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 info@nmexam.org. 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 or another UBE state. 

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 only wish to sit in New Mexico in order to transfer their scores to other states must submit all required items listed under “The following documents must be submitted by the filing deadline” and “The following documents must be submitted before you can be approved to sit for for the exam,” below, except for those items that are explicitly listed as not necessary for UBE Courtesy Seating.

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:

The following documents must be submitted by the filing deadline*: 

*Examinees who do not seek admission in New Mexico may omit items number 5 and 6.

  1. New Mexico Bar Exam Retake-Deferral Cover Sheet [pdf]
  2. Application Fee (paid by check/money order or Credit Card Authorization Form [pdf])
  3. Character and Fitness Application [link], including the associated Acknowledgement Page and NCBE Releases
  4. NMBBE Authorization and Release Form [pdf]
  5. Current credit report [link]
  6. Statement[s] of Discipline and Good Standing from any state in which you are or have been licensed
  7. Confirmation of NCBE Number Certification
  8. Laptop Release of Liability Form [pdf]
  9. 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 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:

These items must be completed and/or submitted before you can be admitted to the Bar:

Examinees who do not intend to be licensed in New Mexico need not complete these steps.

Unable to fill in PDFs on your computer? Download the latest version of Adobe Reader here [link].

Application materials must be mailed to:

Bar Examination Application
New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners
20 First Plaza Center NW, Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Please note that our deadlines are in-office, and not postmark deadlines. Incomplete applications will be rejected.

Following admission:

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

July 30-31, 2019: Exam Dates

August 1, 2019: Required Class in New Mexico Law

December 15, 2018: Application acceptance period opens

May 10, 2019 at 5 p.m.: Re-exam & 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. 

February 25-26, 2020: Exam Dates

February 27, 2020: Required Course in New Mexico Law

August 15, 2019: Application acceptance period opens

December 10, 2020 at 5 p.m.: Re-exam & 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.