Why do we need to translate criminal records?
Criminal record translations are usually required when applying for residence or work permits in abroad, as well as for a range of other legal practices.
Just like the original document, a translation is valid for three months from its date of issue. As such, you’ll need to make sure you arrange for its timely renewal if required for longer than three months.
What is a criminal record certificate?
A criminal record certificate lists the definitive convictions – as well as some civil and administrative sanctions – in place against an Italian citizen. Following the entry into force of Legislative Decree No.122/2018, criminal record certificates now include a summary of old criminal and civil certificates, in addition to a certificate of registration or non-registration in the European criminal record database.
Put simply, the information contained in a criminal record allows the reader to know what contact EU citizens have had with the judicial system, both within their country of origin, and the EU as a whole.
When do you need to request one?
In general, criminal record certificates are required when starting a new job abroad, to adopt or take custody of minors, or to request a residence permit.
In some cases, certificates are issued free of charge (such as to adopt or take custody of minors, for labour disputes, for compulsory social care, or following requests for redress of a judicial error, etc.), however, they usually entail a fee and the affixing of stamp duty for validation purposes.
How do I request a criminal record certificate?
Before requesting a criminal record certificate translation, you will have to get hold of the original document. To do this, you’ll need to request it from the Public Prosecutor’s Office at any court in Italy, where there will be a designated office to deal with your request. You can request the certificate personally or by proxy, i.e. by delegating the task to a trusted individual using a special written document.
A minor can request a certificate if his or her parental guardian submits the request. A prisoner or person in a rehabilitation centre can obtain a certificate by requesting it through the post or by appointing a proxy. At the time of the request, we recommend specifying that you need a legalised criminal record certificate for use abroad.
Once all the necessary information has been acquired, the criminal record office will affix various stamps to the document depending on the country requiring the translation. If the country adheres to the Hague Convention, an apostille will be necessary. In all other cases, the standard legalisation procedure will be carried out.
Legalising criminal record certificate translations
Once you have obtained your criminal record certificate, you will need to request a sworn translation. Doing so allows the certificate to possess the same legal validity abroad as it does in Italy. Sworn criminal record certificate translations are valid for the same amount of time as the original document. The original document’s expiration automatically implies that of the translated version.
As such, we recommend proceeding with your translation request as soon as you have obtained the original document. The cost of translating criminal record certificates varies depending on the length of the document and the target language. The translation of criminal record certificates into English will cost less than translations into Chinese Mandarin, according to the principle of proximity/distance between the source and target language.