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How do I Become a Court Interpreter in Houston, Texas?

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Court interpreters must first become licensed through the State of Texas before they can seek work in various counties in the state. To receive a court interpreter's license, one must demonstrate fluency in the language of choice by passing a state-issued competency exam. As of 2010, Texas does not impose any educational minimums to become a licensed court interpreter. Court interpreters who are licensed in Texas must maintain their licenses by participating in eight hours of continuing education training, two of which must be ethics courses. Licensed court interpreters must also renew their licenses annually.

Visit the website for the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation. Review the court interpreter licensing requirements and download the interpreter application. The application must be received by the state agency prior to the completion of the interpreter's licensing exam.

Review the licensing exam information once you receive it from the Court Interpreter Advisory Board. After the board reviews and approves your application, an exam registration packet will be delivered to you. The information will include the scheduled exam dates and times, as well as registration information. You will be responsible for all examination fees and costs. Fees and costs will vary depending on the agency administering the exam.

Submit proof of your passing interpreter exam score to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation to receive your official court interpreter license.

Visit the Harris County Office of Court Management and submit a copy of your license and introduce yourself. There is no formal application process for court interpreters in the county, however, the court administration will need a copy of your credentials. In Houston, court interpreters are considered independent contractors and will be appointed as needed by the individual county and district courts. It will be necessary to visit each court and drop off a business card, so that judges and their staff will know that you are available to assist them with interpretation services as needed.

Tip

The Licensed Court Interpreter application fee is payable by check or money order. Payments should be made out to the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation.

About the Author

Marcelle Greene Edins began writing in 1999 and has written for "Today's Builder" magazine and online for various websites. She is presently writing her first novel. She holds a bachelor's degree from the University of Texas at San Antonio and a J.D. from St. Mary's University School of Law.

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