US translators: Do you charge for a notarized certificate of accuracy?
Thread poster: Claudia Alvis

Claudia Alvis  Identity Verified
Local time: 06:39
+ ...
Apr 9, 2010

Do you charge for this service?

I used to not do it, now I add a nominal free of $3.00 to cover the cost of the train ticket. But I've been getting a lot of requests lately and every time it's at least a 15-20 minute trip back-and-forth to the nearest notary. Sometimes I can go to the notary when I'm running errands but that's not always possible, so I've been thinking about charging 1/3rd of my hourly rate to cover for this time. I'd like to know what's usually done in these cases.



Yolanda Broad  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:39
Member (2000)
French to English
+ ...

half an hour Apr 9, 2010

Hi Claudia,

I've always charged for half an hour, which is about how much time it takes me. I always have to wait at least a little while for the notary, even when I call ahead, and then I have to wait while the notary pulls out his/her stamp, fills in all the areas that need to be filled in, and writes up a bill, so I know it takes at least a half an hour. I also, of course, bill my client for the notary's services. Mostly, I just turn down jobs that require notarization, because they're not really profitable.


English to Spanish
+ ...
I charge half my hourly rate for notary plus post office time Apr 9, 2010

The jobs where I've had a certificate of accuracy notarized usually require mailing the translation and the certificate, so I charge half my hourly rate for my time. I've also stopped accepting small jobs (birth certificates etc.) that require this since it's always more trouble than it's worth.


Henry Hinds  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 04:39
English to Spanish
+ ...
Only if it costs me... Apr 9, 2010

Most of my certifications needing to be notarized can be done by the client, either a law office or government agency, and without my presence. So I just send the signed certification and they do the rest. I know it is not supposed to be done that way but it is and no one complains.

The rest I can get done free at the bank where I have to go on a regular basis anyway, so no big deal. For a while I was at a location where banks did not provide this service so I would only pass along the $10 fee even though it took a little of my time.

There are still many documents that require no notarized certification, so they just get a statement signed by me. That includes documents for US Immigration and academic documents.


Tina Vonhof
Local time: 04:39
Member (2006)
Dutch to English
+ ...
A similar situation Apr 9, 2010

I am in a similar situation: I am sometimes asked to mail a translation directly to the end client by Express Post. The agency then reimburses me for the mailing costs but I have just recently decided to charge $10 extra for that service for the same reason that you mention: unless I can combine it with other errands, it takes me about half an hour to make that trip to the post office, fill out the form, etc.


Aguas de Mar (X)
I charge... Apr 10, 2010

...The notary fee, plus my time. On top of the translated document, of course.

In special circumstances, when the document is short, and I have already applied a minimum flat fee, I waive the additional time it takes to go to the Notary; but this is not always the case.

The trick is to get paid for our time, without giving the client the feeling that we are taking advantage of him/her.


Monika Coulson  Identity Verified
Local time: 04:39
Member (2001)
English to Albanian
+ ...
Half an hour as well Apr 10, 2010

Hi Claudia,
I charge half an hour as well. It is an hassle for me to go to the bank in the middle of the day, and it does take at least 30 minutes for the notarization. During all these years of translation experience, I have had one direct client only complaining about this charge.

Since then, I tell them ahead about it (and let them decide if they want this service or not.) Sometimes companies just want my signature and they have their own notary (ask them about this option as well.) However, whether is just a signature, or a complete notarization, companies always pay for half an hour of service.



Thor Truelson  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 05:39
Swedish to English
+ ...
No Apr 11, 2010

No. The bank is right up the block and they don't charge anything for the notary.


Narasimhan Raghavan  Identity Verified
Local time: 17:09
English to Tamil
+ ...
Is the notary in question an expert in your language pair and authorized to check your work? Apr 11, 2010

I hardly think so. At least in our place a notary is a person dealing in matters of law, preferably an advocate. He is not a language person.

All that happens in our country is as follows. Once the translation is completed, I give my statement below it with the wording to the effect that this is a bona fide and faithful translation of the original to the best of my knowledge and belief. I insert also the statement that I am a practicing translator for that pair for the past so much years.

I sign this declaration in the presence of the notary and he signs after stating to the effect that the translator signed that statement in his presence, that is all. Of course he affixes his seal below his signature and pockets the notary fees.

As such, there is no such thing as notarized certificate of accuracy, at least in our country.

N. Raghavan


Katalin Horváth McClure  Identity Verified
United States
Local time: 06:39
Member (2002)
English to Hungarian
+ ...
It is the same procedure Apr 11, 2010

Dear Narashimhan,
The process you described is done exactly the same way in the US, too.
The notary does not check the translation at all. He/she only certifies that I am the person whose name is on the "certificate/statement of accuracy", and I signed that paper in front of him/her. (He/she checks my ID against the data on the certificate.)
So, it is not the accuracy the notary public certifies, but the validity of my signature on the statement. This is how a "Certificate of Accuracy" becomes a "Notarized Certificate of Accuracy".
I hope it is clear now.

And to the original question, yes, I also charge for the time it takes me to get it done.

[Edited at 2010-04-11 05:21 GMT]


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US translators: Do you charge for a notarized certificate of accuracy?

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