To proceed the certified translation of an official document or deed …
… it is generally mandatory to present the original document.
This is particularly valid for civil documents and academic certificates, but also for official documents of any other type.
Read more: Certified translation for German, English and Spanish
There are several reasons why the original is generally required:
The certified translator is obligated to specify whether the translation refers to the original, a copy, or, for example, a document that exists only in a digital formate.
Photocopies (or photos) sometimes don’t show embossed stamps, signatures or watermarks. However, these are important elements of the document which have to be included in the translation.
The presentation of the original also aims at preventing the manipulation of documents. This is in the interest of the addressee, but it also helps the translator to protect himself against potential problems.
Of course, there may be exceptions to this rule: In some cases, the addressee does not insist on the presentation of the original copy. And sometimes it may simply be impossible to present the original.