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Driver’s Licenses / ID’s

How to get a New Mexico Driver License

All persons driving a motor vehicle on New Mexico highways and roadways are required to be licensed.

The New Mexico MVD issues a secure driver license to help protect New Mexicans from identity theft. Persons applying for a first-time driver license, a license renewal or a license replacement are issued a temporary license while their regular license is being processed and mailed.

If you have an out-of-state license or a prior New Mexico ID card, it will be hole-punched and may be used in conjunction with the temporary license, for up to 45 days from the date of issue. The temporary license and the hole-punched license or ID card are only valid for identification purposes when presented together.

You must go into a MVD Field Office to get your New Mexico driver license. Staff at any Field Office can issue your temporary driver license.

An overview of all documents needed to obtain a license or identification can be found on these tables:

All documents must be originals.

First-Time New Mexico Driver’s License Requirements

Once you have established residency in New Mexico, you are required to surrender your license from any other state and apply for a New Mexico license.

To obtain a REAL ID driver’s license, you will need to bring the following documents to any MVD Field Office:
•    One (1) proof of identification number, and
•    One (1) proof of identity, and
•    Two (2) proofs of New Mexico residency.

To obtain a Standard Driver’s License, you will need to bring the following documents to any MVD Field Office:
•    One (1) proof of identity and age, and
•    Two (2) proofs of New Mexico residency.

Please note, if you cannot provide proof of lawful status:
•    you may only apply for the Standard License or ID card

PROTEST: Section 66-2-17 NMSA 1978 of the Motor Vehicle Code provides a formal process for resolving disputes. Protests must be submitted within 30 days of the mailing or verbal notification of the action proposed to be taken by the Department. The protest must be in writing. For further information on how to protest refer to Taxation and Revenue Department FYI-702. Click here for the form.

Documents not in English must be submitted with written translations of those documents in English. The translation must be certified by the translator as a full and complete translation of the document.

MVD agents may not accept any document in a language other than English without a full and complete translation that is certified as such by the translator.

Some questions and answers (Q&A) may be helpful:

Q:   Does the translator need to have any specific credentials as a translator?
A:   No, but the translator should provide his or her printed name and contact information as well as a signed statement certifying that the translation is a full and complete translation of the document submitted.

Q:   If the translation also has to be notarized, can the translator and the notary be the same person? 
A:   No. According to the Secretary of State’s Office, “Notaries should not notarize documents on which they are a signer or in which they are named.”

Q:   What constitutes a “full and complete” translation? 
A:   The presence and location of any seals should be noted, as should all signatures, but the seals themselves need not be translated. All other language must be translated. An “abstract” or “abstract translation” is not a full and complete translation and cannot be accepted.

Q:   Can a notary notarize a document that he or she has translated?
A:   No. A notary should not notarize a document on which he is a signer or in which he is named;  and a notary cannot notarize his own signature.

Q:   What are the basic elements that must be included for a notarization to be valid?
A:   The notary must sign and affix his or her official notary seal (which may be a rubber stamp or an embossed seal) and must state the expiration date of the notary’s license.

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

You will also be required to take the following tests:

  • Eye Test – Persons with a current driver license from another state or country, or those applying for a first-time New Mexico driver license, are required to pass an eye exam.
  • Written Test – Persons applying for a first-time New Mexico driver license, or those with licenses expired for one year or more, must pass the required written test(s). This test is not required if you have a current out-of-state driver license.  Persons with a current out-of-country license are required to take the written test. State offices typically do not allow the written test to be taken after 3pm to ensure the applicant has sufficient time to complete the test.
  • Road Test – Persons applying for a first-time New Mexico driver license, or those with licenses expired over five years, must pass the required road test(s). This test is not required if you have a current out-of-state driver license.A license will not be issued if your driving privileges are suspended, revoked or denied by this state or any other state. You must first resolve the suspension or revocation of your license.

Fees for a New Mexico Driver License

The fee is $18.00 for a four-year license or $34.00 for an eight-year license. Drivers who are 79 years old or older must renew their licenses yearly, but they are not charged renewal fees.

State law now requires a DWI records check on all drivers moving to New Mexico from out-of-state. To pay for the records check, those drivers are charged an additional one-time $15.00 fee, increasing their total to $33.00 for a four-year license or $49.00 for an eight-year license.

DWI-related Requirements

Any person, 25 years of age and over, who has ever been convicted of DWI and who is applying for his or her first New Mexico driver license, must also submit evidence of having successfully completed New Mexico’s approved DWI prevention and education program, None for the Road, or another state’s equivalent program.

The None for the Road class is administered by UNM Continuing Education, not by the Motor Vehicle Division. Information about the class and a class application are available online or by calling 505-277-0051 (Albuquerque and surrounding areas) or call toll -free at 1-877- 663-7465. Business hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday. You may also obtain a ‘None for the Road’ flyer and application directly from any local Motor Vehicle Field Office.