The California Judicial Council (JC) is responsible for ensuring the quality of language services in court. There are two types of license: a court interpreter can be either certified or registered in a particular language, depending on the demand for that language.
Languages that are most often required in court are designated certified. To obtain this license, court interpreters must pass a monolingual English written exam and a bilingual oral interpreting proficiency exam: their language and interpreting skills are tested in both languages.
There are currently 15 certified languages:
Languages that are less common in court are designated registered. To obtain this license, court interpreters must pass written and oral English proficiency exams: their English is tested but not their foreign language nor their interpreting proficiency.
The JC conducts a study of demographics and use of court services every five years to review the list of certified languages and make adjustments accordingly.