Moving is tough.
The process gets even more complicated when your move takes you to a new country, especially when that country operates in a language other than your native tongue.
Not only is it difficult to move your belongings to a new home in a strange place, but having to re-establish your life (i.e. visas, passports, school registration, utilities, vehicle registration, drivers licenses, etc.) can be a major hassle.
In order to accomplish this government entities in countries like the United States require that essential documentation like birth certificates be translated into English in order to be processed. Furthermore, documents cannot be translated by just any bilingual friend or relative, they must be translated by a certified individual or translation agency.
Only certified translations of birth certificates and any other official documentation will be accepted by agencies and the copies also need to be notarized. Translation companies that are registered as providers for state government agencies will almost always offer a certified and notarized copy as this is how they were put on the list in the first place.
It’s possible for professional translation individuals to be granted the same privileges but if the individual isn’t a public notary, it may take a little longer for them to return the translated copy as they’ll have to visit a notary after translation is complete.
In addition to the actual translation of the document, professional translators use specialty desktop publishing programs to reproduce a certified copy that is nearly indistinguishable from the original. Cost of the service varies and most reputable companies will charge between $55-75 for the translation, reproduction, certification and notarization of the document.
Typically the time frame to complete a professionally certified birth certificate or other similar document takes between 2-3 business days. If you need the translated copy sooner than 48 hours, most companies and individual translators will offer a “rush” option for translation but beware, this can come with a hefty increase in fees and some places will charge up to double to have it done on short notice.
The best bet is to plan ahead and budget plenty of time when filing for a drivers license or other important documentation. This will make the process of obtaining a translated birth certificate, filing the paperwork with the government agency, and correcting any mistakes that may have occurred, a lot easier.