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 firstname.lastname@example.org 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
New Updates from Licensing Department
Greetings from ACDHH Licensing Department, we are announcing a few new changes that will have some significant impact on your license.
Here’s a quick highlight on recent changes:
NEW Application forms have been updated and now available on line.
All Provisional licensees will now have more extended time on their renewals aligning with RID’s 5 years’ time limit on the NIC written examination. Current Provisional License holders will be receiving notifications in the mail soon which is very important to read.
Provisional Class C licensee will be able to upgrade to Class B, provided that either a copy of the EIPA 4.0 score or higher on performance exam or documentation of 250 hours of paid interpreting services since issuance of Class C license. This means either one of the options will allow you to upgrade to B as long the Class C license is current, not lapsed and during the renewal process only. This action only applies after January 18, 2013 and onwards.
Letters of Recommendations for Provisional applicants are no longer required for initial application processes.
We will be updating our license webpage throughout the 2013 year, please continue to look for new updated information. If any new update occurs, you will be notified.
The Licensing Department
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
IARC Review Dates
October 24, 2013
November 14, 2013
New 2014 dates will be determined after December 5, 2013 Commission Board meeting. Please check back after December 5, 2013. Thank you for your patience.
Send Applications To:
Licensing and Certification Coordinator
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.
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.
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 hereto 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.
Interpreter Directory. To find a freelance interpreter go to theInterpreter Directory.Not all interpreters listed hold a state license. For jobs requiring a state license please ensure the interpreter is currently licensed.
"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.
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.
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.
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.
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 email@example.com.
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.
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 hereto download an application to be included in this Directory.
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.
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
17. How do I renew for a 2nd time for my Provisional License?
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.
You must take the performance examination between your 1st renewal date and prior to 2nd renewal date.
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.
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.
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.
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.