UK Travel agency requires "the stamp of a registered translator" - what does this mean?
Thread poster: Wendy Cummings

Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:59
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Aug 19, 2008

I recently translated some documents for a woman who is due to get married in Mexico. The documents were her and her fiance's birth certificates, the the Hague apostille for each of them.

She has however just been told by the travel agency (a travel agency that helps arrange weddings abroad) that the documents need to be "stamped by a registered translator".

I called the agency to find out what they mean by this precisely, but the only clarification they were able to provide was that "they usually use an agency who always returns the documents with a stamp on them" and that the basis for this requirement is "that is what our standard forms say".

She was unable to explain who ultimately needed this stamp, what was meant by a "registered" translator, what the stamp had to say, and whether a printed "statement of accuracy" (I the undersigned confirm this translation is good etc.) would be sufficient, or in fact give me any useful information at all.

Whilst waiting for "the person who deals with documents" to get back to me, I thought I would seek assistance from the forums...

Has anyone come across this before and can anyone explain what is required?


(my previous experience of translating documents for use in foreign legal systems is that the original document needs to be translated, the translation needs to be notarised, and then the whole thing sent for the apostille)


Having located the agency's on-line information for weddings in Mexico, it states "All documents to be translated into Spanish by a legal translator showing an official stamp, name and signature".

Name and signature I can provide, but I don't have a stamp...

[Edited at 2008-08-19 14:20]


Anne Koth  Identity Verified
Local time: 05:59
Member (Feb 2018)
German to English
No such thing in the UK Aug 19, 2008

In some countries, e.g. here in Germany, you don't have translations certified by a notary; there are certain "sworn" translators (with specific qualifications, usually involving the law) who have taken an oath and been awarded the right to use a stamp to certify that their own translations are correct.
In the UK, this is not the case; there are no "sworn" translators with their own stamps. Perhaps the agency previously used a translator in Mexico, where they have a system like in Germany? You'll have to inform your clients how it works in Britain, as you described above.

[Edited at 2008-08-19 14:49]


nruddy  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:59
German to English
Possibly get it notarized Aug 19, 2008

I haven't gone through the process, but I did need to get my birth cert translated and notarized for something else here. I just got a friend to translate it into Spanish and an Irish notary to provide an apostille as well as a letter to say that it was a correct translation.

Maybe other people will be able to provide more information.
Here are the requirements for getting married in Mexico in any case:


Lesley Clarke  Identity Verified
Local time: 22:59
Spanish to English
Try the Mexican Embassy Aug 19, 2008

I had the same problem in Ireland with my daughter's school papers and I translated them myself then took them to the Mexican Embassy for their stamp.

So I think that is probably all that is required


Jack Doughty  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:59
Member (2000)
Russian to English
+ ...
ITI members can certify Aug 19, 2008

I am one myself, and so they tell me.

Found this on the Web which I thought explained the whole subject pretty well.


For most purposes, this usually requires either using the services of a sworn translator (this would be a translator sworn before a court in a non-UK jurisdiction), or a Fellow (FITI) or Member (MITI) of ITI who may self-certify the translation. One can also have the translation notarised before a Notary Public or Notary Scrivener (usually listed in Yellow Pages). ITI has a set of guidelines and seals for self-certification by its members.


Declaration signed by the translator (MITI or FITI) – stating that the translation has been carried out by a professional translator to the best of their ability. This is usually sufficient and generally if a client needs more they will know.


Translator must sign the declaration and take it to a notary (or solicitor), along with a copy of their passport, who will stamp and sign the above declaration – this is to confirm that the translator is who they say they are.


The notarised document is sent to the Foreign and Commonwealth office and an apostille or legalisation certificate is attached – this is to prove that the notary public who has signed the document is a qualified, registered notary.

Legalisation by an embassy

The translation is taken to the embassy (probably by the translator) where it is checked by a linguist who will legalise it as fit for use for legal purposes in the relevant country – this is the only option that actually involves a check on the quality of the translation.


Wendy Cummings  Identity Verified
United Kingdom
Local time: 04:59
Member (2006)
Spanish to English
+ ...
Thanks Aug 20, 2008

Thanks for all the comments - i know all about the notarisation/legalisation process, and that MITI and some other levels have stamps and certification systems. But the agency wasn't asking for any of that, all they said was "we need your stamp".

I eventually managed to speak to someone who had a bit more knowledge, and she confirmed that in fact all they need is a signed statement from me on headed paper.

The confusion was caused by the fact that "they always do it that way" and so any slight deviation from this system meant that no-one actually knew what was needed.

Live and learn!


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UK Travel agency requires "the stamp of a registered translator" - what does this mean?

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