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.

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.