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Limited License: State Government or Civil Legal Services

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” to practice in New Mexico. Such a license does not require that the attorney sit for the bar exam, transfer his or her UBE score, or meet the durational requirements of reciprocal admission.

Process and Forms

Please read the Rules Governing Admission [link], Limited License Application Instructions – Character & Fitness [pdf] and Limited License Application Instructions – Supreme Court [link] before beginning your application.

The Limited License request comes in two parts:

  • the application for the Limited License is submitted to the New Mexico Supreme Court
  • the character and fitness application is submitted to the NMBBE

Each part is submitted and administered concurrently. You must certify in your application to the Court that you have already submitted your character and fitness application to the NMBBE. The Court will issue the Limited License to qualified attorneys while the character and fitness investigation is pending.

If you already have an active application for full admission via reciprocal admission, Uniform Bar Examination Transfer, or bar examination, you need not submit a new character and fitness application and fee to the NMBBE, and may certify to the Court that you have a character and fitness application submitted on the basis of that prior application. This policy applies only to applications for full admission made prior to limited license application; if you wish to apply for full admission after you submit your limited license application, you must submit a new, complete application with the full application fee.

To be submitted by the applicant, in one packet, to the NMBBE. All of this material is required in order to certify to the Court that you have submitted a character and fitness application:

  1. Limited License Cover Sheet [pdf]
  2. $250 Application Fee (paid by check/money order or Credit Card Authorization Form [pdf])
  3. Character and Fitness Application [link]
  4. NMBBE Authorization and Release Form [pdf]
  5. Current credit report [link]
  6. Certificate(s) of Good Standing and Disciplinary Board Letter(s) from each state in which you are licensed.

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 items must be requested by the applicant and sent directly to the NMBBE by the issuing entity:

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

All character and fitness application materials must be mailed to:
Limited License
New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners
20 First Plaza Center NW, Suite 710
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Once you have submitted your character and fitness application, you must also request a limited license from the Court [link].

Limited License Rules

The rules and policies governing limited licenses for state government and public defender attorneys are found in Rule 15-301.1 NMRA [link] and on the New Mexico Supreme Court website [link].

The rules and policies governing limited licenses for civil legal service attorneys are found in Rule 15-301.2 NMRA [link] and on the New Mexico Supreme Court website [link].