New Mexico Board of Examiners for Architects


Architectural Reciprocity in New Mexico

A Brief Overview

Architects registered in other United States jurisdictions and Canada may obtain a New Mexico registration to practice architecture by applying through the National Council of Architectural Registration Boards (NCARB). NCARB certificate holders have met the basic requirements for registration throughout the US.

The reciprocity applicant notifies NCARB that they wish to apply for licensure in New Mexico. NCARB provides a copy of the applicant’s certification to the New Mexico Board. The New Mexico Board contacts the applicant initially with an application and a request for fees. Upon receipt of the application, which must be notarized, and the fees, the applicant is sent a copy of the Board’s jurisprudence exam. The exam is an open book, multiple-choice exam based on the New Mexico Architectural Act, Rules and Regulations. The Architectural Act, Rules and Regulations are available on the New Mexico Board’s website If the applicant passes the jurisprudence exam, the application is reviewed for disciplinary issues by the New Mexico Board’s investigator/compliance officer. If any issues are found, the application is placed on hold and referred to the New Mexico Board’s Enforcement Subcommittee for review. If no disciplinary issues are found, the application is reviewed by the New Mexico Board’s Examination & Reciprocity Committee. If all is in order the applicant is granted a provisional license, which becomes a permanent license at the next scheduled Board meeting when the full Board votes to uphold the committee’s decision.

All reciprocity applicants pay the $125.00 application fee, plus a registration fee based on their location (in state or out-of-state) and the year. New Mexico registration is currently on a two-year cycle, with all registrations expiring at the end of the odd-numbered year, therefore, registration fees are pro-rated on an annual basis. All payments should be made out New Mexico Board of Examiners for Architects or NMBEA.

Registration Fee:
Out-of-state: $325.00
In-state: $225.00

This national certification system has been in place for approximately sixty years. Part of the reason for the creation of NCARB was to establish a method for reciprocity that would be uniform and meet the requirements generally accepted for licensure. NCARB also develops and oversees the national Architectural Registration Examination (ARE) and sets the criteria for the Architectural Experience Program. Every state architectural board in the United States is a member board of NCARB and each state has one vote at the national convention. The member boards create and approve all model law governing architectural practice in the United States.

The requirements for initial registration are based on education, experience and examination. The education component consists of acquiring a professional degree in architecture from a NAAB accredited school of architecture. Initial experience is obtained by completing the AXP requirements. The examination component is the completion of the now seven divisions of the computerized ARE.

At this time forty-three (43) states require a professional degree for initial licensure. New Mexico is one of these states. With regards to providing an alternative means for satisfying the education requirements: currently seventeen (17) states provide for this, with thirty-three (33) not allowing for this exception. New Mexico is one of the thirty-three.

Broadly Experienced Architect: NCARB does provide certification through the Broadly Experienced Architect review. Depending on the level of education obtained, an experienced architect licensed in one of the jurisdictions that doesn’t require a professional degree may submit documentation of their experience to NCARB’S Broadly Experienced Architect Committee. This committee reviews the documentation. If successful, the candidate receives an NCARB certificate at the end of the process which is accepted by New Mexico and 33 other states and allows the holder reciprocity in those jurisdictions. Please review NCARB’s website at

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