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Effective Friday, June 17, 2011, the minimum period that an Applicant must hold an instruction permit before obtaining a provisional license, or a provisional license before obtaining a regular license, may be extended by 30 days or more based on traffic violations committed while driving with the permit or provisional license.

Effective June 17, Senate Bill 9, enacted by the 2011 Legislature, amends Sections 66-5-8 and 66-5-9 NMSA 1978 to provide that:

  • The six-month minimum period for which an individual is required to hold an instruction permit before obtaining a provisional license is extended by 30 days for each traffic violation, committed during the time the individual was driving with the instruction permit, for which the individual was convicted or adjudicated delinquent.
  • The 12-month minimum period for which an individual is required to hold a provisional license before obtaining a regular driver’s license is also extended by 30 days for each traffic violation, committed during the time the individual was driving with the provisional license, for which the individual was convicted or adjudicated delinquent.

SB-9 also expands the Section 66-5-1.1 definition of “traffic violation” to include: child not in restraint device or seat belt; failure to properly fasten safety belt; using a mobile communication device while driving a motor vehicle (unless the driver holds a valid, FCC-issued amateur radio operator license and is operating an amateur radio); and buying, attempting to buy, receiving, possessing or permitting oneself to be served alcoholic beverages.

New Drivers – Under Age 18

If you are applying for your first New Mexico driver license and are under age 18, you must go through the New Mexico Graduated Licensing System to get your license.

Graduated driver licensing eases beginning drivers into traffic by limiting their exposure to driving situations proven to be particularly dangerous. Teens begin driving with certain conditions that are gradually relaxed as drivers mature and develop greater driving skills.

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) – 3 Stages

Stage 1: Instructional Permit – To get an instructional permit, a teen must be at least 15 years old, and go into a MVD Field Office with the following documents:

At least one of the ‘proof of identity’ or ‘proof of identification number’ documents must also show the teen’s date of birth.

At the MVD Field Office the teen and the parent/ guardian will complete and sign an instructional permit application. Then, the teen must:

  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass the MVD Knowledge Exam.  The exam may also be provided by an MVD “contracted” ‘Driver Education School
  • Provide a referral card from a TSB “approved” 'Driver Education School
  • Pay an instructional permit application fee
  • Once the teen gets the instructional permit, the teen must:
  • Hold the instructional permit for at least six months;
  • Complete and pass a TSB “approved” ‘driver education’ program which includes a 3-hour DWI component
  • Complete and pass a state-approved driver education program;
  • Drive with an adult 21 or older who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years;
  • Complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice, including 10 hours at night;
  • Maintain a clean driving record for the 90 days preceding application for Stage 2; and
  • Not drink and drive. Even a .02 percent concentration of alcohol – barely one drink – could result in a 6-month license revocation for drivers under age 21.

Stage 2: Provisional License – To get a provisional license, a teen must be at least 15 ½ years old and have successfully completed Stage 1. At the MVD Field Office the teen and the parent/ guardian will complete and sign a provisional license application. In signing the provisional license application, the teen and the parent verify that the teen:

Has completed Stage 1 successfully;

  • Has been driving only with an adult 21 years or older who has been licensed for at least 3 years;
  • Has not been convicted of a traffic violation* in the 90 days preceding application for a provisional license; and
  • Has not been drinking and driving.

Then, the teen must:

  • Provide a TSB ‘Certificate of Completion’ that clearly shows the applicant achieved a passing score from a TSB “approved” Driver Education School’ that includes a 3-hour DWI component
  • Provide the GDL driving log (Graduated Driver's License log-any document that records the necessary information handwritten or typed) that shows the teen has completed the practice driving component of 50 hours behind the wheel training, 10 of which are at night. The driving log must be signed by the parent or guardian.
  • Pass the MVD Road Skills Exam. If the teen has taken the “approved” MVD Road Skills Exam with an MVD “contracted” ‘Driver Education School,’ the teen must provide the completed MVD Record of Completion with the passing test scores.

Once the provisional license is issued, the following conditions apply:

  • The teen driver must hold the provisional license for at least 12 months.
  • Unless a licensed driver age 21 or older is in the vehicle, a provisional license-holder may not have more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member.
  • The teen driver may not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older. Exceptions are permitted for school, employment, family and medical need, or religious functions (licensees must carry a statement from the appropriate school, or religious official, employer, doctor, or parent/ guardian).

Stage 3: Full License –To get a full-unrestricted license, the teen and the parent/ guardian must complete and sign a driver license application. In signing the driver license application, the teen and the parent verify that the teen:  

  • Has completed Stage 2 successfully;
  • Has not been convicted of a traffic violation* 90 days preceding application for a full license;
  • Does not have any traffic violations* pending at the time of application for a driver license; and
  • Has not been found guilty or have an offense pending involving the use of alcohol or drugs during the provisional period.

If the teen is 18 years or older, only the teen needs to sign the application.

*The traffic violations include:

  • Failure to Obey Traffic Control Device or Signal
  • Failure to Obey Traffic Control Signal
  • Speeding
  • Homicide by Vehicle
  • Injury to Pregnant Woman by Vehicle
  • DWI or Drugs
  • Refusal to Submit to a Chemical Test
  • Reckless or Careless Driving
  • Careless Driving
  • Racing on Highways
  • Failure to Yield

Fees for an Instructional Permit, Provisional License and Driver License

  • Instructional Permit - $10.00
  • Provisional License - $18.00
  • Full-Unrestricted License – 4-year license is $18.00; 8-year license is $34.00

New Drivers – Ages 18 to 24

If you are applying for your first New Mexico driver license and are aged 18 to 24, you must complete the "None for the Road" self-study DWI awareness class. The University of New Mexico Continuing Education Center administers the None for the Road course.

Get None for the Road Information and an application on-line, or call (505) 277-0051 or toll-free at (877) 663-7465.
Office hours: Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

None for the Road brochures and applications are also available at any MVD Field Office.

New Drivers  - Ages 25 and Above

If you are age 25 or above, are applying for your first New Mexico driver license, and have been convicted of DWI, you must either:

  • complete the None for the Road course, or
  • provide proof that you have completed an approved DWI prevention and education program.
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