The Sign Language Interpreter and Transliterator State Registration Act defines what a qualified interpreter and qualified transliterator are in Pennsylvania and requires interpreters who work in Pennsylvania to register with the Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH).  Interpreters may be state-registered or provisionally registered.  A qualified interpreter or qualified transliterator is an interpreter or transliterator who is state-registered.  Regulations are complete for this Act and are available in PDF or online.   The fee for state-registration is $100 for 2 years.  The fee for provisional registration is $50 per year.  Contact ODHH for more information regarding interpreter registration. 

State-Registered – An interpreter or transliterator who holds one of the following certifications and has registered with ODHH.

CSC                            NAD IV (Advanced)

MCSC                          NAD V (Master)

CDI                             NIC Certified

CI                               NIC Advanced

CT                              NIC Master 

Provisionally Registered – An interpreter who has met the following conditions and registered with ODHH:

  • Graduated from an ITP within 5 years prior to the date of application
  • Passed the written exam approved by ODHH (currently NIC or CDI written exams)
  • Pay the fee of $50/year
  • Provisional registration is valid for 1 year.  It can be renewed up to 2 times by providing proof of 20 hours annually of staff development related to interpreting and transliterating and paying the $50 fee.
  • Restrictions on where individuals who hold a provisional registration may work.  Provisional Registration is NOT valid for the following settings:
          i.      A legal setting
         ii.      A mental health setting, unless accompanied by a qualified (state-registered) interpreter or             transliterator
        iii.      A physician’s office, unless the patient is informed that the individual engaged in interpreting              or transliterating has obtained a provisional registration, is not state-registered under this act              and that the patient has the right to be provided upon request a qualified sign language                      interpreter or qualified transliterator
        iv.      A critical care or emergency setting

Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  In order to provide interpreting services for departments, boards, commissions, and councils under the Governor’s jurisdiction, sign language interpreters must meet the requirements set forth in Management Directive 205.32 Amended 9/12/14.  This Management Directive requires interpreters to be state-registered with the Pennsylvania Office for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing (ODHH).

K-12 Educational Interpreting:  Chapter 14 Regulations took effect July 1, 2008.

Act 92 of 2006 required the State Board of Education to set standards for K-12 interpreters.  The Chapter 14 Regulations (§ 14.105 Personnel (b) Educational Interpreters) which specify these requirements are now in effect.  Interpreters must either be state-registered with ODHH as explained above or hold a minimum of a 3.5 on the Educational Interpreter Performance Assessment (EIPA) for the appropriate grade level to which the interpreter is assigned.  Interpreters must also complete a minimum of 20 hours of staff development related to interpreting and tranliterating annually.  For further information about the EIPA, see the website: www.classroominterpreting.com.  For information about taking the EIPA here in Pennsylvania, contact the PaTTAN consultants.

Legal Proceedings, Administrative Hearings and Court Interpreting:  Act 172 of 2006 requires interpreters for legal proceedings and Pennsylvania state and district courts to be certified by the Administrative Office of Pennsylvania Courts (AOPC).  Sign Language interpreters must be registered with ODHH, complete a training administered by the AOPC, pass a written exam proctored by the AOPC, and earn CEUs approved by the AOPC.  More information and a database of AOPC certified interpreters can be found on the AOPC website.