© 2023 Tennessee Courts System
In Tennessee, there are three kinds of interpreters that help the judges and the people who come to court:
If you think you are interested in becoming a court interpreter, the assessment found at this link can help you decide if you have the skills needed to be a court interpreter before you start the testing process: Self Assessment Questions
There are several steps that you must take to become an interpreter. We have developed a flow chart that outlines the process. The steps are also listed below and you must take the steps in the order listed:
Pass a criminal background check. (You cannot have been found guilty of a crime that was a felony. You cannot have been found guilty of a crime that was a misdemeanor that involved lying or dishonesty. If the felony or misdemeanor was more than 10 years ago, you may be able to be an interpreter.)
For more information about this process, download and review the instruction manual or flow chart.
Court interpretation is a specialized and highly-demanding form of interpreting. It requires skills that few bilingual individuals, including language instructors, possess. To gain access to other professionals in the field, the Tennessee Administrative Office of the Courts (“AOC”) became a member of the Consortium for State Court Interpreter Certification (“Consortium”), a group under the auspices of the National Center for State Courts. Tennessee Supreme Court Rules 41 and 42, which govern the credentialing, appointment, and ethics of Tennessee’s interpreters, were based on model policies provided through the Consortium, but were modified to meet Tennessee’s needs. The Tennessee Supreme Court adopted these rules on April 25, 2002, and amended them on April 27, 2005.
To become an interpreter, you must complete a number of tests - a written exam, oral exam and oral proficiency interview. Please review the steps on this page for more information.
These tests are administered throughout the state at various times throughout the year. Please review the testing schedule below for more information about when the tests will be offered.
2021 Testing Schedule
2022 Testing Schedule2023 Testing Schedule