A certified translation is a translation that bears the translator’s signature, an official stamp and a statement by the translator attesting to its accuracy. A certified translation may be needed, for example, for documents issued by government agencies, certain notarial deeds, diplomas or certificates that need to be recognized abroad. In the Netherlands, a certified translator must be sworn in at the court and registered with the Dutch Register of Sworn Interpreters and Translators (‘Register beëdigde tolken en vertalers’ or Rbtv). To stay registered with the Rbtv, the translator must obtain 80 PE points for each language combination over a period of 5 years. All my certified translations are printed on paper with the watermark of the Netherlands Association of Interpreters and Translators (NGTV). The translation, the original text and the translator’s statement are provided with my personal stamp and signature/initials.
The document can also be provided with an apostille. An apostille authenticates the signature on the translator’s statement. In the Netherlands, an apostille is usually obtained at the court at which the translator’s signature is on file. In my case, this is the court of The Hague. But you don't have to travel all the way to The Hague to get an apostille! Every certified translator’s signature is stored in a central database, so you can apply directly to the central service desk of every court in the Netherlands (excluding district courts). The court charges a fee for an apostille.