Do You Know When You Are Required to Use Translated Legal Documents? Posted on Jan 26, 2021
Available Now on Our Site: Spanish Language Version of the Residential Solar System Installation Agreement for Use in California; More Translated Documents Coming Soon
Many states require that translated legal documents are used when selling to consumers whose primary language is not English. Frequently, states require that legal documents are provided in the same language as a consumer’s primary language or the language that the document is negotiated in. Failure to comply with these requirements can result in the consumers having the right to rescind the contract at any time.
Under California law, a vast range of consumer contracts must be provided in translated form if they are negotiated in Spanish, Chinese, Tagalog, Vietnamese, or Korean—the five most common non-English languages spoken in California. In September 2020, California expanded this translation requirement, so that a translated version must also be provided to any other person who will be signing the contract or agreement, such as co-signers. Any person who does not receive the mandated translation has a right to rescind the contract.
In California and other states with similar laws, the requirement to provide translated legal documents often applies when selling solar, storage and other cleantech products. The trend of requiring translated legal documents for consumer protection is increasing nationwide as increasingly regulatory scrutiny is focused on ensuring that all customers of cleantech products receive full disclosure on the terms of their purchase and provide their knowing consent to the transaction. For instance, in October 2020, the California Public Utility Commission (CPUC) released a Spanish and Tagalong Translation of the CPUC Consumer Guide: Spanish Version and the Tagalog Version of the 2020 Consumer Guide which must be provided to customers whose primary language is Spanish. As a reminder, for any contract signed on or after October 30, 2020, the consumer must sign the updated version of the consumer guide in the appropriate version (the English version can be found here) and it must be signed before the contract.
In order to comply with these translation requirements, cleantech companies should be sure they are providing translated copies of legal documents to non-English speaking customers. Over the course of 2021, we will be providing translated versions of many of our documents. The first translated legal document we are making available to our customers is a Spanish language translation of the Residential Solar System Installation Agreement for use in California. All of the translated documents available on our site will be reviewed by translators who are certified by the American Translator Association for translation services.
If you need any of our documents translated that are not currently available on our site, please email us directly at firstname.lastname@example.org.