Translation certified by a notary or a sworn translator
If documents issued by a state authority are used in another state, where the document language is unfamiliar, the documents need to be translated and then certified either by a notary or a sworn translator. To prove the authenticity and appropriate issue of an official document to an authority of another state, the document also needs to be legalised or certified by Apostil.
What is a difference between translations certified by a sworn translator and a notary?
In 2015, the state changed the official certification system of documents. While before, both notaries and sworn translators could certify translations, then as of 1 January 2015, only sworn translators are allowed to certify documents translated into foreign languages.
Up to 2020, notaries have the right to certify the authenticity of the translator’s signature in case of documents translated from foreign languages into Estonian. In 2020, this competence will also be transferred to sworn translators. Legally, both documents are official and equal.
Who is a sworn translator?
A sworn translator is a translator, whom the state has assigned exclusive competence to execute official translations. The state has checked the quality and reliability of the sworn translator beforehand. A sworn translator also fulfils other tasks related to translating.
What if there is no sworn translator of the required language pair in Estonia?
If you need to translate a document in a foreign language for which there are no sworn translators in Estonia, the translation needs to be executed in the receiving state of the translation, or translate the document from Estonian into a more widely used language (e.g., English, German, Russian, etc.) and from that to the necessary foreign language.
How to get a translation certified by a notary or a sworn translator?
There are 3 ways to get a certified translation of documents:
1. Address a sworn translator directly. There are sworn translators of different languages in Estonia you can turn to directly. The sworn translators execute the translation and certify it themselves. It is an official translation that is acceptable in foreign countries. Contact details of sworn translators are available on the website of the Ministry of Justice at http://www.just.ee/et/eesmargid-tegevused/notarid-ja-vandetolgid/vandetolkide-kontaktandmed.
2. Make an inquiry with a translation bureau. In this case, the translation bureau will conduct business with the sworn translator or notary. The customer has no worries and only submits the document and receives a complete and certified translation in return.
3. Address a notary that certifies the authenticity of a document translated from a foreign language into Estonian. It is a voluntary professional service of a notary. More information about notaries providing voluntary professional services is available on the website of the Chamber of Notaries at http://www.notar.ee/19653. In this case, the notary’s fee is conventional.