We get asked this question so often, we decided to write something about it again.
A certified translation means that the translator or translation company has provided a signed statement (“Certificate of Translation Accuracy”) declaring that the translation is a true and faithful rendering of the source document.
In the context of Singapore, it is usually required for submission of documents to authorities such as the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) for application of employment permit, Housing & Development Board (HDB) for purchase of a HDB flat, Singapore Registry of Marriages (ROM), Singapore Ministry of Education (MOE), etc.
Some private companies might also require their employees to submit Certified Translation of their Certificate of No Criminal Conviction, also known as Certificate of Clearance (COC) and Personal Credit Report.
A notarized translation means that the translator or representative of the translation company signs an oath swearing that the translation is a true and faithful rendering of the source document before a Notary Public.
That being said, notarizing a translation is just an official process. It is not about having the notary public check and verify the translation.
In Singapore, Notaries Public are appointed by the Board of Commissioners for Oaths and Notaries Public. A Notary Public must be a qualified and experienced lawyer with no fewer than 15 years of experience.
A notarized translation is usually required for submission of documents to the Singapore Immigration & Checkpoints Authority (ICA) for Permanent Resident (PR) application, Citizenship application, application for Dependent Pass, etc.