Translator - Request authorisation

If you want to translate official deeds or documents in Germany, especially for courts, notaries or authorities, and work as a translator, then you need a special professional qualification as a translator. And you need to be authorised as a translator by the competent court. The authorisation is a kind of public appointment, which is a special recognition of knowledge for this special translation activity in the field of the administration of justice.

As a translator, you translate exclusively in writing from German into another target language and vice versa. You thus overcome language barriers.

  1. You apply for authorisation as a translator with the required documents. You can fill out the application completely online, upload the required documents and send them directly to the competent office electronically.
  2. After receiving the minimum fee, the competent office will check whether you meet the requirements for the general authorisation to swear in based on the information and evidence you provide. You will receive information on the further procedure, such as documents that need to be submitted, and will be informed of the current processing status by e-mail.
  3. After receipt of payment, you will receive a letter of invitation by post from the competent office with the date for the authorisation order, for which you must appear in person.
  4. After the authorisation has been granted, you will be issued with a certificate (certified copy of the transcript) which officially authorises you as an authorised translator. The authorisation is granted for a limited period of five years. It can be extended for a further five years on application before expiry.
  5. You will also be registered as an authorised translator in the interpreter and translator database (see "Further information"). There you and your language mediation services can be publicly found by potential clients. You can decide in your application which data should be published in the database of interpreters and translators.


  • Residence or professional establishment in Berlin
  • Professional competence
    Proof of a translator's examination taken in Germany by a state examination office or a university or a translator's examination abroad recognised as equivalent by a German state authority.
  • Personal suitability
    You must prove the required personal reliability for your activity.

Documents required

  • Application
    Authorisation is only granted upon request, please use the online processing for this.
  • Identity card
    Copy of identity card or passport with certificate of registration.
    For applicants who are not nationals of an EU member state: Residence title entitling to permanent gainful employment.
  • Curriculum vitae
    Curriculum vitae in tabular form with passport photo
  • Testimonials
    Proof of a successful examination as a translator from a state examination office or a higher education institution in Germany or an examination passed abroad and recognised as equivalent
  • Certificate of good conduct for presentation to an authority
    • To verify personal reliability, information from the Federal Central Register (certificate of good conduct) is required for submission to an authority (document type O).
    • The information must not be older than six months.
    • Please state "Ermächtigung als Übersetzer/in" as the purpose of use when applying. The receiving authority for the proof is the "Landgericht Berlin - Dienststelle Littenstraße". You can find the current addresses under "competent authorities".


EUR 40.00 minimum fee
EUR 120.00 to EUR 160.00 in total (depending on the number of languages)

Average time to process request

approx. 3 months

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