Deferring the Exam
You may defer the exam one time without loss of your application fee. You need not take the exam at the next sitting, but if your deferred exam was within one year of your graduation and your new exam is greater than one year, you will be charged the difference ($500) between the two exam periods. Following your first deferral, you will be charged the full retake fee should you choose to defer again — $1000 if more than one year from law school graduation, $500 if less than one year. For an application to be considered a deferral, the deferred application may only be an application to the New Mexico bar, and not to another state’s bar.
To defer your exam:
- Deferral may be made up to the Friday before the bar exam and should be made in writing, either by mail or by email to email@example.com. Do not indicate your desired new exam date in this communication.
The post-deferral application deadline is the same as the retake application deadline (see sidebar). Please note that our deadlines are in-office, and not postmark deadlines.
Retaking the Exam
For an application to be counted as a re-take, the applicant must have failed the New Mexico bar exam at least one time. There is no limit to the number of times that an applicant can retake the bar exam in New Mexico, so long as he or she is a bona fide applicant seeking admission in New Mexico.
Following a first-time failure to earn the required score in New Mexico, the applicant may apply to sit for the next two exams immediately following the exam of first-time failure for the reduced fee of $100. If the applicant defers either of those exams, the reduced fee will not apply to any subsequent exams. For example, if the applicant failed the July 2018 exam, he or she could apply for the February 2019 and July 2019 exams at the reduced rate. Following those two exam dates, the fee for all retake examinations is $1000. The reduced fee is not available to applicants who have already earned a New Mexico-qualifying score on any UBE.
The retake application deadline is the same as the deferral application deadline (see sidebar). Please note that our deadlines are in-office, and not postmark deadlines.
Retake and Post-Deferral Applications
- Please note that our deadlines are in-office, and not postmark deadlines. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
- Questions? Visit our Q&A section on Slack [link] (free, registration required).
Uniform Bar Examination Courtesy Seating: Examinees who wish to sit in New Mexico only in order to transfer their scores to other states are no longer permitted to take the bar exam in New Mexico.
Process and Forms
All applicants to the New Mexico Bar must take an in-person course in New Mexico law [link] prior to admission. This course is scheduled for the Thursday immediately following the Tuesday and Wednesday administration of the bar exam and you will be registered automatically upon receipt of your complete application unless you have already taken the class within the past three years.
Before beginning your application, please read:
- New Mexico Rules Governing Admission [link]
- Bar Exam Retake/Deferral Application Instructions [pdf]
- Covid-19 Notices [link]
The following documents must be submitted by the filing deadline:
- Bar Exam Retake/Deferral Cover Sheet & Instructions [pdf]
- Application Fee (paid by check/money order or Credit Card Authorization Form [pdf])
- Character and Fitness Application [link], including the associated Acknowledgement Page
- NMBBE Authorization and Release Form [pdf]
- Current credit report [link]
- Statement[s] of Discipline and Certificate(s) of Good Standing from any state in which you are or have been licensed
- Confirmation of NCBE Number Certification
- Laptop Release of Liability Form [pdf]
- Test Accommodation Request, if applicable. View the policy, instructions, and forms [link]
Please keep copies of all documents that you submit to our office. To receive a copy of your submitted materials, you must pay a fee and request a copy of your file [link].
The following documents must be submitted before you can be approved to sit for for the exam, but need not be resubmitted if you have provided them as part of a prior application:
- Transcript from law school with evidence of graduation
- Law School Certification Form [pdf]
- FBI and NM State Criminal Records [link]
These items must be completed and/or submitted before you can be admitted to the Bar:
- Multistate Professional Responsibility Examination Score (MPRE) [link]
- Completion of the required class in New Mexico law [link]
Unable to fill in PDFs on your computer? Download the latest version of Adobe Reader here [link].
Application materials must be mailed to:
New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners
Attn: Bar Examination Retake/Deferral
2440 Louisiana Blvd. NE, Suite 280
Albuquerque, NM 87110
Please note that our deadlines are in-office, and not postmark deadlines. Incomplete applications will be rejected.
All attorneys sworn in to practice law in New Mexico must submit, within 30 days of licensure, the New Lawyer Application/Deferment/Exemption form [link] through the New Mexico State Bar. Please see this page for more information [link].
Deadlines & Fees
Please note that examinees are no longer permitted to sit for the New Mexico bar exam on a UBE Courtesy basis; all examinees must be bona fide applicants to join the New Mexico bar.
February 23-24, 2021: Exam Dates
February 25, 2021: Required Course in New Mexico Law
August 15, 2020: Application acceptance period opens
December 10, 2020 at 5 p.m.: Re-exam & Post-deferral Filing Deadline
Re-exam & Deferred Filing Fees:
- Applicants applying within one year of their first failed New Mexico Bar Exam: $100
- Applicants who registered but deferred taking the exam once, at the next exam administration: your prior exam fee will be applied to the new exam; if your fee status has changed, you will need to pay the difference
- Applicants more than one year from their first New Mexico Bar Exam or who have deferred more than once: $1000
No re-examination or deferral applications will be accepted after the filing deadline and no part of the filing fee is refundable. All application deadlines are in-office and not postmark deadlines.