Signed Language Interpreting Practices FAQs

Signed Language Interpreting Practices: FAQs

Q: Who must be licensed?

New Mexico requires all signed language interpreters to be licensed in order to protect deaf and hard of hearing
consumers.  Interpreting is defined as any form of facilitating communication in a visual form, regardless of the
individual’s job title or position description.

Q: What are the different types of signed language interpreting licenses?

There are three types of licenses issued by the SLIPB:

      • Community – for interpreters who are nationally certified by the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf
        (RID) These interpreters may work in almost any setting (court work requires
        further credentialing).
      • Educational – for interpreters who hold a nationally-recognized educational interpreting credential – the ED: K-12 credential from RID or meet the criteria for this credential. This license is valid only for K-12
        interpreting; never for any community or post-secondary settings.
      • Provisional – for interpreters who are working toward certification. This license may be held for up to five
        years and qualifies the interpreter to work in simple educational and community settings.

For more information, see the Interpreter Licensure History and Purpose Fact Sheet on the NMCDHH website under
the “Interpreter Licensure” section:

Q: How often do I renew my license?

Community Signed Language Interpreter License or an Educational Signed Language Interpreter License must be
renewed every two years.  Your license expires at the end of the month the license was issued.


Provisional Signed Language Interpreter License must be renewed every year for up to four years.  Your license
expires at the end of the month the license was issued.

Q: What are the Continuing Education Requirements?

Documentation of Continuing Education Units (CEUs) are required for license renewal.


Community or educational signed language interpreter license:

      • Submit copy of current RID membership card showing Certified membership to document compliance with
        the requirements of the certification maintenance program (CMP).  The CMP requires participants earn a
        minimum of 8.0 CEUs (80 contact hours) during each four-year certification maintenance cycle.   See the
        RID website for more information:
      • Interpreters holding an Educational license but not the Ed:K-12 credential must submit a copy of their
        current RID card showing Associate membership and RID Associate Continuing Education Tracking
        program (ACET) transcripts showing 4.0 CEUs (40 contact hours) at each biannual renewal.

Provisional signed language interpreter license:

      • Submit copy of current RID card showing Associate membership and RID Associate Continuing Education
        Tracking program (ACET) transcripts showing at least 2.0 RID CEUs per year.  For specific information
        about earning CEUs, see the RID website:


The following are statutory exemptions from the licensure requirement:

      • nonresident interpreters working in New Mexico less than thirty calendar days per year;
      • interpreting in religious or spiritual settings;
      • interpreting in informal settings for friends, families or guests;
      • interpreting in emergency situations where the deaf, hard-of-hearing or deaf-blind person or that person's
        legal representative decides that the delay necessary to obtain a licensed interpreter is likely to cause injury
        or loss to the consumer;
      • the activities of a supervised interpreter intern or student who is enrolled in an interpreter education
        program; or
      • multilingual interpreting in order to accommodate the personal choice of the consumer.

Nonresident interpreters and interpreter interns are required to register with the Board using the forms found on the
Forms and Applications page of this website.

Q: How do I make a complaint?

There are two different ways to submit a complaint to the board office:


You can follow the instructions on the complaint form and follow these steps:

      1. Complete the form provided with as much information as possible about the complaint
      2. List any other people who might have information or knowledge about this situation. Include contact
        information for each individual
      3. Sign the form and swear to its truthfulness in the presence of a notary public and have it notarized (you can locate a notary public at any local financial institution or if you are in the Santa Fe area, the Board office has notary publics as well)
      4. Forms must be typed or printed legibly and printed on 8 1/2′; x 11″; paper or they will be returned
      5. Submit the completed form(s) and supporting documentation to the Board office at the: PO BOX 25101,
        Santa Fe, NM 87505

Once the Board receives your complaint, the Board will mail an acknowledgement letter to confirm receipt of the


An oral complaint is also accepted with the New Mexico Signed Language Interpreting Practices Board


Ensure when submitting an oral complaint they shall be in an audio, visual or audiovisual format submitted to the
Board Administrator.


Once the complaint committee has reviewed the complaint facts and determine there is cause for further
investigation, the board will have the complaint translated into written English and entered onto the complaint form
provided by Boards and Commissions. Once this is done, the transcripts will be presented to the complainant for
clarification and approval.


Once the complaint is approved, the complainant shall resubmit the signed, notarized complaint to the board office

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