Section A. Drivers Who Must be Licensed
Section B. Selective Service System Registration
Section C. Persons Exempt From Licensing
Section D. Persons Not to be Licensed
Section E. Instructional Permits and Provisional Licenses
Section F. Municipal Court Codes and Phone Numbers
Section G. Magistrate Court Codes and Phone Numbers
Section H. DWI Unit Frequently Asked Questions
Section A: Drivers Who Must be Licensed
Revised December 8, 2017
Drivers must be licensed (§66-5-2)
- Except those expressly exempted from the Motor Vehicle Code, no person shall drive any motor vehicle, neighborhood electric car or moped upon a highway in this state unless the person:
- holds a valid license issued under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code; and
- has surrendered to the division any other license previously issued to the person by this state or by another state or country or has filed an affidavit with the division that the person does not possess such other license; however, the applicant need not surrender a motorcycle license duly obtained under Paragraph (3) of Subsection A of Section 66-5-5 NMSA 1978.
- Any person licensed under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code or expressly exempted from licensure may exercise the privilege granted upon all streets and highways in this state and shall not be required to obtain any other license to exercise the privilege by any county, municipality or any other local body having authority to adopt local police regulations.
- A person charged with violating the provisions of this section shall not be convicted if the person produces, in court, a driver’s license issued to the person that was valid at the time of the person’s arrest.
Section B: Selective Service System Registration
Revised December 8, 2017
Consent to registration with the selective service system (§66-5-2.1)
A. Every male citizen of the state of New Mexico and every other male person residing in the state of New Mexico who, on the day or days fixed for the first or any subsequent Selective Service Act registration, is between the ages of 18 and 26 shall consent to his registration in compliance with the requirements of the federal Military Selective Service Act, 50 U.S.C. App. 453 et seq., when applying to receive or renew a driver’s license or identification card.
B. The division shall forward in an electronic format the necessary personal information required for registration of the applicants identified in Subsection A of this section to the selective service system. The applicant’s submission of the application shall serve as an indication that the applicant has already registered with the selective service or that he is authorizing the division to forward to the selective service the necessary information for registration. The division shall notify the applicant on the application that his submission of the application will serve as his consent to be registered with the selective service system if he is required to do so by federal law.
C. The provisions of this section shall apply to every male citizen of the state of New Mexico and every other male person residing in the state of New Mexico who, on the day or days fixed for the first or any subsequent Selective Service Act registration, is between the ages of 18 and 26 who are applying for issuance, renewal or duplication of an instruction permit, a driver’s license, a provisional driver’s license, a commercial driver’s license or an identification card on or after the effective date of this act.
D. The provisions of this section shall not be applicable to any alien lawfully admitted to the United States as a nonimmigrant under Section 101(a)(15) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as amended (66 Stat. 163; 8 U.S.C. 1101), for so long as he continues to maintain a lawful nonimmigrant status in the United States.
Who must register with the Selective Service System?
The “Who Must Register Chart” from the Selective Service System web site at www.sss.gov may be helpful for anyone who is unsure as to whether or not he is required to register with Selective Service.
Section C: Persons Exempt from Licensing
Revised December 8, 2017
Persons exempt from licensure (§66-5-4)
The following persons are exempt from licensure under the Motor Vehicle Code:
A. military personnel while driving a motor vehicle owned or leased by the United States Department of Defense;
B. a person who is at least 15 years of age and who has in immediate possession a valid driver’s license issued to the person in the person’s home state or country may drive a motor vehicle in this state, except that the person shall obtain a license upon becoming a resident and before the person is employed for compensation by another for the purpose of driving a motor vehicle;
C. a nonresident who is at least 18 years of age whose home state or country does not require the licensing of drivers may drive a motor vehicle for a period of not more than 180 days in any calendar year if the motor vehicle driven is duly registered in the home state or country of the nonresident;
D. a driver of a farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily drawn, moved or propelled on the highway; and
E. a driver of an off-highway motorcycle (when driven off-road).
Section D: Persons Not to be Licensed
Revised December 8, 2017
Persons not to be licensed (§66-5-5) ?
The division shall not issue a driver’s license under the Motor Vehicle Code to any person:
A. who is under the age of 18 years, except the division may, in its discretion, issue:
- an instruction permit to a person 15 years of age or over who is enrolled in and attending or has completed a driver education course that includes a DWI education and prevention component;
- a provisional license to any person 15 years and six months of age or older: (a) who has completed a driver education course approved by the bureau or offered by a public school that includes a DWI education and prevention component and has had an instruction permit for at least six months; and (b) who has successfully completed a practice driving component;
- a driver’s license to any person 16 years and six months of age or older: (a) who has had a provisional license for the 12-month period immediately preceding the date of the application for the driver’s license; (b) who has complied with restrictions on that license; (c) who has not been convicted of a traffic violation that was committed during the 90 days prior to applying for a driver’s license; and (d) who has not been adjudicated for an offense involving the use of alcohol or drugs during that period and who has no pending adjudications alleging an offense involving the use of alcohol or drugs at the time of application; and
- to any person 13 years of age or older who passes an examination prescribed by the division, a license restricted to the operation of a motorcycle, provided: (a) the motorcycle is not in excess of 100 cubic centimeters displacement; (b) no holder of an initial license may carry any other passenger while driving a motorcycle; and (c) the director approves and certifies motorcycles as not in excess of 100 cubic centimeters displacement and by rule provides for a method of identification of such motorcycles by all law enforcement officers;
B. whose license or driving privilege has been suspended or denied, during the period of suspension or denial, or to any person whose license has been revoked, except as provided in §66-5-32 and the Ignition Interlock Licensing Act (§§ 66-5-501 through 66-5-504;
C. who is an habitual user of narcotic drugs or alcohol or an habitual user of any drug to a degree that renders the person incapable of safely driving a motor vehicle;
D. who is four or more times convicted of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or narcotic drug regardless of whether the convictions are under the laws or ordinances of this state or any municipality or county of this state or under the laws or ordinances of any other state, the District of Columbia or any governmental subdivision thereof, except as provided in the Ignition Interlock Licensing Act. Five years from the date of the fourth conviction and every five years thereafter, the person may apply to any district court of this state for restoration of the license, and the court, upon good cause being shown, may order restoration of the license applied for; provided that the person has not been subsequently convicted of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. Upon issuance of the order of restoration, a certified copy shall immediately be forwarded to the division, and if the person is otherwise qualified for the license applied for, the four previous convictions shall not prohibit issuance of the license;
E. who was convicted on or after June 17, 2005 of driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs pursuant to the laws or ordinances of any other state, the District of Columbia or any governmental subdivision thereof, unless the person obtains an ignition interlock license as provided in the Ignition Interlock Licensing Act for a period of one year for a first conviction; a period of two years for a second conviction; a period of three years for a third conviction; or the remainder of the offender’s life for a fourth or subsequent conviction, subject to a five-year review as provided in Subsection D of this section. Upon presentation of proof satisfactory to the division, the division may credit time spent by a person operating a motor vehicle with an ignition interlock or comparable device, as a condition of the person’s sentence for a conviction in another jurisdiction pursuant to this subsection, against the ignition interlock time requirements imposed by this subsection. The division shall promulgate rules necessary for granting credit to persons who participate in comparable out-of-state programs following a conviction for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs. The requirements of this subsection shall not apply to a person who:
- has only one conviction for driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs that did not result in great bodily harm or death, and that conviction is pursuant to the laws or ordinances of any other state or any governmental subdivision thereof and who presents proof satisfactory to the division that the person completed all conditions of the person’s sentence for the conviction in the other jurisdiction, whether or not installation of an ignition interlock device was a condition of the sentence; provided, however, that at least 12 months have passed since the person’s conviction; or
- applies for a driver’s license ten years or more from the date of the person’s last conviction, except for a person who is subject to lifetime driver’s license revocation for a conviction in another jurisdiction pursuant to this subsection;
F. who has previously been afflicted with or who is suffering from any mental disability or disease that would render the person unable to drive a motor vehicle with safety upon the highways and who has not, at the time of application, been restored to health;
G. who is required by the Motor Vehicle Code to take an examination, unless the person has successfully passed the examination;
H. who is required under the laws of this state to deposit proof of financial responsibility and who has not deposited the proof;
I. when the director has good cause to believe that the operation of a motor vehicle on the highways by the person would be inimical to public safety or welfare; or
J. as a motorcycle driver who is less than 18 years of age and who has not presented a certificate or other evidence of having successfully completed a motorcycle driver education program licensed or offered in conformance with rules of the bureau.
Section E: Instructional Permits and Provisional Licenses
Revised December 8, 2017
Instructional Permits (§66-5-8(E))
A person 15 years of age or older who is enrolled in and attending or has completed a driver education course that includes a DWI prevention and education program approved by the bureau or offered by a public school may apply to the division for an instruction permit. The division, in its discretion after the applicant has successfully passed all parts of the examination other than the driving test, may issue to the applicant an instruction permit. This permit entitles the applicant, while having the permit in the applicant’s immediate possession, to drive a motor vehicle upon the public highways when accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 years of age or older, who has been licensed for at least three years in this state or in another state and who is occupying a seat beside the driver, except in the event the permittee is operating a motorcycle.
A holder of an instruction permit for a motorcycle shall not carry any other passenger while operating a motorcycle.
Provisional licenses (§66-5-8)
A person 15 years and six months of age or older may apply to the division for a provisional license if the person: has completed a driver education course approved by the Traffic Safety Bureau that includes a DWI prevention and education component; who has had an instruction permit for at least six months provided that 30 days shall be added to the six months for each adjudication or conviction of a traffic violation committed during the time the person was driving with an instruction permit; has not been cited for a traffic violation that is pending at the time of application; and who has successfully completed a practice driving component.
Successful completion of a practice driving component shall include not less than 50 hours of actual driving by the applicant, including not less than 10 hours of night driving.
An applicant for a provisional license who cannot drive at night due to low nighttime vision may be exempted from the night driving requirement, provided that the applicant submits a report from a licensed ophthalmologist or optometrist who attests to the applicant’s visual condition and its effect on the applicant’s driving ability.
The applicant’s parent or guardian shall certify that the applicant has completed the practice driving component.
When operating a motor vehicle, a provisional licensee may be accompanied by not more than one passenger under the age of 21 who is not a member of the licensee’s immediate family. A provisional license entitles the licensee, with the license in his immediate possession, to operate a motor vehicle upon the public highways between the hours of 5:00 a.m. and midnight unless the provisional licensee is eligible for a license restricting driving to daylight hours. A provisional licensee may drive at any hour unless otherwise restricted as provided in this subsection if:
- accompanied by a licensed driver 21 years of age or older;
- required by family necessity as evidenced by a signed statement of a parent or guardian;
- required by medical necessity as evidenced by a signed statement from medical personnel;
- driving to and from work as evidenced by a signed statement from the licensee’s employer;
- driving to and from school or a religious activity as evidenced by a signed statement of a school or religious official or a parent or guardian; or
- required due to a medical emergency.
A provisional license shall be in such form as to be readily distinguishable from an unrestricted driver’s license and shall contain an indication that the licensee may drive without supervision.
Section F: Municipal Court Codes and Phone Numbers
Revised December 11, 2017
|T or C
Section G: Magistrate Court Codes and Phone Numbers
Revised December 11, 2017
|T or C
Section H: DWI Unit Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Revised December 11, 2017
The most common misconception is that the criminal and civil actions are the same. Every DWI has two sides: the civil side, which is the Motor Vehicle Division administrative action and the criminal conviction which is through the courts.
What is required for administrative revocation for DWI? (§66-5-29 and §§ 66-8-107 through 66-8-112)
In our administrative hearing, the law enforcement officer has only four points to prove:
- that the law enforcement officer had reasonable grounds to believe the driver was driving a motor vehicle while under the influence of intoxicating liquor;
- that the person was arrested;
- that the administrative hearing was held no later than 90 days after the notice of revocation; and that
- either: a) the person refused to submit to the test upon request of the law enforcement officer; or b) a chemical test was administered and the test results indicated an alcohol concentration of .08 or more for a person 21 years of age or older, .04 or more if the person is a Commercial Driver’s License holder or .02 or more if the person is less than 21 years of age.
How long is the DWI license revocation period?
- Adult Refusal – One year
- Adult 1st Offense – Six months
- Adult 2nd and Subsequent Offense – One year
- Juvenile – One year
- 1st Offense – One year
- 2nd Offense – Two years
- 3rd Offense – Three years
- 4th and subsequent Offense – Lifetime
What do I need to do to reinstate my driver’s license once my revocation period is over? (§66-5-33.1 (B) (4))
The driver must have “a minimum of six months of driving with an ignition interlock license with no attempts to circumvent or tamper with the ignition interlock device.” The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division interprets this to mean a consecutive six months with no break in service or license status. After the interlock license is issued, if a failure to appear in court violation, a parental responsibility violation, an unpaid citation violation or any other offense that would invalidate the driving privileges is placed on the driving record, the six month period would restart again on the date the driving privileges are restored.
You will need to provide proof of your identity, pay a $102 reinstatement fee, and take the written and road exams, if you have been revoked for more than a five year period.
If you were under a five-year or a 10-year denial period, you must petition a district court in your county of residence to restore your driving privileges. A Restoration Packet will be provided by any local MVD office along with a copy of your driving history. Exception: MVD field offices may not provide restoration packets to residents of Bernalillo County. The Bernalillo County restoration packet is available only from the Second Judicial District Court at 400 Lomas NW in Albuquerque.
If you are under a current lifetime revocation, you are eligible to apply to a district court for removal of the ignition interlock device requirement and restoration of the license five years from the date of conviction and every five years thereafter.
Anyone on revocation for a DWI offense is eligible to apply for and receive an Ignition Interlock License upon providing proof of insurance and the installation of an Ignition Interlock Device in any car the individual drives.
What happens if I downgrade to an ID from an Interlock License?
You will lose the time already accrued on the interlock license and interlock device and will be required to start the consecutive six month period again once you have upgraded back to an interlock license.
What if I want to dispute the DWI citation because I believe someone else used my identity information?
Only the court or the law enforcement officer who wrote the citation can recall or dismiss a citation for identity theft. A letter written on department letterhead will need to be provided indicating the name, social security number, date of birth, license number, and citation number and the reason for the dismissal. In addition, provide the name and information on the correct offender, if available.
Is there a way that I can get a copy of my DWI citations, because I believe that the number of convictions on my record is incorrect?
Yes. You can mail a letter indicating that you would like a document review, with your personal information, to New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division, P.O. Box 1028, Santa Fe, NM 87504-1028 Attn: Document Review. There is no fee for this request.
This is my third offense, but when I went to court the judge reduced it to my second offense. Why am I still under revocation for a three-year period?
The Motor Vehicle Division does not consider a reduction in offense by the court when a revocation period is determined. MVD looks at the number of convictions on your record and adjusts the revocation period based on the new conviction.
The Judge said that he would defer the DWI and dismiss it once I completed a predetermined probationary period. Why is the DWI still on my record, and why am I revoked?
In the State of New Mexico, a Judge cannot defer to dismiss a DWI once the driver enters a plea of guilty or nolo contendere, or if there is a finding of guilt by the court. By statute (§66-1-4.3(N)(1)(a) and (b)) “conviction” includes “a finding of guilt in the trial court in regard to which the violator has waived or exhausted all rights to appeal” or “a plea of guilty or nolo contendere accepted by the court.”
Do I still have to pay a reinstatement fee if I’ve moved out of New Mexico or I am no longer a resident?
Yes. The fee is assessed as part of the fine for a DWI citation, and is required to completely clear the driver’s record after a revocation period has expired. Along with the fee, proof of residency is required.
If I paid fines through the court, why do I have to pay MVD?
The criminal and civil actions are completely different. Some fines are associated with conviction actions, and other fines are associated with Implied Consent/Administrative actions.
I reinstated after the administrative action, but before the criminal conviction was posted to my record. Can I get a refund for the $102?
No. You must wait until you are eligible to reinstate, and then apply for your driver’s license again and pay the reinstatement fee. The clerk at the field office cannot see future dates or postings, and can only see what is posted to the record. If the conviction has not been sent by the court, it will not be available on the driving history until it is received and recorded.
How do I request a MVD administrative hearing for the revocation based on my arrest?
A Request for Hearing form (MVD-10792) is available from any MVD office and on the Internet – or you may simply submit a letter requesting a hearing. Include a copy of the citation or notice of revocation; information such as the driver’s name, date of birth and social security number; and (unless you can provide a letter of indigence) a $25 check or money order. Indicate that you are contesting the administrative revocation of your license. This request must be postmarked or hand delivered to MVD’s Central Administration office in the Joseph M. Montoya Building at 1100 South St. Francis Drive in Santa Fe, NM within 10 days of being served the Notice of Revocation. If the request for hearing is not complete, you will receive a denial letter. You may appeal the denial of a request for hearing to a district court.
Can I drive while I am awaiting the administrative hearing?
Yes. Unless you have any other conditions of suspension on your driving record, you will have driving privileges pending the outcome of the hearing.
How long does a DWI stay on my record?
A DWI will stay on the driving record according to the date the citation was issued:
|A DWI issued on
|Will stay on the driver’s record for
|1953 through June 30, 1961
|July 1, 1961 through June 30, 1969
|July 1, 1969 through June 30, 1975
|July 1, 1975 through June 30, 1990
|July 1, 1990 through June 16, 2005
|June 17, 2005 through present
Any additional questions please contact the DWI Compliance Unit at the following numbers: