Living in New Mexico means driving across one of North America’s most beautiful and diverse landscapes. This provides limitless sightseeing, exploration, and adventure opportunities. If you’re on a road trip to explore your state, you must ensure that you have a valid New Mexico driver’s license.
Of course, it is illegal to drive in the state without a valid driver’s license. Driving without one is a misdemeanor that can earn you hefty fines and jail time. You can get a license if you’re at least 15.5 years old. So, how do you one? How much does it cost?
Our blog has covered the process in detail on getting a driver’s license in New Mexico!
What documents do I need to get a New Mexico driver’s license?
To get a provisional driver’s license, you must be at least 15.5 years old. You must have these documents before heading to the Motor Vehicle Division (NM MVD).
- Primary identity: It includes an original or certified copy of your birth certificate, a US or foreign passport, a naturalization certificate, a citizenship certificate, or a permanent resident card.
- Social Security Number (SSN): It includes a W-2 or 1099 form, paystub containing your complete SSN, foreign passport with visa, or I-94.
- Two forms of residency proof: It includes a property rental or purchase agreement, mortgage statement, utility bill, employment pay stub, and New Mexico public assistance card.
These are the REAL-ID requirements. For a complete list of the documents you can use in your license application based on the license you’re applying for, visit the MVD website.
How to get a New Mexico driver’s license
Getting a driver’s license in New Mexico requires three main phases.
- Instructional permit
- Provisional New Mexico driver’s license
- Full New Mexico driver’s license
How to get an Instructional Permit
Are you aged between 15 and 18? Then you’re eligible to apply for a permit. The permit lets you drive under the supervision of an adult over 21 who has held a valid license for at least three years.
- Enroll in a driver education program and get a completion certificate, which you can present to your local MVD when applying.
- Take a vision test. You must have at least 20/40 vision in one eye.
- Pass a knowledge exam that assesses your understanding of traffic laws and road signs. The exam comprises 25 multiple-choice questions about New Mexico’s traffic signs and laws and DWI laws. You can take the test on paper or a computer and should answer 18 correctly.
Suppose you pass both the vision and knowledge tests. In that case, the DMV will issue an instructional permit, and you can begin on-the-road practice with a licensed adult over 21.
How to get a provisional license
After six months of holding an instructional permit, you can apply for a provisional license. You will get it if you meet the following set of requirements.
- Besides holding the permit, you must have a clean driving record for at least 90 days.
- You must also complete an approved driver’s education program with at least three hours of behind-the-wheel training. To apply, bring your completion certificate having a passing score.
- You must also have 50 hours of supervised driving, including 10 hours at night. Bring this log with you when you apply.
How to apply
- If you meet the requirements, go to the licensing bureau again with your parent or guardian, who must sign the application form. Remember your behind-the-wheel program completion certificate, driver’s log, and instructional permit.
- You must also take a road test with a licensing professional, so bring a safe and fit car. You can take this road test with the help of your driving instructor. If you fail the test, you must at least wait a week before attempting it again.
- After passing the road test, you should pay a licensing fee to get your provisional license. You can drive the car unsupervised with certain restrictions. You must not drive alone between midnight and 5 am unless you are traveling to or from school, work, family or medical emergencies, or religious activities. Also, only one non-family member under 21 must accompany you in the car.
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How to get a full license
So want to know how you can get an unrestricted driver’s license in New Mexico? After one year of holding your provisional license and keeping a clean driving record, you may visit your licensing bureau and exchange it for your unrestricted New Mexico driver’s license. Your parent or guardian must accompany you if you are under 18.
How long does it take to get a New Mexico driver’s license?
Once you submit the required information, you will receive a temporary driver’s license. The MVD will mail your permanent license in 7-10 days, but it could take up to 40 days.
How much is a driver’s license in New Mexico?
A 4-year license costs $18. An 8-year license costs $34.
How do I get a New Mexico driver’s license from out of state?
If you move to New Mexico, you’ll need to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license. You must visit an MVD field office and pass a vision test. You needn’t take the knowledge or road test.
What is a standard driver’s license in New Mexico?
You can use a New Mexico standard driver’s license instead of a New Mexico REAL-ID. So, you can apply for a standard driver’s license if you don’t have the required documents for a REAL-ID. This license grants you the same driving privileges as a REAL-ID in all 50 states.
How many numbers are on a New Mexico driver’s license?
It consists of nine numbers.
How many questions are in the driver’s license test in New Mexico?
The New Mexico driver’s license test consists of 25 questions. You must answer 18 correctly to pass it.
What is a Class D driver’s license in New Mexico?
It is a non-commercial driver’s license in New Mexico. You require it to obtain a commercial driver’s license in the state.
What is a Class C driver’s license in New Mexico?
It is a standard non-commercial driver’s license. The license allows you to drive cars and trucks weighing less than 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight (GVW) and tow vehicles weighing less than that.
Does New Mexico have an enhanced driver’s license?
Yes. REAL-ID complies with New Mexico’s driver’s license and ID cards with the gold star issued after November 14, 2016.
Can an illegal immigrant get a driver’s license in New Mexico?
Yes. The state law allows undocumented immigrants to get a state driver’s license.
Can I renew my New Mexico driver’s license online?
Yes, you can. Read our blog to know more about renewing your driver’s license in the state.
Getting auto insurance in New Mexico
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