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Fee for certification/hand delivery?
Thread poster: xxxjmf
xxxjmf  Identity Verified
Spanish to English
+ ...
Jul 18, 2003

I'm finding myself in a situation that's new for me and would like to know how others handle this or similar situations. I've been working for an agency in my town for a few months now and have done several translations for them, five of which I had to certify. I took the documents to my local notary and dropped them off at an office 5 minutes from my house (left in the agency owner's mailbox at his other place of work (not at the agency office).
Up until now, I have billed for the notary fee, plus a few dollars to compensate for my time, which was listed as "certification fee" on my invoices.

Recently however, the agency owner has asked me to bring the documents to the agency offices (approx. 20 minutes from my home) and certify them there with a notary located in the same building. While I don't mind hand delivering translations from time to time, I also don't want to set the precedent of doing this for free - or rather, to certify and hand deliver translations for free.

My question is basically this: Do you normally charge a set rate to sign/certify a translation? How to you handle personal deliveries that are not close to your office or home?

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Williamson  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 01:29
Flemish to English
+ ...
Fee by the hour + per diems. Jul 18, 2003

I do not like making certified translations and I certainly do not like to run an entire morning in a "Palais de Justice" where I can easily get lost, while the police fines me for parking when the hours paid for on the parking meter are passed or where it is not allowed.
So, I charge by the hour and a lump sum for every stamp I have to put on a document + any costs incurred (parking fees, gas).
Now, I do not get any requests for certified translations any more and that was exactly the intention.

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xxxjmf  Identity Verified
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thank you Jul 18, 2003

That's exactly my point. I either have to drive around looking for a parking space (where I'd put change in a parking meter) or pay the minimum hourly rate of a city parking lot (here it's $3) and spend a minumum of one hour on the whole operation.

In this case, the agency didn't tell me I would have to appear in person until AFTER I delivered the text via e-mail. That is, I was assigned the job earlier in the week, and just delivered a text of approximately 3,800 words and now (this very minute) have to print it all out and drive down there to certify it. I simply don't want this kind of last minute notice to happen again and plan to tell the agency I will need to know in advance if a text requires certification. I guess I'll just invoice a "certification fee" that is equivalent to my minumum hourly rate.

Thanks again.

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Claudia Iglesias  Identity Verified
Local time: 21:29
Member (2002)
Spanish to French
+ ...
It reminds me Jul 18, 2003

when I was interested in working for the Home Office. I had an interview and was asked why I wanted to work there. I answer that I'd like to be able to put it in my resumé (among other reasons).
They told me that it would be all I could take from that job. They explained that it was not paid very much, that every time they would receive a translation in my languages they'd call me, I'd have to go and fetch it, translate it at home, bring it back. It would be reviewed, I'd be called again, I'd have to make the corrections and bring it back. I didn't need to think of the 30 minutes it takes me to get there or how much costs the parking place...Suddenly I wondered if I really was interested in putting it in my resumé.

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TTilch  Identity Verified
Local time: 02:29
English to German
+ ...
I never hand-deliver anything Aug 11, 2003


Don't trouble yourself to hand-deliver a certified translation if they don't pay for your time. Tell them that you can mail it or (if the matter should be very urgent) that they can come and fetch it from you.

I offer my clients the following options:

a) They bring me their original document and collect the translation themselves when it is ready.
b) I send it to them via snail mail (and if it's not a known customer, they have to pay on receipt).

Living in Germany, I don't have the problem of having to drive to a notary first - here we are authorized to do the stamping ourselves which simplifies matters a little bit.

Best regards,


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