Who must be licensed to drive in New Mexico? (Section
Except those expressly exempted, no person shall drive any motor vehicle, neighborhood electric car or moped upon a highway
in this state unless the person: (1) holds a valid license issued under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code; and (2) has surrendered to the division
any other license previously issued to the person by this state or by another state or country.
Who is exempt? (Section 66-5-4)
Those who are exempt from New Mexico licensure
while driving on our roads and highways include primarily:
- military personnel while driving a motor
vehicle owned or leased by the United States department of defense;
- a person who is at least 15 years of age
and who has in his possession a valid driver's license issued in the
person's home state or country, except that the person shall obtain a
license upon becoming a resident and before the person is employed for
compensation by another for the purpose of driving a motor vehicle; and
- a driver of a farm tractor or implement of
husbandry temporarily drawn, moved or propelled on the highway.
Requirements for licensure
Persons applying for a
Non-Commercial Driver's License must meet the following requirements:
Applicant must meet minimum age requirements
for the permit or license type applied for.
Proof of identification number, identity and New Mexico residency(Chapter 6)
A minor (under 18
years of age) must be accompanied
by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult (PQU#65).
Every first-time licensee between the ages of 18 and 24 must
present a Certificate of Completion (regardless of date completed) for the self-taught, "None for the Road" DWI
(Section 66-5-9E NMSA) offered by UNM
None for the Road flyers are available for
distribution to customers in MVD field offices. Customers can also call
(877) 663-7465 for additional information
Any applicant 25 years of age and over who has ever been convicted of DWI,
and who is applying for his first New Mexico driver's license, must also
submit evidence that he has (ever - there is no time limit) successfully completed an approved DWI
prevention and education program ("None for the Road" or another state's equivalent program).
All applicants for both new and
renewal drivers' licenses must pass an eye exam
(vision screening 20/40 or better in at least one eye).
A Medical Report
(MVD-10124 Rev 09/01) is
required for every applicant who answers "Yes" to question #4 on the driver
A written test is required for an applicant whose license has been expired,
or has not held a valid instruction permit or driver's license, for one year or more.
(Note: A permit or driver's license that has been suspended or revoked is
not a valid permit or license. However, an
ignition interlock license is a valid license.)
- A road test is required for
an applicant whose license has been expired, or has not held a valid instruction permit or driver's license,
for five years or more.
- An applicant who fails the written or road test three times must wait
six months from date of application before retesting (PQU#14).
- A driver's license may be renewed 90 days before
its expiration date.
- Licenses are generally issued for either four or eight years, and expire
30 days after the applicant's birthday in the final (fourth or eighth) year
of the license.
- However, an eight-year license is not available to an individual who would reach age 75 during the last four years of the eight-year license
period; and a license issued to an individual age 72-74 will expire 30 days after the applicant's 75th birthday.
- License fees for individuals age 72-74 are prorated based on the number of years before the license will expire.
- Applicants 75 years of age and older shall be issued a driver's license for one-year, with annual renewals required, and with no fee charged.
Replacing a prior license
Every prior license, permit or ID, whether
in-state or out-of-state and including CDL and foreign licenses, when
surrendered for a new, renewal or replacement New Mexico license or ID, is to
have one hole punched through the license. The hole should be carefully punched
so as not to destroy or make illegible any information (including expiry date)
or the customer's photo. Return the hole-punched card to the customer with his
or her new license or ID. (PQU#60)