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Certified translation of criminal record certificate

Published on 17/09/2021

If you are reading this blog looking for a quote of a certified translation for your criminal record certificate, you have come to the right place. And if you would like to clear up any doubts regarding this translation type, we will do our best to answer any questions in this blog.

Without a doubt, the certified translation of a criminal record certificate is one of the most common translation service.

Since it is a document used for many different formal procedures, it is a quite common to receive translation orders in many different languages.

1. What is a criminal record certificate?

The criminal record certificate is an official document that certifies the lack or existence of criminal records on the date it is issued.

These records are normally recorded in the national criminal records register of a country. This register not only includes convictions in a specific country’s territory, but also includes convictions of a citizen in a foreign country.

2. For what do you need a criminal record certificate?

As I said at the beginning, this document is frequently required for many public procedures, among them:

  • Processing grant agreements
  • Registering abroad
  • Obtaining visas
  • Obtaining arms licences
  • Nationality application process
  • Obtaining a residence or work permit
  • Recruitment in security services
  • Access to the labour market

In this last case, it is the company itself that can request the certificate. To be able to work with minors, it is obligatory in many countries to provide a criminal record and proof the absence of sexual offences.

If someone wants to work in a foreign country, or if the certificate has been issued in a other language than the official language of the country, you will need to request a certified translation.

3. Is legalising the criminal record certificate necessary?

The criminal record certificate does need to be legalised.

In this case, it is usually issued together with the Hague Apostille to certify its authenticity and legal validity. In this link you will find all the necessary information about this procedure. However, we recommend to contact the body requesting certified translation of a criminal record certificate.

One should bear in mind that, if necessary, the apostille must be added to the certificate before the translation, as it also needs to be translated. It is not the certified translator’s responsibility to certifying documents with an apostille.

4. Does the certified translation of a criminal record certificate expire?

It is important to know that there is no expiration date for a certified translation, but the original document does have one. So we could say that the expiration date of a certified translation of a criminal record certificate would be the same as the expiration date of the certificate itself.

Be careful, because the expiration date may not appear on the certificate. In this case, it shall be three months from the date of issue. Keep this in mind to avoid potential problems.

5. How to present the certified translation?

The main features of a certified translation, which differentiate it from a regular translation, are the following:

- Certified translations must always be carried out by a sworn translator appointed by a higher government body.
-    All pages of the translated document must be signed and stamped by the official translator responsible for the content of the document.
-    The translator must add a short certification at the end of the document stating that the translation is accurate and complete, and that the translator is duly authorised to act as a translator. 
- certified translations are delivered on stamped paper
- Elements, like stamps, logos, watermarks, etc. must be enclosed in square brackets, but under no circumstances omitted. Thus the translation is "complete".

6. Where to get a criminal record certificate?

The place of issue of the criminal record certificate depends on the country where it is requested.

For example in Spain, the application process for criminal records is straightforward. Spanish citizens who are on Spanish territory can apply in three ways:

6.1 Telematically

By clicking on this link: Request a criminal record certificate.

6.2 Face-to-face

At the Territorial Offices of the Ministry of Justice. You will find the addresses of the different Territorial Offices here: Territorial Directorates of the Ministry of Justice

6.3. Via mail

  •  To the Territorial Directorates of the Ministry of Justice
  •  To the Criminal Section of the Central Office for Citizens' Services (in Madrid)

Likewise, citizens abroad have two ways of applying for the certificate:

  • By going to the Embassy of the country in which you reside.
  • By mail address:
  • Usually the Ministry of Justice of a specific country is responsible.
  • On the other hand, if you are a foreigner and need to apply for a criminal record certificate in your home country, we recommend to contact your nearest embassy or consulate .

7. How do I get a certified translation of a criminal record certificate?

This is extremely simple. It won't take more than five minutes. You only need to click on this link and send us a scanned copy of your certificate.

Please specify your preferred delivery date and address. Remember that, once your certificate has been translated, we will send you the duly signed and stamped translation by post.

Another thing to bear in mind is the document quality. If you are sending your copy in photo format, make sure that all information is clearly visible. Please note that it is mandatory to attach a copy of the original document to the translated document.

Once we have receive your quote request, we will contact you to provide you with all the necessary information.

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Alba García's picture
Alba García

Graduate in Translation and Interpreting from the University of Granada (Spain), and in Translation and Translatology from the Moscow State Linguistic University as part of an unprecedented double degree programme between the two universities. Specialised in legal translation and marketing. Language lover.

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