Under Rules 15-301.1 and 15-301.2 NMRA, attorneys working for the public defender’s office, state government, and some civil legal services providers are eligible for a “limited license”. Such a license does not require that the attorney sit for the bar exam, transfer his or her UBE score, or meet the requirements of reciprocal admission.
All attorneys applying for such a license must submit an application for character and fitness investigation, supporting documents, and an application fee.
Limited License Application Process
Thank you for your interest in applying for a limited license in New Mexico. The application comes in two parts, and each part is submitted and administered concurrently. You will receive your limited license while your character and fitness investigation is ongoing, and must certify to the Court in your limited license application that you have already submitted your character and fitness application.
- An application for the limited license itself [link], which is submitted to the New Mexico Supreme Court.
- A character and fitness application (see below), which is submitted before or at the same time as the limited license application, to the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners (NMBBE).
The character and fitness application requires information and documents from a number of sources, and we ask that you take care to keep track of the documents you’ve submitted by keeping copies in your own files. Please note that the application can take as long as six months to process and cannot be sped up by Board staff.
All required forms are available via the links on the right side of this page, under Forms and Links. Please do not staple, paper clip, insert dividers between, or tab application documents.
To be submitted by the applicant, in one packet. All of this material is required in order to certify to the Court that you have submitted a character and fitness application:
- Limited License Cover Sheet.
- Character and Fitness application form (two originals, both with original signatures) and $250 filing fee. The application link takes you to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) web site to access their character and fitness application. The application must be filled out online on the NCBE website and then printed out to be mailed to our office. Please send two of the original printout of the application, signed and notarized, each of which will include three original copies of the NCBE Release and Authorization Form, to the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners; both must contain original signatures. Do not submit a payment to the NCBE with your online application; the Board will pay for the report. Please don’t staple or tab the application or print it double-sided.
- $250 filing fee in the form of a personal or business check, money order, certified check, or credit card payment. Checks and money orders should be made payable to “NM Board of Bar Examiners.” To pay by credit card, please complete the Credit Card Authorization Form and submit it with your application. Do not make payment to the NCBE.
- Two originals of the NM Board of Bar Examiners Authorization and Release Form, signed and notarized; must contain original signatures.
- A credit report, preferably with credit score, from one of the three major credit reporting agencies (Transunion, Equifax, or Experian) printed within 30 days of submitting your application. You may secure a free credit report from each of these agencies once per year at www.annualcreditreport.com. Reports secured through third parties (including Credit Karma) and incomplete or abbreviated credit reports will not be accepted. May be printed double-sided. Please note that data on your credit report will be cross-referenced to disclosures on your application; please check it carefully. If you do not know the meaning of a term found on the credit report (e.g. “charge-off”), please research it before assuming it means that you do not still have a liability.
In addition to the above, you must request that the following items be sent to us directly. They can be sent either before or after you submit your packet, above:
To be sent by your law school directly to our offices:
- Transcript from law school with evidence of graduation (do not send diploma) and law school certification form. Your final and complete transcript from law school should indicate that you were awarded your J.D. and on what date. The transcript must be sent to the Board’s office directly from the law school or university registrar and must be an official transcript. The law school certification form must also be sent directly to the Board’s office from the law school. Photocopies, scans, or other facsimiles are not acceptable.
To be sent to us by CogentID:
- FBI and NM State Criminal Records. Visit this page for information on securing these reports, which are sent directly to the Board by the appropriate agencies. Out of state applicants must use our fingerprint cards.
These items may be sent either before or after the application is submitted.
Application materials must be mailed to:
New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners
20 First Plaza Center NW, Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Forms and Links
- Limited License Cover Sheet [pdf]
- Application Form [link]
- NMBBE Authorization and Release Form [pdf]
- Law School Certification Form [pdf]
- Request FBI & State Background Check [link]
- Credit Card Authorization Form [pdf] (optional)
Unable to fill in PDFs on your computer? Download the latest version of Adobe Reader here [link].