New Mexico Teaching License Renewal

May 29, 2018

In New Mexico, it can be fairly easy to renew your license. In the following article, we'll look at the different levels of licensure and how you can renew each license to reach the next level.

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In New Mexico, if you are already a teacher, it is quite easy to continue your licensure with the following renewal steps. Below, we'll look at the required components you'll need to renew and upgrade your licensure.

Requirements for Teachers in New Mexico

Average Salary for Special Education Teachers in New Mexico* $31,500 (Preschool), $58,090 (Elementary School), $54,730 (Middle School), $53,920 (High School)
Required Degree Bachelor's Degree
Required Field Education or Elementary Education
Testing Requirements Essential Academic Skills (001, 002, 003), Assessment of Professional Knowledge: Elementary or Secondary (051 or 052), Elementary Education Subtests I and II (102, 103), Essential Components of Elementary Reading Instruction (104), Content Knowledge (NES) Tests

Source: *Bureau of Labor Statistics (2017)


The most important part of renewal in New Mexico will be the application. You must complete the renewal application, and it will be valid for one year. This application must include all of materials mentioned in this article, as well as official transcripts from your colleges. This application will ask you basic personal questions, such as birth date and address. You'll need to respond to background questions as well, such as whether you've been arrested or owe child support. It will also ask you what endorsement you'll want to be renewed for and what level.

Renewal Levels

New Mexico has three licensure levels, or a 3-tier licensure system. The first license for a teacher is always an initial license, or a Level 1. This is good for five years. During this five years, there are often district-specific requirements to prepare for Level 2. In either case, you'll need to have all experience and requirements completed by the end of year five. You can apply for an extension if necessary, but will then have a limited license.

Level 2 is for those who have anywhere from 3-5 years of experience. Finally, Level 3 is for those teachers who have over 6 years of experience. Teachers can also earn Level 3 so long as they have a master's degree in education or have passed the National Board of Professional Teaching Standards (NBPTS) National Board Certificate. It may be important to note that upgraded licensure will likely mean higher pay.


Typically, you'll need to include a $95 processing fee for your application, as mentioned before. You need to be aware that the New Mexico Public Education Department (NMPED) does not accept personal checks. You will need to seek out a cashier's check or a money order for it to be accepted. This notice can also be found on the application.

Superintendent's Recommendation

Finally, on the school district's letterhead, you must have a recommendation from the superintendent for continuing licensure. On the NMPED website, there is also a form to be completed by the superintendent and submitted with the application. It simply asks whether or not you have satisfactorily demonstrated proficiencies for your licensure. If you have not satisfactorily taught, the superintendent may also include your poor teacher evaluations.

Certification Resources in New Mexico for Teachers

While renewal does not require passing any exams, it is always a good idea to be prepared, should you choose to include a new endorsement with your renewal application. Below is a link that can help you access several National Evaluation Series (NES) exam study guides.

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