• Stefania The Interpreter

Certified translations: Is a digital copy acceptable?


Getting a certified translation of a personal document such as a birth or a marriage certificate can be a nightmare. Surprisingly, there is very little information online about what your translated document should include and what is acceptable or not.

In my previous blog posts, I have already covered the main difference between sworn and certified translation, yet the same question invariably comes back: Does the translator need to post the original hard copy of the translation and certification?

But before I get to the answer, let’s review what a certified translation should include.

The important elements that the certification should include are:

  • A statement from the translator saying that the translation is a ‘true and accurate translation of the original document’

  • The date of the translation

  • The full name and contact details of the translator or a representative of the translation company

When you request a certified translation, I will also provide my CIOL membership number and an electronic copy of my signature – but, signing the declaration is not mandatory either.

What is important to include in the certification is the company or the translator’s contact details, so that the authorities can get in touch with whoever is accountable for the translation’s accuracy.

So, does the translator need to post the original hard copy of the certified translation?

No, the translator can e-mail their translation and declaration and you can self-print.

The electronic certificate comes with my CIOL membership number, digital signature and time stamp to retain its authenticity even if you forward it via email. Furthermore, the document is qualified as a private document providing full evidence and it can be used without any time restriction.

Pros: economical and fast, it never gets lost

Cons: no paper, no blue ink, etc.

Can you translate my document?

You’re welcome to contact me if you need a translation from English into Italian– but if you need another language combination, I may be able to recommend an equally experienced translator to you.

Please note that the above information mostly relates to applying for an Italian passport and should not be relied upon as a legal opinion. If it contradicts instructions that you have received from an authority, then you should of course follow those first.


If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact me and send me an email.