Until just over a year ago, Spanish sworn translations were only accepted as valid by the Spanish authorities when submitted in hard copy form. In April 2020, after numerous requests by sworn translators, the government body regulating the profession in Spain (OIL) made an official announcement:
[…] documents translated by sworn translators can be accepted if electronically signed by using one of the systems set out […]
This will not, in any case, constitute an exemption from fulfilling the requirements set out by Order AEC/2125/2014, of 6 November, […] on certification, signature, stamp and copy of the original document which has been translated.
(My own English translation. Not official. Read the original announcement in Spanish.)
This announcement by the OIL confirmed that sworn translations can be signed electronically and submitted in digital form, as long as they still comply with the standard sworn translation requirements established by Order AEC/2125/2014.
These are the standard Spanish sworn translation requirements:
- The translation must include the certification in the prescribed form and the sworn translator’s official stamp and signature.
- A copy of the original document must be attached to the translation and each page must be stamped and dated.
The additional requirement for a valid Spanish digital sworn translation is a valid electronic signature, as set out on Artículo 10 de la Ley 39/2015, of 1 October, on Common Administrative Proceedings by Governmental Agencies:
- Where interested parties choose to communicate with governmental agencies by electronic means, these are the electronic means accepted as valid for signature purposes:
a) Qualified and advanced electronic signature systems based on qualified electronic signature certificates issued by providers appearing on the list of trusted certification service providers.
(My own English translation. Not official.)
In summary, a valid Spanish digital sworn translation is a translation which (1) complies with the standard Spanish sworn translation requirements and (2) is electronically signed by using an approved certification service provider, such as CERES Fábrica Nacional de Moneda y Timbre – Real Casa de la Moneda (FNMT-RCM).
Important: for a digital sworn translation to remain valid as an original document, you must submit it as is (do not print it out).
The information included in this article is correct at the time of publication/last update. This article is for informational purposes only, does not constitute legal advice and should not be relied upon as such. Any reliance you place on such information is strictly at your own risk. ICR Translations will not be liable for any loss or damage arising from loss of data or profits as a result of, or in connection with, the use of this website.
IRENE CORCHADO RESMELLA is a Spanish translator based in Edinburgh. A Chartered Linguist and member of the CIOL, she is also an English-Spanish sworn translator appointed by the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Irene specialises in sworn and legal translation (particularly in wills and succession) and is an Affiliate member of STEP. ICR Translations is registered with the Information Commissioner's Office and has professional indemnity insurance.