Chapter 13, Section E:
Instructional Permits and Provisional Licenses

Revised March 27, 2008


Instructional Permits (Sec. 66-5-8 NMSA 1978)

A person 15 years of age or older who is enrolled in and attending or has completed a driver education course that includes a DWI prevention and education program approved by the bureau or offered by a public school may apply to the division for an instruction permit.

After the applicant has successfully passed all parts of the examination other than the driving test, the division may issue an instruction permit.

This permit entitles the applicant, with the permit in his immediate possession, to drive a motor vehicle for six months when accompanied by an approved instructor or a licensed driver 21 years of age or older who has been licensed for at least three years in this state or in another state and who is occupying a seat beside the driver (except in the event the permittee is operating a motorcycle).

A holder of an instruction permit for a motorcycle shall not carry any other passenger while operating a motorcycle.

Provisional licenses (Sec. 66-5-8 NMSA 1978)

A person 15 years and six months of age or older who has completed a driver education course that includes a DWI prevention and education program approved by the Traffic Safety Bureau or offered by a public school, who has had an instruction permit for at least six months, and who has successfully completed a practice driving component may apply to the division for a provisional license.

Successful completion of a practice driving component shall include not less than 50 hours of actual driving by the applicant, including not less than 10 hours of night driving.

An applicant for a provisional license who cannot drive at night due to low nighttime vision may be exempted from the night driving requirement, provided that the applicant submits a report from a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests to the applicant's visual condition and its effect on the applicant's driving ability.

The applicant's parent or guardian shall certify that the applicant has completed the practice driving component.

When operating a motor vehicle, a provisional licensee may be accompanied by not more than one passenger under the age of 21 who is not a member of the licensee's immediate family. A provisional license entitles the licensee, with the license in his immediate possession, to operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and midnight unless the provisional licensee is eligible for a license restricting driving to daylight hours. A provisional licensee may drive at any hour unless otherwise restricted as provided in this subsection if:

  1. accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older;
  2. required by family necessity as evidenced by a signed statement of a parent or guardian;
  3. required by medical necessity as evidenced by a signed statement from medical personnel;
  4. driving to and from work as evidenced by a signed statement from the licensee's employer;
  5. driving to and from school or a religious activity as evidenced by a signed statement of a school or religious official or a parent or guardian; or
  6. required due to a medical emergency.

A provisional license shall not be issued to a person convicted of a traffic violation in the 90 days prior to applying for a provisional license. A provisional license shall be in such form as to be readily distinguishable from an unrestricted driver's license and shall contain an indication that the licensee may drive without supervision.