Board of Optometry: FAQs

Q: What are the requirements to become a licensed optometrist in New Mexico?

There are several pathways to become a licensed optometrist in New Mexico. Please review the rules and statutes to determine the best pathway for you to apply for licensure based on your education and experience.

Please note, a candidate must meet specific educational requirements; pass Parts I, II, III and the TMOD of the National Board of Examiners in Optometry’s standards examination (Click HERE for more details); and take the New Mexico state clinical/practicum exam.

Q: How often is the State’s clinical/practicum exam offered?

The New Mexico State clinical/practicum exam is offered once a year.


Q: What is does the New Mexico State clinical/practicum exam consist of?
  1. A written exam based on the board’s statutes and rules.
  2. A clinical/practicum consisting of 4 segments: 3 involving clinical scenarios and the fourth on standalone procedures involving a patient.2024 Optometry Application Packet
Q: Can anyone sell contact lenses in New Mexico?

No. A person who is not a licensed optometrist or a licensed physician shall not sell or dispense a contact lens to a resident of this state unless they are registered with the New Mexico Board of Pharmacy as a seller or dispenser of contact lenses. (See NMAC of the rules)

Q: How long is a prescription for contact lenses and ophthalmic lenses good for?

Generally, a contact prescription is good for 2 years unless the optometrist determines a shorter prescription period is clinically indicated by the patient’s ocular health or by potential harm to the patient’s ocular health. A prescription for ophthalmic lenses is generally good for 1 to 2 years.

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