Frequently Asked Questions

What is a certified translation?

A certified translation is issued on the translator’s letterhead, attached to the original document or a copy, stamped and signed by a certified translator.
Dominique Bremond is a translator, certified by the French Consulate in San Francisco since 1992.
Please verify with the organization requesting a certified translation if the translation must be certified “true to the original” or if a certification “true to the copy” of your document will suffice. If you need a translation certified true to the original, we must see your original. An email is not considered an original document.
There is no extra cost for a certified translation. The certification is included in the price we quote.

What is a legalization?

When a document and its translation need to be sent to a French court or government office, you will have to bring the certified translation to the French Consulate where it will be legalized. The fee is $18 per legalization, but fluctuates according to the dollar-euro exchange rate.

French citizens registered with the French Consulate receive a 50% discount on the legalization fee.

What is a notarization?

If your document needs to be notarized, you will have to find a notary public. There is probably one in your neighborhood. Most banks, insurance companies and UPS stores have a notary on their premises. The translator cannot notarize his or her translation.

What is an Apostille?

An Apostille is a document issued by the Secretary of State (Sacramento, California, or search online for offices in other States) to certify the authenticity of the signature on an official document (birth, marriage, death certificate, divorce, etc.). Since Apostilles are recognized by the United States, France and 67 other countries, they do not have to be translated.

What is the difference between an original and a certified copy of a birth certificate?

An original birth certificate is the document your parents received after your birth.

A certified copy of a birth certificate is issued by the city where you were born.

The French Consulate and French government agencies require a recent (issued less than 3 months prior) certified copy of your birth certificate.

In the US, you can request a certified copy of your birth certificate online or by mail depending on where you were born.

In France, you can request a certified copy of your French birth certificate online on the web site of the city where you were born. Major French cities have a web site providing copies of birth certificates upon request at no charge. They will mail it to your US address.

The certified copy has the same legal standing as the original your parents received at your birth.

We do not recommend beginning the translation from your original document since there may be extra fees for changes required when you bring us an updated version of your document (the certified copy).