Interpreters and translators at public authorities and courts; application for public appointment and general swearing in

Interpreters and translators at public authorities and courts can apply for public appointment and general swearing-in. They are then entered in the database of interpreters and translators.


Interpreters (including interpreters for German sign language) and translators are registered in the database of interpreters and translators if they are publicly appointed and sworn in. Appointment, swearing-in and registration are carried out by the presidents of the regional courts.

The Interpreter and Translator Database forms the basis for courts and authorities in their search for interpreting and translation services.


As a rule, the prerequisite for the public appointment and general swearing-in and thus for entry in the database is the passing of the relevant state or state-recognized examination in Germany or the recognition of the respective qualification as equivalent. The Bavarian Ministry of Culture is responsible for recognition as equivalent.


The public appointment and general swearing-in must be applied for at the competent district court together with the required documents.

The following information must be submitted: Name and surname, nationality, profession, address of residence and professional establishment and, if requested, telephone number and Internet address.


There is no time limit for an initial public appointment and/or general swearing-in.

However, under the new law, once a public appointment and/or general swearing-in as an interpreter and translator has been made, it is limited to five years.

Transitional arrangements apply to professionals who have already been publicly appointed and/or sworn in at the time the new law comes into force on January 1, 2023. On January 1, 2027, all court interpreters must be newly sworn in.

The public appointments and general swearings as translators and interpreters for German sign language are valid for ten years and end on January 1, 2027 at the earliest.

Required documents

  • Declaration whether the public appointment and/or general swearing-in as an interpreter, translator or interpreter for German sign language is to take place and for which language(s)

  • Declaration as to whether insolvency proceedings have been opened against the applicant's own assets and no discharge of residual debt has yet been granted or whether the applicant has been entered in the debtors' register

  • Declaration as to whether a sentence or a correctional measure has been imposed on the applicant within the last five years prior to the filing of the application.

  • Resume

  • Proof of expertise

    The examination certificate and diploma from the state or state-recognized examination office or, alternatively, a certified copy of the certificate of equivalence from the recognition body must be submitted.

  • Certificate of good conduct (not older than six months) for submission to an authority


  • Fee for public appointment and general swearing-in: 100 EUR for one language, plus 15 EUR for each additional language.

    For the periodic renewal required by the new law, 3/5 of the above fee is charged in each case.


Administrative court action

Links to more information


Responsible for editing:Bayerisches Staatsministerium der Justiz

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