(1) Except as otherwise provided in this section, no person or entity shall (a) practice as an interpreter for the deaf or hard of hearing for compensation, (b) hold himself, herself, or itself out as a licensed interpreter for the deaf or hard of hearing, (c) provide video remote interpreting services, (d) use the title Licensed Interpreter for the Deaf or Licensed Transliterater for the Deaf, or (e) use any other title or abbreviation to indicate that the person or entity is a licensed interpreter unless licensed pursuant to section 20-156.
(2) A person rostered as a qualified interpreter on or before August 30, 2015, may be issued a license pursuant to section 20-156 upon filing an application and paying the fee established by the Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing. Such person shall meet all applicable licensure requirements of sections 20-150 to 20-159 on or before January 1, 2016.
(3)(a) On and after January 1, 2016, any person or entity who practices, offers to practice, or attempts to practice as an interpreter for the deaf or hard of hearing for compensation or as a video remote interpreting provider or holds himself, herself, or itself out as a licensed interpreter without being licensed pursuant to section 20-156 or exempt under this section shall, in addition to any other penalty provided by law, pay a civil penalty to the commission in an amount not to exceed five hundred dollars for each offense as determined by the commission. The civil penalty shall be assessed by the commission after a hearing is held in accordance with section 20-156 and shall be remitted to the State Treasurer for distribution in accordance with Article VII, section 5, of the Constitution of Nebraska.
(b) The civil penalty shall be paid within sixty days after the date of the order imposing the civil penalty. The order shall constitute a judgment and may be filed and executed in the same manner as any judgment from any court of record.
(c) The commission may investigate any actual, alleged, or suspected unlicensed activity.
(4) An unlicensed person or entity providing interpreting services is not in violation of the licensure requirements of this section if the person or entity is:
(a) Providing interpreting services as part of a religious service;
(b) Notwithstanding other state or federal laws or rules regarding emergency treatment, providing interpreting services, until the services of a licensed interpreter can be obtained if there is continued need for an interpreter, in an emergency situation involving health care in which the patient or his or her representative and a health care provider or health care professional agree that the delay necessary to obtain a licensed interpreter is likely to cause injury or loss to the patient;
(c) Currently enrolled in a course of study leading to a certificate or degree in interpreting if such person is under the direct supervision of a licensed interpreter, engages only in activities and services that constitute a part of such course of study, and clearly designates himself or herself as a student, a trainee, or an intern;
(d) Working as an educational interpreter in compliance with rules and regulations adopted and promulgated by the State Department of Education or working for other purposes in a public school or an educational service unit;
(e) Holding either a certificate or a license as an interpreter in his or her state of residence which he or she has submitted to the commission for approval and either (i) providing interpreting services in Nebraska for a period of time not to exceed fourteen days in a calendar year or (ii) providing interpreting services by telecommunicating, or other use of technological means of communication; or
(f) Employed by or under contract with a person or an entity which is a licensed video remote interpreting provider in this state.