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Elementary License (K-8)

Elementary License (K-8) 2021-06-08T14:39:44-06:00

An elementary teaching license authorizes an individual to teach in a self-contained classroom and may teach the core area of language arts, social studies, mathematics, and science up to grade 8 in a departmentalized setting. If teaching in a departmentalized setting, the individual must be considered Fully State Certified (formally known as HQT”), this means they must have a minimum of 24 semester hours in the core area or pass the midlevel content knowledge assessment (CKA) in the core area.

Initial License

  • $150  (non-refundable) fee; and
  • Initial Application NMPED Online Licensure Portal; and
  • Official sealed transcripts reflecting completion of an Elementary bachelor’s degree program from a regionally accredited college or university; and includes
    • 30 semester hours in Elementary education course work to include student teaching; and
    • 6 semester hours in teaching reading for those who first entered any college or university on or after August 1, 2001; and
    • 24 semester hours in teaching field, e.g., language arts, social studies, math, etc.; and

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Renewal License

  • $120 (non-refundable) fee will be valid for a one year grace period for level 2 or 3 (from time of expiration). If the expiration date exceeds the grace period a $150.00 would apply;(non-refundable fee); and
  • Renewal Application via NMPED Online Licensure Portal; and
  • Superintendent’s Recommendation for Continuing Licensure (Must be on School District Letterhead); or
  • A notarized letter can be submitted if you did not teach on your New Mexico license(s) during the life of the license(s).
    • Note: The earliest you can renew same level license is January of expiring year.
    • If educator does not have additional valid licenses on file, then must register for background/fingerprints for “Teacher Licensure”.

Note: If an elementary license lapses for more than one year, the educator will be required to complete the following exam if  proof of passing is not on file:

Note: If you are renewing a level 2 or 3 expired license (expired for more than a year), you will be required to complete the following:

  • $150 (non-refundable) fee; and
  • Renewal Application; and
  • Superintendent’s Recommendation for Continuing Licensure from last employing school district (Must be on School District Letterhead); and 
  • Verification of 5 years teaching experience in New Mexico (must be on school district letterhead); and
  • Passage of the following PRAXIS exam: and

Reciprocating a License

  • $150 (non-refundable) fee; and
  • Initial Application via NMPED Online Licensure Portal; and
  • Provide official sealed transcripts reflecting a bachelor’s or master’s degree in an elementary program earned from a regionally accredited college/university; and 
    • And if applicable – Official Foreign Transcripts and Official Course-by-Course Transcripts Evaluation; must be sealed and addressed to 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM 87501
  • Copy of current valid teaching license from out-of-state state education agency, Department of Defense School, or foreign country or a Notarized statement stating licensure was not required; and
  • Copy of Passage of Teacher Exams or a Notarized statement stating exams were not required; and
  • Verification of experience (Must be on Out-of-State School District Letterhead). Please break down experience by M/D/Y and please indicate the number of days taught for each year. 160 days commonly equals 1 full school year. Please use form below; ; and 
  • Register for background/fingerprints for “Teacher Licensure”.

**Out of State Licensure ICS – A one year certificate (1CS) is a provisional License issued contingent upon a signed letter requested by your New Mexico employing district/charter supporting you. “Out-of-state 1CS” means a license issued to an individual who holds a minimum of a Bachelor’s degree who has completed a standard or alternative teacher preparation program, completed out-of-state teacher exams and has a valid out-of-state teacher license, but has no teaching experience.

Delay of application:

  • Your application is lacking supporting documents listed in the above check list.
  • If your license(s) has expired (and you do not have additional valid licenses on file), and your background was completed 24 months or more, you will need to complete a new background for Teacher Licensure. School Employment backgrounds will not be accepted.

NM PED Correspondence with Educators:

  • Consultants correspond by email; please check your spam/junk folder.

New Mexico Three Tier Licensure System

Level 1 → Exam or fewer than 3 full school years experience → $36,000

All first year educators will be issued a Level I Provisional Teacher License, a 5-year non-renewable license. A Level I teacher must advance to Level II by completing a dossier or advancing via summative evaluation application (please speak to your school district about advancing). The Level I teacher may advance to Level II after the third year of experience, but must advance to Level II by the end of the fifth year of experience at Level I. If the educator did not teach during a portion of the 5 years, they may submit a request to extend their Level I license for the unused time. A maximum of 3 extensions may be requested. Their extended licenses will then be issued as a 1D “limited” license. This is simply an indicator to the licensure bureau the educator received an extension to ensure that the 3 extension limit has not been exceeded.

Level 2 → 3 5 years experience → $44,000

Level 3 → 6 or more years experience → Masters Degree/National Board Certificate → $54,000

NM PED Licensure Transcripts Information

  •  Official Transcripts: Transcripts must be sent via the university’s eTranscript service to following email address
  • Official Foreign Transcripts Evaluations: Transcripts must be sealed and addressed to 300 Don Gaspar, Santa Fe, NM  87501 (we only accept mailed foreign transcripts evaluation).
    • All foreign transcripts need to have a course-by-course evaluation completed. Click Here for a list of evaluators who are members of the Foreign Transcript Evaluation Services (NCAES). The Public Education Department does not require nor recommend NACES listed service members be used. There is no “official” organization or regulatory body for foreign credential interpretation or evaluation methodology in the US. It is based on commonly-developed and agreed standards of good practice.

All fees submitted are non-refundable





Page last updated June 8, 2021