Who can apply for reciprocity:
- Attorneys licensed in one or more of our reciprocal states, possessing a minimum of five years’ active practice of law, as defined in the rules.
- If you do not qualify for reciprocity, you may qualify to take the bar exam or to transfer your Uniform Bar Examination score.
Thank you for your interest in applying for reciprocal admission to New Mexico! The 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:
1. Admission on Motion application form (two originals, both with original signatures) and $2500 filing fee. The application link takes you to the National Conference of Bar Examiners (NCBE) web site to access their character and fitness application, which is also our application for reciprocal admission. 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; 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.
With the application submitted to the Board, you must include the $2,500 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.
Please note that the NCBE’s investigative report takes between 75 – 90 days on average and can take as long as six months to complete.
2. Two originals of the NM Board of Bar Examiners Authorization and Release Form, signed and notarized; must contain original signatures.
3. Three character and fitness statements from attorneys in good standing from each state in which you are admitted. These attorneys should be in addition to those persons listed in the body of your application. They must be originals and current.
4. 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.
5. A certificate of admission, currently valid license to practice law, or certificate of good standing from every state, district, territory, protectorate, province or foreign country where admitted, regardless of whether your admission is active or inactive.
6. A letter from the grievance or disciplinary entity of every state, district, territory, protectorate, province or foreign country in which the applicant is admitted indicating that there are no disciplinary complaints or charges pending against the applicant.
7. For any jurisdiction relied upon by the applicant to satisfy the active practice of law durational requirements in this rule,a certificate from the highest court, or clerk thereof, or by the designated authority in such jurisdiction certifying that the applicant has been eligible to engage in the actual practice of law in that jurisdiction for at least five (5) of the seven (7) years immediately prior to the date of the certificate; (b) the applicant is in good standing in the bar of such jurisdiction and has not been disbarred, placed under disciplinary suspension, or resigned from such bar while under disciplinary investigation; (c) the applicant is not the subject of any pending disciplinary complaints or proceedings in such jurisdiction; and (d) if the applicant has been suspended or disbarred, that the applicant has been duly reinstated. Please note: Some courts may not provide such a certificate. If so, please notify the Board that you were not able to obtain the certificate.
8. A notarized affidavit, executed by the applicant, describing the applicant’s active practice of law for the required durational period in every applicable jurisdiction, which shall include a detailed explanation of how it satisfies the definition of the active practice of law as set forth in Paragraph D of Rule 15-107 NMRA. Affidavits that do not clearly address the elements of the Rule as they pertain to the past seven years will be returned. Must contain original signature.
In addition to the above, you must request that the following items be sent to us directly:
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.
To be sent to us via the NCBE:
- Passing Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination Score (MPRE). You must have a scaled score of 80 or better on the MPRE to satisfy this requirement. If you took this exam previously for another jurisdiction, you may have that score certified here. The passing scaled score of 80 or above must have been achieved no more than five (5) years prior to submitting your application. There are no exceptions to this rule, regardless of the applicant’s length of practice. This board does not administer the MPRE and you may take it in any location/state it is offered. To register or to have a score sent to us, please go to ncbex.org.
All applicants are required to take the New Mexico Reciprocity CLE prior to admission. This class is taken after you submit your application but before you can be licensed. For upcoming dates, click here.
Application materials must be mailed to:
New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners
20 First Plaza Center NW, Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87102
Deadlines & Notifications
There are no specific deadlines associated with application by motion / reciprocal admission. However, applicants should remember that the application process can take longer than six months and plan accordingly.
Once we have received and reviewed your application packet, we will send a letter to confirm receipt of your packet, update you on any additional documents that we have received, and outline any requests for additional information. Unless there is a problem with some part of your application, you will not hear from us again until your Character and Fitness Report has been completed by the NCBE. At that time, we will review the report and contact you about any additional missing items. Please do not call or email for updates — our staff is busy processing your application and is not equipped to provide individual status updates.
It is likely that you will be contacted by the NCBE investigator during the course of his or her investigation. Please respond promptly to any NCBE requests; failure to do so may result in suspension of your application.
Forms and Links:
- Reciprocity Cover Sheet – NEW [pdf]
- Character and Fitness Application Form [link]
- NMBBE Authorization and Release Form [pdf]
- Character and Fitness Statement [pdf]
- Law School Certification Form [pdf]
- Request FBI & State Background Check [link]
- Request Certification of Your MPRE Score [link]
- Affidavit Information [pdf]
- Credit Card Authorization Form [pdf] (optional)
- Required CLE [link]