How to Become a Licensed CPA in New Mexico

New Mexico has the standard 150-credit hour rule in order to get licensed, but it only requires candidates to complete 120 semester hours in order to take the exam. The rest of the educational requirements to sit for the exam are straightforward and comparable to most other states with one exception. Before you can get licensed in NM, you will need to get fingerprinted and have a criminal background check.

Let’s take a look at what you need to do to take the exam and get licensed.

New Mexico CPA Exam Requirements

In order to be eligible to sit for the exam in New Mexico, candidates must meet the following personal qualifications and educational requirements.

  • Must be at least 18 years old
  • Not Required to be a US citizen
  • Not Required to be a NM resident
  • Valid Social Security Number Required
  • NM does participate in the International Examination Program

Educational Requirements to Sit

Like many states, New Mexico only requires you to complete a bachelor’s degree adding up to at least 120 credit hours before you can take the CPA exam. Your 120 hours must also fit certain criteria. Let’s take a look at what classes you will need to take in order to sit for the exam:

Bachelor’s Degree or higher (at least 120 semester hours) including:

  • 30 credit hours Accounting including governmental accounting, auditing, financial and managerial accounting, and taxation.
  • Must also include 3 hours of Business Law.
  • No requirement for general business classes.

New Mexico is pretty lenient when it comes to the educational requirements. Most states require that you take at least 15-20 general business courses like Management and Finance. NM isn’t concerned about this.

Exam Fees

The total cost to take the CPA exam in New Mexico is $884.08 including an initial one-time $155 application fee. The cost for each section is listed below.


AUD – Audit $192.03
FAR – Financial Accounting and Reporting $192.03
BEC – Business Environment and Concepts $172.51
REG – Regulation $172.51


The fees are typically based on the duration of the exam. That’s why the FAR and AUD exams cost the most.

IMPORTANT – Don’t try to get ahead of yourself and register for all four sections at once. Your notice to sit (NIT) will expire if you don’t take the exam in 6 months and you will have to re-register. The bad part is you will have to pay again in order to register. Re-registration application fees are $75 and varied depending on how many you register for, so only sign up for the exams that you are ready to sit for in the next 6 months.

Registration Fees

Every time your NIT expires you will have to pay an additional registration fee. Keep this in mind when you are signing up. Here is the breakdown for the registration fees you will have to pay. As you can see, registering more exams at once will save you some money.

  • 1 section $75.00
  • 2 sections $90.00
  • 3 sections $105.00
  • 4 sections $120.00

CPA License Requirements

The CPA exam process can be overwhelming to anyone who hasn’t been through it before. It’s okay! You will make it. Applying for the test is just the first step in becoming a CPA in NM. After you pass the exam, you will have to do a few simple things before you can legally call yourself a Certified Public Accountant. Here is the basic process.

Pass the Exam

You’ll have to pass all four sections of the exam with a score of at least 75 in an 18-month period.


Submit all the required paperwork to the state board usually includes transcripts, license application, and proof of work experience.


Pay the license/certification fees with your application.

Ethics Exam

Take and pass the AICPA Professional Ethics exam (found on the AICPA website)

Additional Education

If you haven’t completed all of your 150 college credits, you will need to after you pass the exam. Most candidates accomplish this by either going to grad school or adding another major on to their undergraduate program.

Work Experience Requirements

New Mexico’s work requirements are the same as most of other states. Only 1 year is required. Here’s what you need to do:

1-year or 2,000 hours of general accounting and auditing skills in Public Accounting or Private Industry supervised and verified by a CPA in good standing.

You can also complete your work experience by working in a Governmental office performing accounting services or teaching at the college level.

More Exam Resources and Information

The entire process from gathering your paperwork, applying to sit, studying, and sitting for the exam is pretty involved. I know. It can be even worse if you transferred to multiple colleges during your academic career. Most applicants don’t think about. Yes, the New Mexico state board needs proof of all of your education. You will have to send in transcripts from every college you’ve attended. Sometimes this can be difficult and time-consuming depending on your colleges.

It is always a good idea to contact the state board during the application process. You can find out what they have on file and what they need to approve your application. Nothing is worse than finding out they need something after the fact.

For instance, states don’t always receive your test scores from Prometrics. Things can get lost or forgotten about. It happens. Unfortunately, most state boards rarely notify you that something is missing. My transcripts actually got lost in the mail. I had to send them twice! Directly contacting the board is the fastest way to confirm that they have everything they need before you get too far along in the process.

Here is the contact info for the state board.

New Mexico State Board of Accountancy

New Mexico CPA Application Forms

    • 5200 Oakland NE, Suite D
    • Albuquerque, NM 87113


  • Phone: 505-222-9850
  • Fax: 505-222-9855


New Mexico Society of CPAs

NASBA – New Mexico