Services // Interpreter

The State of Arizona wants to make sure the Deaf and Hard of Hearing are receiving the very best assistance possible. That's why Arizona sign language interpreters are now required to be licensed through the Arizona Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing.

The law that established licensing -- A.R.S. 36-1946 -- was passed by the Arizona State Legislature in 2000. It is designed to create a statewide standard for sign language interpreters. This not only helps the state's Deaf and Hard of Hearing, but also provides interpreters helpful guidelines.

See an up-to-date     list of  Licensed Interpreters. (Please note those listed in the Legal categories are also licensed to work in all General licensed settings. The categories are listed in alpha order). The renewal process could take up to 90-days. You may see names on the list that appear expired, these licensees may have applications in process and are legally allowed to work throughout the process. If in question please contact the Commission directly.

Emmett Hassen, Licensing and Certification Coordinator, is available to answer questions about your journey to becoming a Licensed Arizona Interpreter. You may contact Emmett via email at  e.hassen@acdhh.az.gov or through VP at 480-264-0188.

Arizona Commission for the Deaf and the Hard of Hearing
100 N. 15th Avenue, Suite 104
Phoenix, AZ 85007
 

NOTE: The Licensing Department has it's own fax # . When sending in documents or papers to complete your application please be sure to fax 602-542-1320

 


Interpreter Licensure informational in ASL - overview of licensure explained here.

  

Application Submission Cut-off Dates for Review of Initial Application Only

Please note applications submitted right on the deadline dates must be complete. If you have any questions please contact ACDHH prior to the cut-off dates shown below.

 *dates are subject to change without notification

Cut-Off Dates IARC Review Dates

December 20, 2013

February 27, 2014

April 24, 2014

June 26, 2014

August 28, 2014

October 30, 2014

January 9, 2014

March 20, 2014

May 15, 2014

July 24, 2014 (updated 3/27/14)

September 18, 2014

November 20, 2014

 

 

Send Applications To:

Emmett Hassen
Licensing and Certification Coordinator
ACDHH
100 N. 15th Ave, Suite 104
Phoenix, Arizona 85007
 

Initial Application Forms:

Not licensed in the State of Arizona yet? The forms below are what you need to print and complete to start the process in becoming a Licensed Interpreter.

Legal

General

Provisional

Renewal Application Forms:

Currently licensed? The renewal forms are below.

NOTE: Your renewal application must be received in the office on or before your expiration date but no earlier than 60 days prior to your licenses expiration. Once your renewal application has been received by the ACDHH office the application process is a 90-day overall time frame process. Licensees can continue to work while their renewal application is in process. Should verification from an employer be needed please feel free to contact the Licensure Department.

Legal

General

Provisional

Questionnaire Sheet - INITIAL & RENEWAL - All categories 

Questionnaire (INITIAL only) sheet (Yes and No sheet for Questions #13-23)

Questionnaire (RENEWAL only) sheet (Yes and No sheet for Questions #13 - 22)

Short Term Registration (20 Days)

Arizona also offers a Short Term Registration for those who will be providing interpreting services for no more than 20 days in a calendar year. This registration is free, click here to complete the form. This is not a license, if working more than 20 days, you must apply for a license.

Change of Address or Name Official Form

Change of Address Form - if you have changed your address since your initial or renewal application, please use this form to submit your request for change of address to be updated.

  • Steps in becoming an interpreter. Visit the National Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf .
  • Interpreter Directory. To find a freelance interpreter go to the Interpreter Directory. Not all interpreters listed hold a state license. For jobs requiring a state license please ensure the interpreter is currently licensed.
  • Need to schedule an Interpreter? Go to the Interpreter Directory.
  • Interpreter Training Programs in Arizona For listing of programs - please check the "FAQ" tab and refer to #18.

If your questions are not answered below, please contact Emmett Hassen, Licensing and Certification Coordinator, at e.hassen@acdhh.az.gov

Questions:

1. What are the categories of licenses?

  • Legal: An Individual who is qualified by education, examination, and work history to provide interpreting in a legal setting.
  • General: An individual who provides interpreting in any community setting for which the individual is qualified by education, examination, and work history.
  • Provisional: An individual who is qualified by education, examination, and work history to provide interpreting while pursuing RID certification.
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2. What are the Provisional License Categories?

  • "Class A provisional interpreter" means a provisional interpreter who provides oral transliteration and does not have an OTC.
  • "Class B provisional interpreter" means a provisional interpreter who was paid for interpreting services before the effective date of this Article and is qualified to provide interpreting services when working with a mentor or when teamed with an individual licensed under R9-26-503 or R9-26-504.
  • "Class C provisional interpreter" means a provisional interpreter who is qualified to provide interpreting services only under direct supervision.
  • "Class D provisional interpreter" means a provisional interpreter who is deaf or hard of hearing and does not have a CDI.
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3. Provisional B and C – what are the differences?

Answer: Provisional B allows interpreters to work alone for the most part except that they must have a mentor or team option. If a mentor option has been chosen, both the Mentor and Licensee must meet at least once a month. If teaming has been chosen, then the Provisional B licensee must team with a Generalist or Legal licensee for at least an average of 8 hours per month. Provisional B qualifies only if they have met at least one of the three criteria under the work experience section:

  • 1. 150 hours of paid interpreting service prior to October 1, 2007;
  • 2. have EIPA 4.0 or above on performance examination; or
  • 3. possess an ACCI status.

Provisional C restricts interpreters from working alone, they are required to team with a Generalist or Legal licensed interpreters only – at all times. Provisional C only qualifies if they do not meet the three criteria as explained above under Provisional B section.

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4. Where do I send my application?

Answer:

ACDHH
ATTN: Emmett Hassen
 
Licensing and Certification Coordinator
100 N. 15th ave, Suite 104
Phoenix, AZ 85007
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5. What is the cost of a license?

Answer:

  • $125 for Legal and General ($50 for renewal)
  • $25 for Provisional ($25 for renewal)
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6. Who is exempt from this law?

Answer:

  • Educational interpreters K-12 who are interpreting in accordance with a student's Individualized Education Plan are not required to be licensed. Interpreting done for non students in the educational setting will require a licensed interpreter. For detailed information, contact your school district or the Arizona Department of Education.
  • Interpreters interpreting in religious settings.
  • Anyone interpreting on a volunteer basis excluding legal settings.
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7. I have a License or Certification from another State. Am I allowed to work in AZ? Do you reciprocate licenses?

Answer: No, an Arizona License is required to work in all settings not mentioned in the exemptions listed above.

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8. What's the application timeframe?

Answer: ACDHH has an overall time frame of 90 days to grant or deny a license.

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9. How soon will my application be reviewed?

Answer:

Initial Application: The administrative review process is done in order to prepare application files for review by the Commission. If your application is complete, a letter of completion confirmation will be sent to you and then your application referred to the Interpreter Application Review Committee for approval. All applications will be administratively reviewed by Commission staff within 30 days of submission. If you don't see your name on an agenda for the review committee and have not received a letter from ACDHH regarding your application, please contact ACDHH licensing staff Emmett Hassen or Christi Smith at (602) 542-3323 V, (866) 948-7035 VP, (602) 364-0990 TTY, (800) 352-8161 V/TTY.

Renewal Application: Once your renewal application has been received by the ACDHH office the application process is a 90-day overall time frame process. Licensees can continue to work while their renewal application is in process. Should verification from an employer be needed please feel free to contact the Licensure Department.

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10. How do I know if my application has been reviewed?

Answer: Refer to meeting minutes. Meeting minutes will be posted to ACDHH website within three working days after a public meeting. For recordings, please contact ACDHH at (602) 542-3323 V, (866) 948-7035 VP, (602) 364-0990 TTY, (800) 352-8161 V/TTY or info@acdhh.az.gov.

However, if your application has been approved, you cannot work immediately UNTIL pro-rated fees have been paid and then your license will be released. Once released, you may begin to work in the State of Arizona.

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11. How secure is my application/information?

Answer: Every application will remain in a locked office in a locked file cabinet.

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12. When will meeting agendas be posted?

Answer: Agendas of public meetings will be posted 24 hours prior to meeting time on ACDHH website and at 100 N 15th Ave, Phoenix, AZ. in compliance with open meeting laws.

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13. What information is made public?

Answer: All licensees names (first and last), license type, original issue date and expiration date will be listed on our website and be available to the public. The applicant can opt to have contact information and credentials listed in our interpreter directory located in the resources section. Click here to download an application to be included in this Directory.

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14. Do I need to carry or wear my license while I'm working?

Answer: You are strongly encouraged to carry your license. You could be asked to show verification of licensed status. Wearing your license is at your discretion, but you may be asked to wear it by the hiring agency or individual.

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15. Does ACDHH Still Give Out Grant/Scholarships for the NIC Tests?

Answer: ACDHH has distributed our allotted amount of free tests.

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16. How do I become a “certified” interpreter?

Answer: ACDHH recognizes the National Interpreter Certification (NIC) issued by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID). For more information on certification, visit www.rid.org or go directly to RID’s page here

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17. How do I renew for a 2nd time for my Provisional License?

Answer:

In order to maintain your Provisional license for another year after your 1st  renewal, please read the following:

 A.R.S. § 36-1946

R9-26-507. License Renewal

B. Renewal of a provisional interpreter license.

6. A provisional interpreter license may be renewed a second time only if, in addition to complying with subsections (B)(2) and (B)(3), the licensee submits evidence to the Commission that the licensee attempted to pass the performance portion of a RID certification examination and intends to take the performance portion of a RID certification examination again within the next year.

7. The Commission shall not renew a provisional license more than two times. The Commission shall not issue more than one provisional license to an individual.

Steps:

You must take the performance examination between your 1st renewal date and prior to 2nd renewal date.

  1. When you renew for the 2nd time, you must demonstrate that you have taken the performance examination as stated under #2 above. If you have not received your results yet or failed the examination, a letter from RID is required. The letter from RID must state WHEN you took the examination and submitted with your 2nd renewal application to be considered for renewal. 
  2. In addition with #3 above, submit a letter from yourself that you intend to re-take the performance examination between the 2nd renewal and your last expiration date.
  3. ACDHH will review your application and if the documents do show you already attempted taking the examination, we may consider renewing for a “third” year extension.

 If you did NOT take the performance examination between your 1st renewal and 2nd renewal – by law, we cannot renew your license.  You may NOT apply for a Generalist license until you have passed the performance examination.

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18. Where can I study or train to become a sign language interpreter in Arizona?

Phoenix College: (Phoenix)

Pima Community College: (Tucson)

Coconino Community College (Flagstaff)

University of Arizona  (This is strictly limited to “Education Interpreting” which focuses on interpreting in K-12 settings only which is completely different from “Community Interpreting”).

For more information on interpreting programs:

Discover Interpreting  -  then click on ‘paths to interpreting’ then click on ‘choosing a school’ then scroll down inside the box to ‘access a complete program listing’. That will bring you a comprehensive listing of information on schools in Arizona or abroad. 

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19. Where can I find local RID Chapter?  

http://www.arizonarid.org/ – Arizona RID chapter

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20. Where is the national Registry of Interpreter for the Deaf website?

http://www.rid.org/  - RID official website

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21. Are Video Remote Interpreters (VRI) required to be licensed in the State of Arizona?

Yes. The interpreter licensure law applies to all interpreters, including video remote interpreters, providing interpreting services in Arizona regardless of where the consumer resides.

 

  

There are no current Task Forces or Work Groups going on at this time. Please check back periodically for updates.

Complaints can be filed no more than 90 days statutory limit from the date of incident.

If sending complaint via US Post - please send attention to:  "License Complaints Department" on the mail address.

License Complaints Department
ACDHH
100 N. 15th Ave, Suite 104
Phoenix, Arizona 85007

 Thank you.