Chapter 3, Section A:
Issuing an Instructional Permit

Revised June 8, 2012


Any person 15 years of age or older may apply to the division for a permit. The applicant may receive a permit after meeting the requirements listed below under number 1. This permit shall entitle the applicant to drive a motor vehicle upon the public highways as described in number 2 below.

Effective Monday, April 9, 2012, all new and renewal instruction permits issued by the Motor Vehicle Division will be for a four-year period, except when a shorter period is required due to a medical report or because the applicant will turn 21 in less than four years.

Effective June 1, 2012, per PQU#137rev2, Driver Ed schools are no longer authorized to issue new or renewal blue instruction permits. A blue permit issued by a driver education school before June 1, 2012 is still valid until its expiration date six months after the permit was issued. And the blue instruction permit continues to be acceptable proof that the applicant has taken and passed the written test. Six-month instruction permit holders who wish to renew their permits, or need to replace a lost permit, must do so at a MVD (state, county-muni or PRA) field office.

When issuing a permit, select "Permit" from the "Choose a License Type" drop-down menu on the Driver Details screen. Here is a screen shot:

1. Requirements for Obtaining Instructional Permit

  1. Proof of identification number, identity and New Mexico residency (Chapter 6)
  2. Proof that the applicant is currently enrolled in a Driver Education Program (must have a Driver Education Referral Card) or that the applicant has successfully completed the Driver Education Program. (NOTE: See Section 2 for examples of this form.)
  3. Financial responsibility
  4. Administer the eye test.
  5. Administer the written test or applicant must present a “Certificate of Completion” from a contracted driver education school. NOTE: Clerk should always utilize the space provided on the “Driver Application” to record all documents presented for identification and all other documents accepted to support the issuance of the “Instructional Permit.” Additional information may be captured in the remarks section of the IDL fee screen.

2. Prior to applying for a Provisional License, applicant must

  1. Hold the instructional permit for at least six months.
  2. Drive with an adult 21 or older who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years.
  3. Complete a total of 50 hours of supervised driving practice, including 10 hours at night. A parent or guardian must certify in writing that these hours have been completed.
  4. Maintain a clean driving record for the 90 days preceding application. If the teen driver is cited for any of the traffic violations listed in Chapter 4, the Instructional Permit or Provisional License period will be extended.

Applicant must not drink and drive. Even a .02 percent concentration of alcohol in the blood (barely one drink) could result in a 6-month license revocation for drivers under age 21.