters if certification is not legally required for your proceeding. In fact, some situations may not benefit from certified interpreters. In particular, where subject matter expertise and/or special skills are required, certification may be a secondary consideration in securing a competent interpreter.

As previously noted, non-certified legal interpreters can provide professional interpreting services at a more affordable price. As in other states, a certified interpreter will command a higher fee for legal interpreting services. Prices will be affected based on the level of certification.

Legal Language can help you determine the best interpreter, certified or otherwise, for your legal interpreting needs in Maryland.

Requirements for Certified Interpreters in Maryland

Maryland state authorities periodically offer exams, both written and oral, for certification in Spanish and several other languages based on the guidelines of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification.

The state of Maryland also accepts certification from interpreters living in Washington, D.C. and Virginia, provided that the interpreter takes a 1-day mandatory Introductory Workshop.

In addition to Spanish, Maryland offers certification in 13 other languages:

  • Arabic
  • Bosnian
  • Cantonese
  • Croatian
  • French
  • Haitian Creole
  • Korean
  • Mandarin
  • Portuguese
  • Russian
  • Serbian
  • Turkish
  • Vietnamese

Classification of Interpreters in Maryland

The Maryland Judicial Department defines legal interpreters in the following two ways:

  • Certified Interpreter: Interpreters who have passed an oral interpreter certification examination that tests their language and interpreting skills in 3 modes: sight, consecutive and simultaneous. Interpreters must have earned a score of 70% or higher on the oral and written examinations.
  • Eligible Interpreter: Interpreters who have passed a written examination, and many have passed an oral proficiency interview in the foreign language and English.

All venues in Maryland require certified interpreters for languages in which a full certification exam is available. For languages that do not have a full certification exam, interpreters must be classified as “eligible.” Please consult with Legal Language Services for the rules pertaining to your specific venue and language.

Judicial Districts in Maryland

There are 12 judicial districts in Maryland that encompass 25 counties. However, certification requirements in Maryland are statewide and remain consistent across all local jurisdictions.

Call Legal Language Services at 1-800-788-0450 to find Maryland interpreters who meet state interpreting rules for courtroom trials, hearings, depositions, arbitrations and other legal proceedings.

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 Maryland is believed to be accurate at the time of posting; however, Legal Language Services is not responsible for any errors or omissions.