Chapter 5, Section B:
Title and Registration Requirements

Revised October 5, 2011

Vehicle Title and Registration Requirements:

  1. New Mexico Residence Address Required (66-3-4.A1)

    The applicant for Title and Registration must provide a bona fide New Mexico residence address and mailing address. Reject the application if the applicant does not have a New Mexico residence address. Exceptions: Vehicles registered to a business may use a New Mexico business address instead of a residence address, and RVs when possession taken in NM.

    NOTE: Post Office box numbers are NOT acceptable as residence addresses. However, they may be recorded as mailing addresses.
  2. Affirmation of Insurance (66-5-208 NMSA)

    The Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (MFRA) of 1984 requires that every owner of a motor vehicle registered in New Mexico be able to demonstrate proof of financial responsibility for liability for damages that may arise from the operation of a motor vehicle. If applicant affirms financial responsibility, continue to process.

    Minimum requirements:
    - $25,000/bodily injury to or death of one person in any one accident
    - $50,000/bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in any one accident
    - $10,000/injury to or destruction of property of others in any one accident
  3. Owner’s Signature

    The applicant or the authorized representative must sign, in ink, on the Title Application. If a representative is signing for the owner, a notarized power of attorney is required.
  4. Vehicle Identification Number Inspection (VIN Inspection)

    A VIN inspection is required for every vehicle coming to New Mexico from another jurisdiction.

    NOTE: Inspections done outside of New Mexico must be recorded on form MVD-10861 “Affidavit of VIN” or the other jurisdiction's equivalent VIN inspection form that contains all of the required information. The form must be signed by an inspector certified in the state where the inspection was performed.
  5. NCIC Clearance

    Section 66-3-8 NMSA 1978 requires that, for every application for original registration of a vehicle or for a vehicle certificate of title, TRD-MVD shall first check the vehicle identification number (VIN) against the records of the National Crime Information Center (NCIC) to confirm that the vehicle is not listed as stolen. (PQU#68)

    Confirmation that the NCIC check has returned “no record” or "clear" must be included with the title and registration documents submitted for microfilming. Confirmation must be noted on the surrendered title, Affidavit of VIN, Title Application or other title document, with the date the NCIC check was run and the name of the individual who ran the check.
  6. Plate-To-Owner Upon Sale of Registered Vehicle

    The owner of a vehicle titled and registered in New Mexico, upon sale or transfer of ownership, is responsible for removing the license plate from the vehicle. The owner then has 30 days to register and place this plate on another vehicle of the same class or return it to the Motor Vehicle Division for cancellation. Motor Vehicle Division personnel should inform owners of this requirement.

    Exception: The plate assigned to a permanently registered utility or travel trailer does not go with the owner but stays with the trailer.
  7. Emission Certificate of Inspection – Residents of Bernalillo County (66-3-7.1)

    (See Chapter 2 Section H.) Upon transfer of ownership, and every two years thereafter, all vehicles with a model year of 1977 or newer and less than 10,001 lbs. gross vehicle weight, must be tested for emissions, for residents of Bernalillo County.

    An Emission Certificate of Inspection, which certifies that the vehicle passed emissions, or was granted an exemption or a time extension, must accompany the documentation before the Motor Vehicle Division will register the vehicle. New motor vehicles being titled and registered for the first time with an MCO as the ownership document are exempt from the emission requirement for the first two years. Diesel powered vehicles are exempt from the emission requirement.