New Mexico Driver Licensing Law
Obtaining a New Mexico Instructional Permit
In New Mexico, 15-year-olds are eligible to apply for an Instructional Permit that allows them to practice driving with a licensed adult age 21 or older sitting beside them at all times. While holding this permit, drivers must complete a minimum of 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience. Ten of those hours must be completed at night.
When obtaining the Instructional Permit, applicants must do the following:
- Get a copy of the New Mexico Driver's Manual, either online or at a local Driver License Center
- Bring a parental consent form completed and signed by a parent or guardian
- Submit a completed license application to the local MVD Field Office
- Bring proof of identity and New Mexico residency
- Bring proof of enrollment in an approved driver education course
- Bring their Social Security card
- Bring $18 for the license fee
At the field office, a written knowledge test and an eye screening will need to be passed successfully. The Instructional Permit will then need to be held for a minimum of six months. Drivers who have completed the state-approved drivers education school need not take the written test.
The six-month minimum period for which an individual is required to hold an instruction permit before obtaining a provisional license is extended by 30 days for each traffic violation committed while driving with the instruction permit.
Obtaining a Provisional License
Individuals must be 15 1/2-years-old, have maintained a clean driving record for 90 days prior to applying, and have held an Instructional Permit for six months to be eligible for a Provisional License. Once the behind-the-wheel driving experience is completed, applicants will be given a driver's license road test.
During the provisional period, drivers are not permitted to drive on public highways between 12AM and 5AM unless under the supervision of a licensed adult age 21 or older. Exceptions are made for emergencies and traveling that is school-, work-, or church-related.
The 12-month minimum period for which an individual is required to hold a provisional license before obtaining a regular driver's license is also extended by 30 days for each traffic violation committed driving with the provisional license. These traffic violations include: driving with a child not in restraint device or seat belt; failure to properly fasten safety belt; using a mobile communication device while driving a motor vehicle; and buying, attempting to buy, receiving, possessing or permitting oneself to be served alcoholic beverages.
Obtaining an Unrestricted License
Upon turning 16 ½, drivers are eligible for a full unrestricted license. The driver must have held a Provisional License for at least a year and not had a convicted traffic violation in the preceding 90 days or any drug or alcohol violations.
Additionally, between the ages of 18 and 24, New Mexico licensees are required to take a self-study DWI awareness class.
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