Frequently Asked Questions

(Q) How do I become an interpreter?

(A) Prospective court interpreters must complete the certification process in order to become a licensed court interpreter in Georgia. Each candidate must attend a 2-day orientation as well as satisfactorily complete a series of written and oral exams. The training/testing calendar is posted on the main page of our website.

(Q) When is the next training or test for interpreters?

(A) Orientation workshops are conducted quarterly. These sessions are generally held in February, May, August, and November. Please refer to the training/testing calendar posted on the main page of this site for exact dates.

  1. The oral exam is conducted twice a year; June and December.
  2. The English written exam is conducted quarterly on the day following a scheduled orientation.

(Q) Must I take the English Written Exam on the day after the Orientation? Can I take the orientation now, and take my written exam at a location closer to my home?

(A) Candidates have the option of applying to take the English written exam on the day after the orientation or on any date the exam is offered, space permitting. However, to ensure availability, candidates are strongly encouraged to select the exam date that immediately follows the selected orientation. Please review to the testing schedule on our website at coi.georgiacourts.gov.

(Q) I am scheduled to take the 3-day Orientation Workshop/Written Exam you are having in August. Can you recommend a hotel in the area?

(A) In order to receive the most current information regarding hotel rates and availability, you may visit Expedia.com, Hotels.com, Hotwire.com, etc. Whenever possible, the Commission may include a general list of hotels near the training/exam site.

(Q) I have signed up to take the English Written Exam. Is there any material I can study to help me prepare, and what is on the exam? Are there legal terms I should know? How can I study?

(A) An Overview of the Consortium's English written exam is posted on our website under the 'Interpreter Resources' tab. The exam consist of three parts: general vocabulary (sentence completion, synonyms, antonyms, idioms), court related terms, and ethics and professional conduct.  The SAT, GRE, or TOEFL practice books may help prepare you for the exam. These resources are available at your local library or can be purchased at Barnes and Noble, Amazon, or your local college bookstore.

(Q) I have signed up for the Orientation Workshop but have not heard anything yet. When will I get something in the mail?

(A) You will receive written confirmation, directions to the testing site, and all other details and guidelines approximately 1-2 weeks prior to the scheduled date of the Orientation Workshop of which you are registered to attend.

(Q) Can I fax, e-mail or pay for my Orientation or Written Exam over the phone with a credit card?

(A) No. To register for an event, one must create a profile through our secure interface, the Georgia Courts Registrar https://gcr.onegovcloud.com. Once your profile is created you can register for events, upload documents and pay for registration.

(Q) Can I give you my new address and phone number over the phone?

(A) No. You can update your contact information directly in the Georgia Courts Registrar. You will need to know your Registrar username and password in order to update your profile. 

(Q) I missed the deadline to turn in my application for the Orientation/Written Exam. Could you let me know if there are cancellations or if I can be placed on a waiting list?

(A) Applications/registrations are not accepted after the registration deadline. Our office does not keep a wait list. Applicants may apply as long as there is seating available and the event deadline has not occurred. If the event fills up prior to the deadline, we encourage you to frequently check back to see if seating is available due to a cancellation. If a cancellation was received, the seat would be released/available in the Registrar. Classes fill up quickly, so our office encourages you submit your application as early as possible.

(Q) Who do I talk to schedule my OPI?

(A) The OPI is administered by an external source rather than by the Commission. A form can be found on our website on which you will find contact information and phone number that you may call to schedule your OPI.

(Q) How long do I have to complete the licensing and certification process?

(A) An applicant has two (2) years to complete the licensing and certification process, after attending the 16-hr orientation workshop. If one does not complete the program requirements within two (2) years, the applicant must re-start the certification process by retaking and passing the written exam and fulfilling all subsequent requirements.

(Q) How will I be contacted by the courts for an assignment?

(A) Once you become a licensed interpreter, your name and contact information (phone number, email, etc.) will appear on our public registry on the Commission's website. The registry is accessible to the courts, attorneys, and anyone requiring the services of an interpreter. You can specify what information you want published. Interpreters, in most cases, work as independent contractors. You may wish to introduce yourself to court administrators, judges, and lawyers to get your name established and known in the field.

(Q) I would like to become an Interpreter, but I would like to know how much they get paid and how often would I work?

(A) The Commission on Interpreters handles the licensing of Interpreters. As an independent contractor you can set your own fees. However, the average rate for Registered Interpreters is anywhere from $20-45 per hour and Certified $30-60 per hour. You may need to adjust your fees according to the court or county in which you will be working.