Frequently Asked Questions

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NCSC State Court Interpreter Database Overview:
Yes there is. Please read it here.
The NCSC State Court Interpreter Database is a search engine to assist states in searching for credentialed or qualified interpreters.
CLAC Program Managers and authorized court staff will be provided a user name and password by NCSC staff.
As of March 2017, interpreters from 41 states are included in the database.
As of March 2017, there are interpreters listed in 18 languages for which NCSC has oral court interpreter examinations. There are also interpreters listed in 31 other languages for which no NCSC oral court interpreter examinations exist. Interpreters in American Sign Language (ASL) are also included.
There are multiple ways to search for an interpreter. You can search by language, state, city, tier, first or last name, and time zone. You do not need to fill out every search query field. Once you click the "Search" button, a list of available interpreters will appear below on the same webpage.
  • You will see the interpreter’s name, city and state in which they reside, phone number, email address, tier (if applicable), and state(s) in which they are certified.
  • Your search will produce a list of up to 20 randomized search results based on the criteria entered. Results are randomized and limited to 20 per query in order to reduce the need for scrolling. If you would like to bring up a new set of results that match the search terms entered, you may reselect "Search".
Using the Database to Schedule and Hire an Interpreter:

Using this database allows you to search for spoken-language and sign language interpreters who are credentialed or otherwise qualified to interpret in state or federal courts and legal proceedings in the United States.

Our comprehensive database provides contact information, credentials, and tier classifications of qualified interpreters to meet your specific interpretation needs. Click to find out more about National Proficiency Designations.

First, consider the interpretation needs you have, such as: language; certification or credentialing required with regard to state or federal certification or other qualification; tier classification required or preferred, if any; availability; and other needs. Keep in mind that you may need to be very specific about what language(s) you require.

Next, input your requirements into the relevant fields in the "Search" page and you will be provided with a list of interpreters that meet your search parameters.

The results provided from your search will indicate the interpreter’s contact information so that you may contact him or her directly.
Interpreters may charge different rates depending on the language, state, region, or city. There may also be different rates depending on the type of interpreting assignment (e.g., in person or remote interpreting; single or team interpreting; simultaneous or consecutive; etc.). Interpreters in different tier classifications may also charge different rates. It will be the state’s responsibility to negotiate rates directly with interpreters.

States should communicate directly with interpreters regarding rates. Rates may include: an hourly rate or a half-day and full-day rate; a minimum number of hours per assignment; mileage/tolls/parking and other travel costs, especially if the assignment is longer than one day; and late cancellation or overtime fees.

Make sure your arrangement with each interpreter is in writing and clearly identifies all possible charges and fees.

States should work directly with interpreters to negotiate contracts and establish fees.
Search Results Questions:
There are a few reasons why this may happen, including the following:
  • You may be searching for interpreters in a state that does not use the NCSC Oral Examination for certification, and therefore its interpreters are not classified as Tier 1, 2, or 3. If that is the case, search under the "Untiered" category or adjust other search parameters.
  • You may be searching for an interpreter in a language for which there is no NCSC Oral Examination available. If that is the case, look for a Tier A interpreter or an “Untiered” interpreter. Click to find out which languages have an NCSC Oral Examination available. if the language you are searching for does not, you may be looking for interpreters in languages that will be classified as tier a or "untiered." to learn more, read the National Proficiency Designations document.
Some state court systems hire staff interpreters to work at the court as court staff. These interpreters may be full-time or part-time staff, so their availability may vary.
Although this interpreter database aims to include as many qualified interpreters as possible, it is not all-inclusive. There may be qualified interpreters in the language you need that are not listed in this database. There are other interpreter directories or resources you may want to search, including contacting a state’s credentialing organization, to find the right match for your interpreting needs.
Database Tier Classification:
The court interpreters in this database are classified based on the National Proficiency Designation classification requirements. Information for classification has been provided by the state court interpreter programs and/or through a review of information maintained by the National Center for State Courts.
Click to access the National Proficiency Designation document, which details the requirements for each of the tiers and other classifications in this directory. It also provides definitions for the more common terminology you may encounter in the document and the directory.
The classification of "Untiered" applies to interpreters who do not or cannot qualify for Tiers 1, 2, 3, or A. This may include interpreters with certifications in states that do not use the NCSC Oral Examination, or did not use the NCSC Oral Examination at the time the interpreter was certified; interpreters in languages for which no NCSC Oral Examination exists and who do not meet the requirements for Tier A; and generally court interpreters whose credentials, while meeting state-specific requirements for state qualification, do not meet the specifications for tier classification.