Architectural Act deals with the regulation of architects in New Mexico. Architectural Act is found in Article 15, Chapter 61 of New Mexico Annotated Statutes. Architectural Act is repealed effective July 1, 2012.
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 61-15-6 provides requirements for registration. To be eligible for registration, a person shall be of good character and repute. An applicant for registration shall submit evidence satisfactory to the board of examiners for architect (board) that the applicant is fully qualified to practice architecture in New Mexico. All applicants for registration shall be required to pass any examinations required by the board. All applicants for registration shall be required to complete all forms and affidavits required by the board. An applicant for registration by examination shall have:
- a professional degree from an architectural program accredited by the national architectural accreditation board or its equivalent as prescribed by rule;
- certified completion of the intern training program of the national council of architectural registration boards; and
- passed all divisions of the architectural registration examination.
A person registered as an architect in another jurisdiction who has been certified by the national council of architectural registration boards may apply for registration without an examination by presenting a certificate of good standing issued by the national council of architectural registration boards or its equivalent as prescribed by rule; and evidence satisfactory to the board of qualification in design for seismic forces. If such person does not have a certificate issued by the national council of architectural registration boards may apply for registration by presenting evidence of broad experience as an architect, of academic training and work experience directly related to architecture.
Pursuant to N.M. Stat. Ann. § 61-15-7, the board shall issue a certificate of registration to each architect. An architect may, upon registration, obtain the seal of the design authorized by the board, which bears the registrant’s name and the legend “Registered Architect–State of New Mexico”. All plans, specifications, plats and reports prepared by an architect or under an architect’s responsible charge shall be signed and sealed by that architect. Certificates of registration shall be valid for a period of time as set by rule and shall be invalid after the date of expiration unless renewed. Renewal may be effected at any time prior to expiration by the payment of a fee to the board in an amount set by the board.
A person has the right of renewal within three years of the expiration date of the certificate. Reinstatement of the certificate may be effected in a manner prescribed by rule and may include penalties and fees. If more than three years have elapsed, a demonstration of continued proficiency and qualification is required to practice architecture in addition to payment of penalties and fees and such other requirements as may be required by rule.
Pursuant to N.M. Stat. Ann. § 61-15-10, if a person knowingly uses a forged architectural registration seal on any document for the purposes of permitting the constructing of any building for human habitation or occupancy s/he is guilty of a fourth degree felony. Following are the acts that constitute a misdemeanor.
- willfully forging or giving false evidence of any kind to the board or any board member for the purpose of obtaining a certificate of registration as an architect;
- using or attempting to use an expired, suspended or revoked certificate of registration as an architect;
- using or permitting another to use his official architect’s seal to stamp or seal any documents that have not been prepared either by the architect or the architect’s responsible charge;
- engaging or offering to engage in the practice of architecture, unless exempted or duly registered to do so under the Architectural Act [61-15-1.1 NMSA 1978];
- using any designation tending to imply to the public that the person is an architect unless the person is duly registered to do so under the provisions of the Architectural Act, or the title containing the designation is allowed by rule of the board; or the title containing the designation does not imply that the person using the designation, when describing occupation, business name or services, is offering to perform architectural services; or
- procuring, aiding or abetting any violation of the provisions of the Architectural Act or the rules adopted by the board.
N.M. Stat. Ann. § 61-15-12 provides disciplinary actions. In accordance with the provisions of the Uniform Licensing Act, the board may refuse to issue, may suspend or may revoke any certificate of registration as an architect, and the board may impose disciplinary conditions, including a letter of censure or reprimand, an administrative penalty, probation, peer review, remedial education and testing and other conditions, upon satisfactory proof being made to the board that the registrant has:
- engaged in any fraud or deceit in obtaining a certificate of registration;
- made a false statement under oath or a false affidavit to the board;
- engaged in gross negligence, incompetency or misconduct in the practice of architecture as set forth by rule;
- stamped with his official seal any plans, specifications, plats or reports in violation of the Architectural Act;
- practiced architecture without a valid and current registration in the jurisdiction in which the practice took place;
- represented himself to be an architect without having a valid and current certificate of registration as an architect in the jurisdiction in which the representation took place;
- violated any provisions of the Architectural Act or the rules adopted by the board;
- refused to accept or to respond to a certified mail communication from the board;
- failed to provide the board or its representatives in a timely manner all documentation or information in the registrant’s possession or knowledge that has been requested by the board for the purposes of investigation of an alleged violation of the Architectural Act or the rules adopted by the board;
- procured, aided or abetted a violation of the Architectural Act or the rules adopted by the board;
- failed to comply with the minimum standards of the practice of architecture;
- habitually or excessively used intoxicants or controlled substances; or
- failed to report to the board any adverse actions taken against the registrant by another jurisdiction, any professional organization, any governmental or law enforcement agency or any court for an act or conduct that would constitute grounds for actions.
The board may deny access to examination, may refuse to issue, may suspend or may revoke any certificate of registration as an architect if s/he is found to have violated any provision of the Architectural Act or the rules adopted by the board; or if s/he is convicted of a felony.
Disciplinary proceedings may be instituted by any person, shall be instituted by sworn complaint. The board may modify any prior order of revocation, suspension or refusal to issue a certificate of registration of an architect, but only upon a finding by the board that there no longer exist any grounds for disciplinary action.