State Licensure & Master Price Agreement (MPA)

Welcome to Rhode Island! Working as an American Sign Language (ASL) or Licensed Deaf Interpreter in RI can be a rewarding and fulfilling career. The Deaf, Deaf-Blind, and Hard of Hearing community recognized the need for qualified ASL and Deaf Interpreters. Rhode Island was one of the first states to establish an interpreter licensure law (R.I.G.L., 5-71) in 1999. As a result, American Sign Language and Deaf Interpreters must obtain a license from the Rhode Island Department of Health (RI DOH) before they are eligible to work. The licensure law helps ensure that an interpreter has met the educational and certification requirements to be considered a qualified ASL or Deaf Interpreter in RI. To continue working in RI, Interpreters must renew their license by July 1 of each calendar year.    

When accepting and working for state jobs, interpreters are paid through a Master Price Agreement (MPA), which sets a pre-determined pay rate for an interpreter based on their certification and years of experience. The MPA allows licensed interpreters to be entered into the state system as independent contractors and requires the completion of some forms before payment can be made. Once the necessary paperwork has been submitted, interpreters must only supply their credentials, W-9 forms, and other contact information if they change.  

Below is a five (5) easy step-by-step process to obtain your Interpreter for the Deaf license and to set up as a State vendor for billing and payments. 

5 Easy Steps to Obtain Interpreter of the Deaf License (The “Checklist”)

  1. Apply for a License with the Rhode Island Department of Health 
  2. Register as a State Vendor with the RI Division of Purchasing 
  3. Complete Master Price Agreement forms with the RI Commission on the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. 
  4. Set up an ESRP account with the RICDHH Interpreter and Captioning Referral office. 
  5. Bill the invoices to the service providers directly. 
  1. Apply

    Board of Interpreters for the Deaf License RI Department of Health

    Click here to apply as an Interpreter for the Deaf license in Rhode Island. 

    Center for Emergency Preparedness and Response
  2. Register

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    All vendors who currently (or in the future) sell products or provide services to the State of Rhode Island are required to self-register with Ocean State Procures™ (OSP).  The OSP will establish you as a Rhode Island Sign Language Interpreter or Captioner vendor. 

    To begin the OSP self-registration process, click here. 


    Please note that the OSP self-registration is only required if you plan to take State Government jobs and get paid for your services. 


    In the meantime, you may work up to 25 hours per year in Rhode Island without a license if you have a credible and recognized certification or state screening in interpreting.  

    Please get in touch with the RICDHH Interpreter Referral office to fill out the Non-Licensed Certified and State-screened Interpreters Only Form.  

    For each job assignment you take without a license, please complete the Non-Licensed Certified and State-screened Interpreter Form at least 48 hours before the job assignment. After you fill out the form, please  

    • Drop off the form with your signature on it at the RICDHH office 
    • Fax the form with your signature on it at (401) 222-5736 
    • Scan the form with your signature on it and email it to  

    The non-licensed form is subject to Rhode Island General Laws, 5-71, “Interpreters for the Deaf.” 

  3. Complete

    When your OSP self-registration is approved, please complete the following forms:

    Within these forms, you will need to provide the following: 

    • Proof of Professional Liability Insurance 
    • Copy of Certificate from RID or State screening with a date when you first became certified or screened. A congratulatory letter with a date is acceptable if you don’t have a copy of the certification. 

    Email the completed forms and copies to Pamela Zellner with RICDHH. 

  4. Set up

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  5. Bill

    The RICDHH Interpreter and Captioning Referral Services does not handle billing. The billing is handled by the ASL & CDI Interpreters and Captioners. They send their invoices to the service provider directly. The service providers’ billing information is available on the Interpreter and Captioner’s ESRP account portal.  

    For assistance with billing and invoicing, contact Holly St. Pierre at (401) 222-5300 or


  1. Review RICDHH’s Interpreter Referral Policies and Procedures (updated June 2019) 
  2. Browse and accept jobs via the Interpreter Referral database (ESRP) or check-in with the RICDHH Interpreter Referral office. 
  3. Renew your license by July 1 of each calendar year. Renewal notices are sent out 60 days before your expiration date.  Renew online