Section A: Road Test, General Guidelines
Revised December 8, 2017
Applicants for a New Mexico driver license or permit, who are required to take the road test as a part of the examination process, are also required to provide the vehicle in which the road test will be taken.
The vehicle must be of the same class as the license application and must be properly registered, insured and in good working condition before a road test will be administered in that vehicle. It is the responsibility of the applicant to make sure the vehicle and its equipment are in good working order.
If the applicant is applying for an ignition interlock license, the vehicle used for the road test must be equipped with an ignition interlock device. (§66-5-503(B)(2)(a))
The current certificate of registration must be in the vehicle, and the applicant must have proof of financial responsibility (a current insurance certificate).
- Road Tests will not be given under hazardous road conditions. (Manager discretion.)
- Use the Road Test Score Record form (MVD-10258) to record applicant information, vehicle equipment inspection compliance (or non-compliance) and test results/scores.
- Do not begin any road test unless you have performed the pre-road test vehicle. inspection and the vehicle has passed the inspection.
- Children or pets should not be allowed in the vehicle during the driving test. It is strongly recommended that no other passengers be taken.
- If the applicant has any physical disability which could affect his ability to drive, note his disability on the score sheet and the proper restriction.
- Do not engage in unnecessary conversation. It may distract the applicant.
- Never call applicant’s attention to an error until the test has been completed, unless it is necessary to do so to prevent an accident or to avoid a dangerous situation.
- If the applicant has difficulty in executing some maneuver, you should be ready to assist and to advise. Never compel your applicant to perform a task he does not wish to do, and do not rush him.
- Watch for traffic conditions that the applicant may not see and warn him of these if you think he does not see them.
- Watch everything the driver does. Record only what you see. Never score an operation as good unless the performance was actually watched and no errors were noted. Items on the score sheet which are not observed should be left blank.
- Give the complete test to every driver, unless it is necessary to stop the test for safety reasons.
- Score as you go along, and do not depend on your memory.
Section B: Road Test Routes
Revised December 8, 2017
Road tests should be given over courses that are as standardized as possible. At least two courses should be planned for each Motor Vehicle Field Office, each of which should include the following:
- A straightaway of at least four blocks at the start.
- At least two right turns.
- At least two left turns.
- At least one intersection controlled by traffic lights or signals.
- At least one intersection controlled by stop signs.
- A hill or grade where the applicant can demonstrate his ability to park parallel to the curb between two cars or markers which provide a space approximately equal to the length of the car plus six feet (may be included, but not required).
Be familiar with the test route. Know each item that is to be scored, and observe it carefully.
Section C: Discontinuing the Road Test
Revised September 10, 2021
At any point during a road test, an incident may occur that will immediately disqualify the driver from receiving a license or makes it too risky to continue the test. Stop the driving test if you think there is any safety risk.
IF ANY of the following incidents occur, disqualify the driver and discontinue the test immediately:
- If the applicant cannot perform all the pre-road test vehicle equipment inspection requirements to include how to;
- adjust the rear-view mirrors or how to use them;
- use the parking brake, horn, wipers, headlamps, taillamps, emergency flashers, or signals.
- If the applicant does not know how to start the vehicle.
- If the applicant fails to connect the seat belt before putting the vehicle in gear.
- If it becomes apparent that the applicant is dangerously inexperienced such as no behind the wheel experience.
- If an accident occurs involving any property damage or personal injury.
- If any dangerous driving error is committed, such as:
- when a near accident is prevented only because of evasive driving action on the part of the other drivers;
- the examiner is forced to grab the wheel or pull the emergency brake to avoid an accident; or
- the applicant drives into or stalls the vehicle in any location that might be dangerous (for example, driving over a sidewalk where there might be an unseen pedestrian or stalling the vehicle on a railroad track or in an intersection).
- If the applicant commits any of the following traffic violations:
- passes another car on a blind curve, on the crest of a grade or any no-passing zone;
- makes a turn from the wrong lane under traffic conditions that make such action dangerous;
- excessive speeding (15 miles or more over the posted speed limit); or
- running any red light or stop sign.
- If the applicant refuses to perform any maneuver that is part of the prescribed driving test.
- If the applicant offers the examiner a bribe.
When stopping a test, direct the driver by the easiest route back to the starting point. Do not continue on the test route unless it is the easiest way back.
Do not tell the driver he or she is disqualified until you are back to the starting point.
Some drivers may become upset if you tell them at once and may become confused enough to have an accident. If there is any hazard involved with continued operation of the vehicle, the examiner should ask the applicant to park the vehicle and walk or seek other means of transportation back to the Motor Vehicle Division Field Office.
Section D: Accident During the Test
Revised December 8, 2017
If there is an accident during the road test:
- Stay at the scene and call or have someone else call the police.
- Call an ambulance if needed, and administer first aid if necessary and possible.
- Do not discuss the accident with anyone but the police until you have been cleared to do so by your supervisor.
- After the police have arrived and made their investigation, ask the police if it is permissible for you to return to the office. DO NOT leave the scene of the accident until the police have completed their investigation or released you from the scene.
- Do not ride back to the Motor Vehicle Division Field Office in the vehicle unless cleared to do so by the police. If any serious property damage or personal injury has occurred, walk or seek transportation back to the office.
- Report the accident to your supervisor as soon as possible, and follow your verbal report with a written one as soon as possible.
Examiners must score each driving test according to the scoring schedule provided on the Score Sheet. Whether the test was completed or not, the form must be filled out in detail. Always include name of applicant, date of test, signature of the examiner conducting the test, license plate number of vehicle, class and condition of the vehicle. Circle the number of points to be deducted under the appropriate column. Add the total of all points deducted. More than 30 points deducted will be a failing grade.
Regardless of whether an applicant passes or fails the driving test, always call attention to each fault that was noted during the course of the driving test so that thry may know what to do to improve their driving. This is particularly important in the case of failures. If the applicant fails the road test, fully explain the reasons for failure. Be specific. Advise the applicant of possibility of acquiring an Instruction Permit.
The applicant who fails cannot re-examine on the same day but must wait at least one week.
Section E: Written Test Requirements
December 8, 2017
- Knowledge exams are available in English, Spanish, Tagalog, Italian, German, French, Vietnamese, and Chinese. Currently, there are no plans to add additional languages.
- All class D and M written test scores must be 70% or better to pass.
- All driver’s licenses, in state or out of state, expired over 5 years require a written test.
- All driver licenses, in state or out of state, expired over 5 years require a written and a road test.
- A person with a 5 or 10 year revocation is required to take the written and road test, unless licensure has been maintained during the revocation period with an Ignition Interlock License, and generally must petition the court to restore their driving privileges before their regular license can be reinstated.
- A person who has a revocation of less than a year due to a DWI conviction is not required to take a written test.
- A new driver’s license must be issued when revocation was due to a DWI conviction.
- All applicants with out-of-country driver’s licenses are required to take the written test in order to get a New Mexican driver’s license. Treat the District of Columbia (Washington, DC) and all U.S. territories as out-of-state rather than out-of-country. U.S. territories include but are not limited to Puerto Rico, Guam, the U.S. Virgin Islands and American Samoa.
- Any foreign language driver’s license that cannot be translated in your office for verification of name, date of birth, class of license, expiration date and restrictions/endorsements (if listed), must take the written and road test, unless a certified translation is provided. In any case the written test is required.
- Any person at least 13 years old but under 18 who is restricted to the operation of a motorcycle not in excess of 100 cubic centimeters must take the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic RiderCourse.
- Applicants with a D53 or D45 whose license is still valid are not required to test or obtain a new driver’s license unless the driver’s license has been suspended, revoked or expired for 5 years or more, in which case they must take both a written and a road test.
- A person who has financial responsibility, child support or driving while suspended is not required to test or get a new driver’s license unless their driver’s license has been suspended, revoked or expired for 5 years or more, in which case they must take both a written and a road test.
- A person who has been suspended due to points is not required to test unless their driver’s license has been suspended, revoked or expired for 5 years or more, in which case they must take both a written and a road test. However, before the person can be reinstated, they must show proof of completion of the Driver Improvement class.