Maryland Courts

How to Become an Interpreter

In accordance with Rule 16-819 (see Rule 16-819), the minimum requirements for interpreters seeking assignments in the Maryland Courts include the submission of an application to attend the Introductory Workshop for Court Interpreter Candidates. After attending the Introductory workshop, interpreter candidates will be invited to take a written examination in English, a language proficiency interview in English and foreign languages and attend a 2-day orientation for court interpreters. In addition, interpreters must swear or affirm compliance with the Maryland Code of Professional Conduct for Court Interpreters and must not have, in a state or federal court of record, a pending criminal charge or conviction on a charge punishable by a fine of more than $500 or imprisonment for more than six months, unless pardoned or expunged in accordance with the law. A background check will be conducted to determine compliance. The Administrative Office of the Courts currently does not certify and has no plans to certify translators in the future.

In summary, anyone interested in working as a court interpreter for the Maryland State Judiciary must:

  1. Attend a 1-Day Introductory Workshop on Court Interpreting. The next workshop will take place on March 21, 2015.
  2. Foreign language court interpreter candidates must also:
    1. Pass a written examination in English.
    2. Pass a language proficiency interview (LPI) in English and target languages once the written examination is passed.
    3. Attend a mandatory 2-day Court Interpreter Orientation (non-language specific)

Interpreter candidates who complete these requirements are listed on the Court Interpreter Registry as "ELIGIBLE" interpreters. They are allowed to take a Court Interpreter Certification Exam, if available in their languages. Certified and Eligible court interpreters listed on the Court Interpreter Registry work on an as needed basis. Being listed on the Registry does not guarantee full-time, part-time or contractual employment. If you are looking for permanent employment with the Maryland Judiciary, please visit the Maryland Judiciary website at