Chapter 2, Section E:
Classes of Driver Licenses

Revised July 22, 2008

The Motor Vehicle Division issues driver licenses and permits by class, according to the type of vehicles the licensee is authorized to operate. There are three classes of commercial driver license (A, B and C) and three classes of non-commercial driver license (D, M and E).

Non-Commercial Licenses ( and NMAC):




Authorizes licensee to drive a vehicle less than 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight, and to tow another vehicle provided that: (1) the towing vehicle is of equal or greater weight than the vehicle being towed; or (2) if the towing vehicle weighs less than the towed vehicle, the weight in the towed vehicle does not exceed the manufacturer's rated capacity and:

  1. the towing vehicle has either a class 4 or higher equalizing hitch or a fifth wheel;

  2. the vehicle being towed is a trailer; or

  3. the vehicle combination properly displays slow-moving insignia and moves at speeds of 25 mph or less.


Authorizes licensee to drive a two- or three-wheeled motorcycle. This class of license is issued to drivers who drive only a motorcycle, and must have an endorsement of Z, Y or W to be valid.


(CDL-Exempt) Issued only to individuals who are exempt from the requirements of the New Mexico Commercial Driver's License Act, including drivers of:

  1. Recreational vehicles - a vehicle licensed and used as a recreational vehicle

  2. Farm and ranch vehicles - vehicles that meet the following criteria: (1) controlled and operated by a farmer or rancher or an employee of a farmer or rancher; (2) used to transport agricultural products, agricultural machinery or agricultural supplies to or from a farm or ranch; (3) used within 150 miles of the persons farm or ranch; (4) not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier or otherwise used for hire;

  3. Firefighting vehicles - vehicles manufactured for and equipped to fight fires and equipped with audible and visual signals and operated by a person who is a member of a volunteer or paid fire organization; or

  4. Military vehicles - all vehicles owned or operated by the department of defense and operated by non-civilian operators.

All 1st time, renewal, or replacement E licenses require a Vehicle Certification Form. A Farmer may sign the certification for himself. However, if a farmer employs the applicant, the farmer must sign the Vehicle Certification Form. A firefighter must have his Fire Chief sign the Vehicle Certification Form initially and on every renewal.

Commercial (CDL) Licenses ( NMAC):




Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds.


Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.


Any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds GVWR, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR. Applies only to vehicles placarded for hazardous materials or designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

Note: Regardless of class of license, in order to operate a motorcycle a driver must have a motorcycle endorsement.