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Chapter 1 – Vehicles Definitions

01/16/2014
8:48 AM

Vehicles Definitions

Revised December 1, 2017

 

Abandoned vehicle
a vehicle or motor vehicle that has been determined by a New Mexico law enforcement agency: (1) to have been left unattended on either public or private property for at least 30 days; (2) not to have been reported stolen; (3) not to have been claimed by any person asserting ownership; and (4) not to have been shown by normal record-checking procedures to be owned by any person

All-terrain vehicle (ATV)
a motor vehicle 50 inches or less in width, having an unladen dry weight of 1,000 pounds or less, traveling on three or more low-pressure tires and having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and handlebar-type steering control

Autocycle
a three-wheeled motorcycle on which the driver and all passengers ride in a completely or partially enclosed seating area and that is manufactured to comply with all applicable federal standards, regulations and laws and is equipped with:

  1. non-straddle seating;
  2. rollover protection;
  3. safety belts for all occupants;
  4. antilock brakes;
  5. a steering wheel; and
  6. pedals

Auto recycler
a person engaged in this state in an established business that includes acquiring vehicles that are required to be registered under the Motor Vehicle Code for the purpose of dismantling, wrecking, shredding, compacting, crushing or otherwise destroying vehicles for reclaimable parts or scrap material to sell

Boat
a motorboat that is 10 feet in length or longer

Bus
every motor vehicle designed and used for the transportation of persons and every motor vehicle, other than a taxicab, designed and used for the transportation of persons for compensation

Camping body
a vehicle body primarily designed or converted for use as temporary living quarters for recreational, camping or travel activities

Camping trailer
a camping body, mounted on a chassis, or frame with wheels, designed to be drawn by another vehicle and that has collapsible partial side walls that fold for towing and unfold at the campsite

CFR
Code of Federal Regulations: the codification of rules published in the Federal Register by the departments and agencies of the Federal Government

Combination
any connected assemblage of a motor vehicle and one or more semitrailers, trailers or semitrailers converted to trailers by means of a converter gear

Combination gross vehicle weight
means the sum total of the gross vehicle weights of all units of a combination

Commercial motor vehicle
a self-propelled or towed vehicle, other than special mobile equipment, used on public highways in commerce to transport passengers or property when the vehicle:

  1. is operated interstate and has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 4,536 kilograms, or 10,001 pounds or more; or is operated only in intrastate commerce and has a gross vehicle weight rating or gross combination weight rating, or gross vehicle weight or gross combination weight, of 26,001 or more pounds;
  2. is designed or used to transport more than eight passengers, including the driver, and is used to transport passengers for compensation;
  3. is designed or used to transport more than 15 passengers, including the driver, and is not used to transport passengers for compensation; or
  4. is used to transport hazardous materials of the type or quantity requiring placarding under rules prescribed by applicable federal or state law

[Note: This is the basic Motor Vehicle Code definition at Sec 66-1-4.3J. There are different definitions of commercial motor vehicle specific to CDL at 66-5-54C and 18.19.5.7 NMAC, and for DWI at 66-8-102T(2).]

Commercial motor vehicle (as used in the New Mexico CDL Act)
a motor vehicle or combination of motor vehicles used in commerce to transport passengers or property if the motor vehicle:

  1. has a gross combination weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds inclusive of a towed unit with a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 10,000 pounds;
  2. has a gross vehicle weight rating of more than 26,000 pounds;
  3. is designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver; or
  4. is of any size and is used in the transportation of hazardous materials, as provided in 49 CFR Part 383.5 (“Hazardous materials means any material that has been designated as hazardous under 49 U.S.C. 5103 and is required to be placarded under subpart F of 49 CFR part 172 or any quantity of a material listed as a select agent or toxin in 42 CFR part 73.”)

Dealer
any person who sells or solicits or advertises the sale of new or used motor vehicles, manufactured homes or trailers subject to registration in this state; "dealer" does not include:

  1. receivers, trustees, administrators, executors, guardians or other persons appointed by or acting under judgment, decree or order of any court;
  2. public officers while performing their duties as such officers;
  3. persons making casual sales of their own vehicles;
  4. finance companies, banks and other lending institutions making sales of repossessed vehicles; or
  5. licensed brokers under the Manufactured Housing Act [60-14-1 NMSA 1978] who, for a fee, commission or other valuable consideration, engage in brokerage activities related to the sale, exchange or lease purchase of pre-owned manufactured homes on a site installed for a consumer

Distributor
a person who distributes or sells new or used motor vehicles to dealers and who is not a manufacturer

Emancipated minor
any person sixteen 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 children’s court of the district in which he resides

Electric personal assistive mobility device
a self-balancing device having two non-tandem wheels designed to transport a single person by means of an electric propulsion system with an average power of one horsepower and with a maximum speed on a paved level surface of less than twenty miles per hour when powered solely by its propulsion system and while being ridden by an operator who weighs one hundred seventy pounds

Farm vehicle
a vehicle, owned by a person whose principal occupation is farming or ranching, which is used principally in the transportation of farm and ranch products to market and farm and ranch supplies and livestock from the place of purchase to farms and ranches in this state; provided that the vehicle is not used for hire

Financial Responsibility
the ability to respond in damages for liability resulting from traffic accidents arising out of the ownership, maintenance or use of a motor vehicle in amounts not less than specified in the Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act or having in effect a motor vehicle insurance policy; includes a motor vehicle insurance policy, a surety bond or evidence of a sufficient cash deposit with the state treasurer

Fleet
one or more motor carrier vehicles, either commercial or noncommercial but not mixed, that are operated in this and at least one other jurisdiction

Franchise (or franchised) dealer
a dealership that has a contract with a vehicle manufacturer that allows the dealership to sell the manufacturer’s products

Freight trailer
any trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer drawn by a truck tractor or road tractor, and any trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer drawn by a truck that has a gross vehicle weight of more than 26,000 pounds, but "freight trailer" does not include manufactured homes, trailers of less than one-ton carrying capacity used to transport animals or fertilizer trailers of less than 3,500 pounds empty weight

GCWR
gross combination weight rating; the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination vehicle; or, if no value is specified by the manufacturer, the sum of the gross vehicle weight rating of the power unit and the total weight of the towed unit or units and any load thereon

Gross combination weight rating (GCWR)
the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a combination vehicle; or, if no value is specified by the manufacturer, the sum of the gross vehicle weight rating of the power unit and the total weight of the towed unit or units and any load thereon

Gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR)
the value specified by the manufacturer as the loaded weight of a single vehicle

Highway
every way or place generally open to the use of the public as a matter of right for the purpose of vehicular travel, even though it may be temporarily closed or restricted for the purpose of construction, maintenance, repair or reconstruction

House trailer
a manufactured home

Ignition interlock device
a device, approved by the traffic safety bureau, that prevents the operation of a motor vehicle by an intoxicated or impaired person

Implement of husbandry
a vehicle that is designed for agricultural purposes and exclusively used by the owner in the conduct of agricultural operations

Independent dealer
a dealer who does not hold a franchise granted by a vehicle manufacturer to sell the manufacturer’s products; a used car dealer

International Fuel Tax Agreement (IFTA)
an agreement between the lower 48 states of the United States and the Canadian provinces that provides for the consolidated reporting of motor fuels (i.e., gasoline, diesel fuel, liquefied gas) taxes for qualifying commercial motor vehicles traveling in more than one state of the United States or province of Canada

International Registration Plan (IRP)
a registration reciprocity agreement among the contiguous states of the United States, the District of Columbia and provinces of Canada providing for payment of apportionable fees on the basis of total distance operated in all jurisdictions; a method of registering fleets of vehicles that travel in two or more member jurisdictions

Interstate
between two or more states (driving from one state to another)

Intrastate
within the state of New Mexico

Inventory
when referring to a vehicle dealer, a vehicle held for sale or lease in the ordinary course of business, the cost of which is used in calculating the dealer’s cost of goods sold for federal income tax purposes

Lien
a charge imposed upon specific property, by which it is made security for the performance of an act

Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act (MFRA)
the act (at §§ 66-5-201 through 66-5-239) that requires residents of New Mexico who own and operate motor vehicles upon the highways of the state either to have the ability to respond in damages to accidents arising out of the use and operation of a motor vehicle or to obtain a motor vehicle insurance policy

Manufactured home
a movable or portable housing structure that exceeds either a width of eight feet or a length of forty feet, constructed to be towed on its own chassis and designed to be installed with or without a permanent foundation for human occupancy

Manufacturer's certificate of origin (MCO)
a certification, on a form supplied by or approved by the department, signed by the manufacturer that the new vehicle or boat described in the certificate has been transferred to the New Mexico dealer or distributor named in the certificate or to a dealer duly licensed or recognized as such in another state, territory or possession of the United States and that such transfer is the first transfer of the vehicle or boat in ordinary trade and commerce

Minor
anyone under 18 years of age

Moped
a two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicle with an automatic transmission and a motor having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, that is capable of propelling the vehicle at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles an hour on level ground, at sea level

Motorboat
any vessel propelled by machinery, whether or not machinery is the principal source of propulsion, but does not include a vessel that has a valid marine document issued by the bureau of customs of the United States government or any federal agency successor thereto; "motorboat" includes any vessel propelled or designed to be propelled by sail and that does not have a valid document issued by a federal agency, but does not include a sailboard or windsurf board

Motor carrier
any person or firm that owns, controls, operates or manages any motor vehicle with gross vehicle weight of 12,000 pounds or more that is used to transport persons or property on the public highways of this state

Motorcycle
every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, excluding a tractor

Motor home
a camping body built on a self-propelled motor vehicle chassis so designed that seating for driver and passengers is within the body itself

Motor vehicle
every vehicle that is self-propelled and every vehicle that is propelled by electric power obtained from batteries or from overhead trolley wires, but not operated upon rails

MSO (Manufacturer's Statement of Origin)
Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO)

MVD Partner
any organization that, by entering into a Partner Agreement with TRD-MVD, is contracted to act as an agent of TRD-MVD, pursuant to §66-2-14, to perform MVD transactions using the Tapestry system

Neighborhood electric car
a four-wheeled electric motor vehicle that has a maximum speed of more than twenty miles per hour but less than twenty-five miles per hour and complies with the federal requirements specified in 49 CFR 571.500

NMAC
New Mexico Administrative Code; the official compilation of current rules (regulations) filed by state agencies; rules are a special category of law written by state agencies to support, clarify, or implement specific laws (statutes) enacted by the legislature; for example, the driver’s license rules can be found at 18.19.5 NMAC

NMSA or NMSA 1978
New Mexico Statutes Annotated, 1978 compilation (the last time the state's statutes were reorganized); often included in statutory citations [for example: "articles 1-8 of Chapter 66 NMSA 1978 may be cited as the Motor Vehicle Code"; and "Sec. 66-5-2 NMSA 1978 requires that an individual be licensed in order to drive a motor vehicle in New Mexico"]; this manual generally omits the "NMSA" or "NMSA 1978", instead referring to statutes by section number alone and uses § or §§ for Section or Sections (e.g. §66-5-2 or §§ 65-1-32 and 65-1-33)

Nonrepairable vehicle
a vehicle of a type otherwise subject to registration that:

  1. has no resale value except as a source of parts or scrap metal or that the owner irreversibly designates as a source of parts or scrap metal or for destruction;
  2. has been substantially stripped as a result of theft or is missing all of the bolts on sheet metal body panels, all of the doors and hatches, substantially all of the interior components and substantially all of the grill and light assemblies and has little or no resale value other than its worth as a source of a vehicle identification number that could be used illegally; or
  3. is a substantially burned vehicle that has burned to the extent that there are no more usable or repairable body or interior components, tires and wheels or drive train components or that the owner irreversibly designates for destruction or as having little or no resale value other than its worth as a source of scrap metal or as a source of a vehicle identification number that could be used illegally.

The declaration by an insurance company that a vehicle is a nonrepairable vehicle makes the vehicle a nonrepairable vehicle regardless of the relative amounts of repair costs versus fair market value. (18.19.3.52 NMAC)

Nonrepairable vehicle certificate
a vehicle ownership document conspicuously labeled “NONREPAIRABLE” issued to the owner of the nonrepairable vehicle

Odometer
a device for recording the total mileage traveled by a vehicle from the vehicle’s manufacture and for so long as the vehicle is operable on the highways

Off-highway motorcycle
a motor vehicle traveling on not more than two tires and having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator and that has handlebar-type steering control

Off-highway motor vehicle (OHV)
any motor vehicle operated or used exclusively off the highways of this state and that is not legally equipped for operation on the highways of this state

The Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act expands the definition of off-highway motor vehicle to include a motor vehicle designed by the manufacturer for operation exclusively off the highway or road, including: 

  1. all-terrain vehicle;
  2. off-highway motorcycle;
  3. snowmobile;
  4. recreational off-highway vehicle; or
  5. by rule of the department, any other vehicles that may enter the market that fit the general profile of vehicles operated off the highway for recreational purposes

Personal representative
(of a decedent's estate) includes executor, administrator, successor personal representative, special administrator and persons who perform substantially the same function under the law governing their status.

Personal watercraft
a class A motorboat less than 16 feet, designed to be operated by a person sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel rather than the operator sitting or standing inside the vessel. Examples include jet skis, sea doos, wave runners and similar devices

Pole trailer
a vehicle without motive power, designed to be drawn by another vehicle and attached to the towing vehicle by means of a reach or pole or by being boomed or otherwise secured to the towing vehicle and ordinarily used for transporting long or irregularly shaped loads such as poles, structures, pipes and structural members capable, generally, of sustaining themselves as beams between the supporting connections

Reconstructed vehicle
any vehicle assembled or constructed largely by means of essential parts, new or used, derived from other vehicles or which, if originally otherwise assembled or constructed, has been materially altered by the removal of essential parts, new or used

Recreational off-highway vehicle
an off-highway motor vehicle designed for travel on four or more non-highway tires, for recreational use by one or more persons, and having: (a) a steering wheel for steering control; (b) non-straddle seating; (c) maximum speed capability greater than 35 miles per hour; (d) gross vehicle weight rating no greater than 1,750 pounds; (e) less than 80 inches in overall width, exclusive of accessories; (f) engine displacement of less than 1,000 cubic centimeters; and (g) identification by means of a 17-character vehicle identification number

Recreational travel trailer
a camping body designed to be drawn by another vehicle

Recreational vehicle
a vehicle with a camping body that has its own motive power, is affixed to or is drawn by another vehicle and includes motor homes, travel trailers and truck campers

Salvage vehicle
a vehicle:

  1. other than a nonrepairable vehicle, of a type subject to registration that has been wrecked, destroyed or damaged excluding, pursuant to rules issued by the department, hail damage, to the extent that the owner, leasing company, financial institution or the insurance company that insured or is responsible for repair of the vehicle considers it uneconomical to repair the vehicle and that is subsequently not repaired by or for the person who owned the vehicle at the time of the event resulting in damage; or
  2. that was determined to be uneconomical to repair and for which a total loss payment is made by an insurer, whether or not the vehicle is subsequently repaired, if, prior to or upon making payment to the claimant, the insurer obtained the agreement of the claimant to the amount of the total loss settlement and informed the claimant that, pursuant to rules of the department, the title must be branded and submitted to the department for issuance of a salvage certificate of title for the vehicle

The declaration by an insurance company that a vehicle is a salvage vehicle makes the vehicle a salvage vehicle regardless of the relative amounts of repair costs versus fair market value. (18.19.3.52 NMAC)

School bus
a commercial motor vehicle used to transport preprimary, primary or secondary school students from home to school, from school to home or to and from school-sponsored events, but not including a vehicle operated by a common carrier or a government-owned transit authority that is not used exclusively for the transportation of pupils

Semitrailer
a vehicle without motive power, other than a pole trailer, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle and so constructed that some significant part of its weight and that of its load rests upon or is carried by another vehicle

Snowmobile
a motor vehicle designed for travel on snow or ice and steered and supported in whole or in part by skis, belts, cleats, runners or low-pressure tires

Special mobile equipment
a vehicle not designed or used primarily for the transportation of persons or property and incidentally operated or moved over the highways, including but not limited to farm tractors, road construction or maintenance machinery, ditch-digging apparatus, well-boring apparatus and concrete mixers

Street (or highway)
a way or place generally open to the use of the public as a matter of right for the purpose of vehicular travel, even though it may be temporarily closed or restricted for the purpose of construction, maintenance, repair or reconstruction

Taxicab
a motor vehicle used for hire in the transportation of persons, having a normal seating capacity of not more than seven persons

Title service company
a person, other than the department, an agent of the department, a licensed dealer or the motor transportation division of the department of public safety, who for consideration issues temporary registration plates or prepares and submits to the department on behalf of others applications for registration of or title to motor vehicles

Traffic safety bureau
the Traffic Safety Bureau of the New Mexico Department of Transportation

Trailer
any vehicle without motive power, designed for carrying persons or property and for being drawn by a motor vehicle, and so constructed that no significant part of its weight rests upon the towing vehicle

Travel trailer
a trailer with a camping body and includes recreational travel trailers and camping trailers

Truck
a motor vehicle designed, used or maintained primarily for the transportation of property

Truck camper
a camping body designed to be loaded onto, or affixed to, the bed or chassis of a truck. A camping body, when combined with a truck or truck cab and chassis, even though not attached permanently, becomes a part of the motor vehicle, and together they are a recreational unit to be known as a "truck camper"; there are three general types of truck campers:

  1. "slide-in camper" means a camping body designed to be loaded onto and unloaded from the bed of a pickup truck;
  2. "chassis-mount camper" means a camping body designed to be affixed to a truck cab and chassis; and
  3. "pickup cover" or "camper shell" means a camping body designed to provide an all-weather protective enclosure over the bed of a pickup truck and to be affixed to the pickup truck

U.S.C.
United States Code or U.S. Code: The Code of Laws of the United States of America, the official compilation and codification of the general and permanent federal statutes of the United States

Utility trailer
any trailer, semitrailer or pole trailer, but does not include freight trailers, manufactured homes, trailers of less than one-ton carrying capacity used to transport animals or fertilizer trailers of less than 3,500 pounds empty weight

Validating sticker
the tab or sticker issued by the division to signify, upon a registration plate, renewed registration and/or registration renewal date (aka validation sticker)

Vehicle
every device in, upon or by which any person or property is or may be transported or drawn upon a highway, including any frame, chassis, body or unitized frame and body of any vehicle or motor vehicle, except devices moved exclusively by human power or used exclusively upon stationary rails or tracks

Vessel
every description of watercraft, other than a seaplane on the water, used or capable of being used as a means of transportation on water

Weight Distance Tax (WDT)
The tax imposed by the Weight Distance Tax Act (Section 7 Article 15A NMSA 1978). The WDT is imposed upon the registrants, owners and operators for the use of the highways of this state by all motor vehicles having a declared gross weight or gross vehicle weight in excess of 26,000 and registered in this state, registered under proportional registration or qualified under the provisions of Sections 65-1-32 and 65-1-33 NMSA 1978.

Wholesaler
any person, except a person making a casual sale of the person's own vehicle, who sells or offers for sale vehicles of a type subject to registration in this state, to a vehicle dealer who is licensed under the Motor Vehicle Code or who is franchised by a manufacturer, distributor or vehicle dealer; provided, however, that if any person except a person making a casual sale of the person's own vehicle also sells a vehicle at retail, that person shall be deemed to be a dealer and is subject to the dealer-licensing provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code

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