Obtain an official translation of a document

Obtain an official translation of a document

In short
Last update26 oct. 2022

What is it?

The free translation of a document may not be sufficient to have an administrative / legal situation recognized by a French organization or administration. In this case, the so-called “certified ” or “sworn” translation is mandatory.

For example, to exchange your foreign driving license for a French driving license, the official translation is needed.

A certified translation is an official translation, which has legal value anywhere in the world. It is always done by a sworn (certified) translator and is needed for official documents requested by the public administration, prefectures, embassies, OFPRA, universities, etc.

Please note, the official translation is not free : the price varies according to the nature of the document and the number of pages.

Good to know : In France, sworn translators are experts appointed by the Court of Cassation (supreme jurisdiction).

Who is it for?

Location

France entière

What to do?

1

Make sure that the document has to be officially translated

Configurez votre étape
En ligne
En physique
Par téléphone
Par courrier
Autre
Cette étape prend :
Précisez le temps nécessaire pour faire cette étape.
Délai de réponse :
Précisez le délai de réponse légal ou constaté.
Documents justificatifs :

During your procedures, it is necessary to ensure that the translation of the document must be official in order to anticipate, in particular, the translation deadline with the approved expert.

To do this, contact the person in charge of your request or check the list of documents to attach to your file.

Good to know : It may take 3 to 4 working days to translate a document.

Some documents issued by a state of the European Union do not need to be translated. Visit the e-justice site for additional information. You can also consult the summary table of rules by country to check which rule applies to your document.

2

Choose the Court of Appeal (Cour d’appel) closest to you

Configurez votre étape
En ligne
En physique
Par téléphone
Par courrier
Autre
Cette étape prend :
Précisez le temps nécessaire pour faire cette étape.
Délai de réponse :
Précisez le délai de réponse légal ou constaté.
Documents justificatifs :

The list of certified translators is national.

To find your translator locally, it is necessary to approach a Court of Appeal (second degree court).

You must consult the directory of Courts of Appeal in France to find the Court of Appeal closest to you.

Good to know : To have a document officially translated, you can choose any Court of Appeal. However, if you want to meet with the translator in person, it is best to choose a Court of Appeal near you.

3

Check the list of certified translators of your Court of Appeal

Configurez votre étape
En ligne
En physique
Par téléphone
Par courrier
Autre
Cette étape prend :
Précisez le temps nécessaire pour faire cette étape.
Délai de réponse :
Précisez le délai de réponse légal ou constaté.
Documents justificatifs :

You can find the list of certified translators here.

  • Look in the summary for the section " H - Translation - Interpreting ",
  • Go to the page indicated in the table of contents. Translators are classified according to the language they speak.
4

Contact the translator to make an appointment

Configurez votre étape
En ligne
En physique
Par téléphone
Par courrier
Autre
Cette étape prend :
Précisez le temps nécessaire pour faire cette étape.
Délai de réponse :
Précisez le délai de réponse légal ou constaté.
Documents justificatifs :

When you have chosen your translator, you can contact them using the contact details given in the list to make an appointment.

The time and price of the translation vary. The chosen interpreter will provide you with this information when you make contact.

Good to know : The price varies in particular according to the nature of the document and the number of pages.

And after?

If you need to have a document legalised

For certain procedures (eg: requesting French nationality), it is necessary to certify the authenticity of a document by an “apostille”.

This is a legalization procedure which makes it possible to verify certain information (in particular the authenticity of the signature of the person who issued it, its function, etc.) An official legalization stamp is then added to the document.

Good to know : To be legalized, a document must be written in French. If the document is written in a foreign language, it must be accompanied by a translation into French made by a certified translator. This translation must be done before starting the legalization process.

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