Certification & Licensure

Certification Facts

  • The Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) credentials Signed Language interpreters on a national level.
  • In order to be fully licensed in the state of New Mexico, it is required that interpreters obtain a nationally recognized certification.
  • Several versions of national level testing have been implemented through RID. Previously offered RID certifications are still fully recognized as valid measurements of an interpreter’s skills.
  • In order to maintain certification, interpreters are required to participate in professional development activities which are tracked by RID.
  • To ensure that you are hiring a qualified interpreter, hiring entities and consumers of interpreting services may ask an interpreter to show a valid RID membership card stating their current certification, along with proof of state licensure.


Licensure Facts

  • Interpreting licensure laws vary from state to state.
  • The state of New Mexico requires all interpreters to be licensed.
  • Licensure helps to protect consumers of interpreting services.
  • Practicing interpreting without a license is a misdemeanor and individuals practicing without a license can be jailed or fined up to $1000.
  • Specialized settings can require specialized skills. It is the responsibility of the interpreter to only accept work within his or her qualifications and skillsets.
  • The Signed Language Interpreting Board maintains a searchable database of licensed interpreters.
  • Non-resident interpreters working in New Mexico must register with the Regulation and Licensing Department.
  • Students in an Interpreter Training Program practicum are exempt from holding a license but must register with the Regulation and Licensing Department.


Types of Licensure

  • Community License 
    • Initial application cost: $65
    • Given to interpreters who hold RID generalist certificates.
  • Educational License 
    • Initial application cost: $65
    • Given to interpreters who have Ed: K-12 certification from RID.
    • Interpreters can qualify for this license by meeting the criteria for the Ed: K-12 credential.
    • Interpreters work in the K-12 setting and can only work in post-secondary settings if the consumer is enrolled in a secondary program and the course is not for college credit.
  • Provisional License 
    • Initial application cost: $40
    • Given to interpreters who have graduated from an interpreting training program, passed the RID written test, but have not yet achieved RID: Certification.
    • Interpreters may hold an educational and provisional license simultaneously.
    • Interpreters applying for a provisional license more than one year after ITP graduation must submit a résumé and one professional letter of reference from an employer, internship supervisor, mentorship director, graduate school, or other applicable source documenting continued involvement in interpreting or the Deaf community.


Licensure Renewal

  • Interpreters holding a community or educational interpreting license must renew every two years.
    • Renewal Fee: $50
  • Interpreters holding a provisional interpreting license must renew annually.
    • Renewal Fee: $25
  • Late renewals are charged a $20 late fee.
  • Interpreters must keep contact information up-to-date with the Signed Language Interpreting Practice Board, so that they can receive notifications about renewal.
  • It is the interpreter’s responsibility to be aware of when his or her license expires and renew it.
  • For more information on licensure, or to renew your license online, please see the Signed Language Interpreting Practice Board website.
  • For more information on obtaining or renewing a business license, please see the City Applications website.


Interpreting Standards

Courts in New Mexico:

  • NM Court Interpreters must meet higher standards of interpreting
  • Three categories dictate settings where interpreters can work:
    • Certified: Legal Specialist: These interpreters have achieved the SC: L or CDI credentials from RID
    • Certified: Legally Qualified : These interpreters have passed the SC: L written test, or, for Deaf interpreters, have sufficient legal training
    • Certified: Legal Apprentice : There interpreters have experience interpreting in other settings, but have just begun working in legal settings and cannot interpret at trials or with juries