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New Mexico Driver License

The state of New Mexico requires individuals, who drives a motor vehicle to obtain a driver’s license.

Steps to get a New Mexico learner’s (instructional) permit

You must be at least 15 years old to apply for a learner’s permit to operate a regular Class D vehicle. A learner’s permit will give you permission to drive supervised while you practice your driving skills.

Requirements for a permit

  • Before you start the process, you must be at least 15 years old
  • Secondly, you must enroll in an approved driver education program and receive appropriate knowledge on driving
  • Thirdly, you must visit a Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) field office and request an application form to complete
  • Once you complete the application form and apply for the permit in person, you should have your parents/legal guardian give their consent
  • Not to forget that you should bring only proper documentation to help the process
  • Then, you must take the vision acuity test and get at least 20/40 in one eye (whether with glasses or not)
  • The last step is to pass the written knowledge test on traffic rules and successfully pass it
  • You will also need to pay the permit fee of $10 and receive the permit

List of acceptable documents

  • Proof of identity (Primary and Secondary ID, such as a US passport, passport card or Military ID)
  • Social Security Number
  • Two valid documents showing New Mexico residential address
  • Certificate of completion of driver education (or referral card)

Steps to get a New Mexico provisional license

A provisional license will give permission to drive with several restrictions providing that you are between the ages of 15½ and 18. If you hold this license for at least 12 months and maintain clean driving record, then you will be able to apply for a full license as soon as you turn 18.

Requirements for a license

  • In the first place, you must hold the instructional permit for at least six months and have clean driving record
  • Secondly, you must complete and pass a TSB-approved driver education program, which involves a three-hour DWI component
  • Thirdly, you must practice supervised driving with your parents or legal guardian (licensed) and complete at least 50 hours of practice driving (10 hours of which must be in nighttime driving)
  • The next step is to visit a local DMV field office and apply for the provisional license, by properly completing the given application form
  • Then, you must take the road skills test and pass it. Note that you must bring your own vehicle, which must be in good working condition and have proper registration
  • The final step is paying the provisional license fee of $18 and receiving the license

Bring the following documents

  • Certificate of completion of driver education (you can get it from your Driver Education School)
  • The printed, completed and signed driving log form
  • Your current learner’s (instructional) permit

Driving restrictions

  • Not driving between midnight and 5 a.m. (you may, however, drive supervised by an adult licensed driver)
  • Carrying only one passenger below 21 years old (except for an immediate family member)
  • Not drinking alcohol (even one drink can entail six months of license revocation)

Steps to get a New Mexico full (adult) driver’s license

A full driver’s license gives permission to drive legally without any above-mentioned restrictions and supervision.

Requirements for a license

  • If you are between the ages of 18 to 24, you must complete the “None for the Road” self-study DWI awareness class
  • Secondly, you must not have any convictions or violations of traffic rules (90 days before the application)
  • Not having offenses of using alcohol or drugs is also quite important
  • Thirdly, you must apply for the license in a MVD office and pay the license fee of $18
  • You will also need to take the vision, written knowledge and road skills tests if you are a new driver

Written knowledge test

The written knowledge test is an important part of the whole licensing process and you cannot get your driver’s license without passing it. The test comprises of 25 multiple-choice questions, which cover highway signs and markings, traffic laws and safe driving practices.

The test is computer-based, but you can also take it in person (on paper test). You must get at least 70% of the questions correct to pass the test.

New Mexico driver’s license classifications

The state of New Mexico offers different classes of driver’s licenses based on the type of vehicle you want or need to drive.

Class D

This license, in short, is a standard license, which gives permission to operate cars and trucks less than 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW).

Class A (Commercial)

This license, in short, is for operating any combination of vehicles with gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of 26,001 pounds or more.

Class B (Commercial)

This license, in short, is for operating a any vehicle with GVWR of 26,001 pounds or more.

Class C (Commercial)

This license, in short, is for operating vehicles, which transport 16 or more passengers (including the driver) or hazardous materials.

Class M

This license, in short, is for operating a motorcycle on roads.

How to renew a driver’s license in New Mexico

In the state of New Mexico, drivers are required to renew their licenses every four or eight years, depending on the license. The state allows renewing the license 90 days before it is due to expire, as well as 30 days after the expiration date.

You can renew the license in person by visiting a MVD office and completing the renewal application. To complete the process, you will need to present your current driver’s license, Social Security Number and the license fee.
In case you have an expired license, you will be required to take a vision, knowledge and a driving test.

You may also renew the license online providing that your license is valid (or expired for less than a year) and you are older than 18 and younger than 75. To renew, you should go through this link, click on the “Renew/replace license or ID” button and follow the instructions. You will also need to provide your name, date of birth, license number and the last four digits of your Social Security Number, Passport or Matricula.

The license renewal fee is $18 for a four-year license and, respectively, 4 years and $34 for an eight-year license.

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