Chapter 2, Section I:
Minors

Created June 16, 2010


A Minor is anyone under 18 years of age.

Who must sign for a minor?
Except as specifically and explicitly required for a particular form (for example, a parent/guardian signature is not required on the Organ Donor Statement unless the applicant is under age 15), any application, affidavit or other form requiring a minorís signature must be signed by both: a) a parent, guardian or other responsible adult; and (if the minor is capable of signing for himself) the minor.

Applications of minors
Sec. 66-5-11(A) NMSA 1978, regarding application of minors, says that, ďThe application of any person under the age of 18 years for an instruction permit, provisional license or driver's license shall be signed and verified by the father, mother or guardian or, in the event there is no parent or guardian, by another responsible adult who is willing to assume the obligation imposed under this article upon a person signing the application of a minor.Ē

Effective May 20, 2008 (see PQU#65), if a parent or legal guardian is not available to sign the application of a minor, the application may only be signed by another responsible adult who:

  • is specifically designated in writing by the parent or legal guardian; and
  • explicitly accepts the responsibility and liability imposed by statute for the minorís actions when the minor is driving a motor vehicle.

The person who signs the application of a minor for a permit or license is liable with the minor for any damages caused by the minor's negligence or willful misconduct while driving a motor vehicle, unless the minor deposits or has deposited on his behalf proof of financial responsibility in respect to the operation of any motor vehicle owned or operated by him.

When taking a signature from ďanother responsible adultĒ on a minorís application, the field office agent should always ask the adult signer to confirm his or her understanding that by doing so he or she accepts liability for the minorís negligence or willful misconduct when driving a motor vehicle.

For minors of residences like the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch the accompanying adult must be an employee of the organization, and must provide proof of identification and a copy of the organizationís blanket liability insurance policy. The clerk must document the insurance policy number and the name and address of the individual and organization on the driver application.

Foreign Exchange Students may also, with proper identification, be issued a driver license or permit, if an adult is willing to sign, verify and assume the liability obligation.

Release From Liability (66-5-12)
A person who has signed the application of minor may file a verified written request that the license of the minor be canceled. The division shall cancel the minor's license and the person who signed the application shall be relieved of liability for any subsequent negligence or willful misconduct of the minor in operating a motor vehicle.

Death of person signing minor's application (66-5-13)
Upon receipt of satisfactory evidence of the death of the person who signed the application of a minor for a permit or license, the division shall cancel the minor's license, unless the minor has attained the age of 18 years.

Emancipated minors (32A-21-3 to 32A-21-5)
An emancipated minor any person 16 years of age or older who has entered into a valid marriage; is on active duty with any of the U.S. armed forces; or has received a declaration of emancipation from the childrenís court of the district in which he resides.

An emancipated minor may apply for a driver's license without the signature of a responsible adult. The emancipated minor must present the original or a certified copy of the marriage certificate or court order of emancipation. The clerk must record on the driver license application the type of supporting documents presented.

GDL requirements must still be met. And the minor's parent or guardian may still be liable for damages caused by the minor's negligence or willful misconduct while driving a motor vehicle.