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New Drivers License in New Mexico
Who needs to obtain a License?
Anyone over the age of 15 years old wishing to drive on public roads in New Mexico must first has a driver’s license. This includes those wishing to drive for a living or operate a motorcycle. All driver licenses are secure to protect New Mexico residents from identity theft therefore all new residents must apply for a new license.
Which License is for you?
You will need a specific class license that will give you authorization to operate the type of motor vehicle you wish to drive:
- A minor’s Provisional License and Class D license are used for private use of a vehicle on public roads.
- You can also receive a CDL or commercial drivers license if you wish to operate a vehicle for a living.
- A Motorcycle license allows you to operate a motorcycle or moped on the public roads.
What are the requirements for getting a License?
To help assure fewer accidents, New Mexico has created specific requirements for those who are applying for a first-time driver’s license. The programs are to help prepare you for defensive and safe driving behind the wheel:
- If you are under 18, you must go through the New Mexico Graduated license program as the number one cause of death for teenagers is motor accidents.
- For new drivers between the ages of 18 and 24, you must complete the None for the Road DWI awareness course during your application process. This is a self-taught course and you may download the workbook online from the New Mexico DMV website.
Over the age of 25 does not have specific requirements unless you have been convicted of a DWI in which case you must also complete the none for the road course. New Mexico is in compliance with the REAL ID act so be prepared for a more strict documentation policy. Each piece of identification must show your full legal name and match so it’s a good idea to double check before applying. All new drivers license applicants, as well as new residents must supply the following documents:
- Proof of identification
- An additional piece of identity Verification
- Proof of residency
What tests and how many questions do I need to take to get a license?
Each New Mexico driver’s license program has several tests you must pass in order to receive your license. The number of questions on the test and the required passing score depend on the type of license you are applying for. Each type of vehicle you wish to operate also has specific testing programs to assure you can operate it safely including commercial vehicles and motorcycles:
- Eye Tests are required for all new and renewing drivers apply for any type of license in New Mexico.
- Written Tests – Any person taking the written test for the Class D or M license must pass with a 70% score out of 25 questions.
- A road test is required for specific applicants including minors applying for their first license. You must supply the vehicle used and it has to be the same class as the license you are applying for. So if you are applying for a CDL, you must supply a commercial vehicle for testing. There are specific guidelines for the routes taken and the requirements can be found on the New Mexico DMV website to use as a practice guide.
Taking a Driver’s Education Course
New driver’s license applicants over the age of 15 must complete a driver’s education course in order to apply for an instructional permit. The driver’s education school must be licensed by traffic safety bureau and the course must include a DWI prevention and education program. Applicants between the ages of 18 and 24 must complete the none for the road
Preparing for the Written Test
All of the questions you will find on the written test are generated from the Drivers Manual so this is your first area to study. Re-read these manuals several times to assure you fully understand all traffic laws, rules and regulations. In addition, cheat sheets offered by DMVcheatsheets.com offer valuable study information to help you better prepare for the test. You will also find multiple-choice practice tests with questions identical to those found on the actual MVD test. You will find many helpful articles to assist you in knowing what to cover in the handbook.
Scheduling an Appointment
You may schedule an appointment at any local field office to complete the application process. This will help you to save time and avoid long lines.
What to Bring on Test Day
Depending on the test that you are taking, you will need several documents with you:
- If you are testing for your learners permit, provisional license or Class D license you will need to bring your four documents of proof of identity, citizenship and residency. Non-citizens need to bring proof of legal presence in the US in replacement of the Social Security card requirement.
- Minors applying for a graduated license will need evidence that they have completed a driver’s education course.
- You will also need to bring the appropriate cost of a license in the forms of a check, cash, money order or credit card. In addition, all new residents of the state must be subjected to a DWI records check for their first in-state license which is an addition fee of $15. The four year license has a records check fee of $33 and the eight year will be $49.
Proof of Insurance
When completing the road test portion of testing, you will be required to supply your own vehicle so the state of New Mexico requires proof of minimum liability insurance coverage in order to complete the process.
Taking the Drivers Test
The road test is the cause of most testing jitters during the driver’s license process. Many people fail this test the first time due to a lack of preparation and nerves. In order to assure you pass on your first try:
- Study your Drivers Manual to fully understand all traffic laws. In addition, read helpful articles DMVcheatsheets.com to develop a game plan for on the road practice time and tips for taking the test.
- Use your cheat sheets as a guide for traffic signs, laws and rules of the road you should practice while driving.
- Those practicing with a learners permit should take full advantage of the six months practice time you have before testing. The minimum requirement is 50 hours behind the wheel but practice as much as possible.
They key to passing your drivers test on the first try is to know your traffic laws and how to be a safe driver and most importantly, stay calm during testing.
Taking the Written Test
Your written test will consist of multiple-choice questions based on the information found in your Drivers Manual so the most important aspect of preparation is to study the manual. This will assure you fully understand all traffic laws, rules and regulations found on the test. In addition, cheat sheets DMVcheatsheets.com serve as a guide filled with important information found on the test. After studying your manual and cheat sheets, be sure to take several practice tests found on DMVcheatsheets.com
Renewing your New Mexico Drivers License
Who needs to renew their License?
Drivers licenses in New Mexico expire on your birthday either in 4 or 8 years depending on which you have chosen when originally applying. The cost of renewal will depend on the length of time your licensed is issued. If you are renewing a 4 year license, the cost will be $18, and $34 for an 8 year license.
How do I renew my NM License?
Unless the driver meets special requirements to renew online, all licenses must be renewed at your local MVD office during business hours. You will need to bring your current license and one other piece of identification on your renewal day. The New Mexico MVD issues secure drivers licenses to protect from identity theft, so your license must be processed through the MVD and sent by mail within 45 days. Your old license will be hole punched after the renewal process is completed to assure your safety.
What tests do I need to take to renew?
You may be required to take the vision, written test or in some cases the road test. If it has been expired for over 5 years, you will need to take the road test. If you are renewing online, you will need the most updated Adobe Reader, your current license and one additional piece of identity in preparation for renewal. In addition, you will need the amount of your renewal fee in the form of a visa or MasterCard, check, cash or money order.
What is the cost to renew my License?
The renewal fee for a 4 year license is $18, and $34 for an 8 year license. There is no cost for those over 75 wishing to renew their license.
Steps to renew your license
Renewing your license can be a quick and easy process if you are prepared:
- Gather your current license and one other piece of identity make an appointment online to save yourself from waiting in line.
- Prepare the appropriate renewal fees of $18 for a four-year license or $34 for an eight-year. The DMV accepts Visa or Master online as acceptable payment. In office you must pay with cash, Check or money order.
- Provide the required proofs, take the vision test and a new photograph and pay the renewal fees to complete the process.
Getting a New Mexico Learners Permit
Who needs a learners permit?
New drivers between the ages of 15 and 18 may apply for a learners permit at your local MVD branch office. All minors applying for a license are required to drive on a learners permit before proceeding to a graduated license to assist in preparing them for safe driving on the road.
Requirements to getting a Learners Permit
In order to apply for a learners permit, you must be at least 15 years old and a resident of New Mexico. You will be expected to provide proof of identity with a primary document, as well as additional identification from the secondary list. In addition you will need one proof of residency. Drivers under 18 must also provide proof of enrollment in a driver’s education course.
Driving with a NM Learners Permit
New drivers must use the learners permit for at least 6 months before applying for a driver’s license and this time will be extended 30 days for each traffic violation received. All practice driving must be done with the supervision of a licensed driver over the age of 21 that has held a valid license for 3 years. A minimum of 50 recorded hours of driving must be completed, 10 of which are to be at night.
Cost of a New Mexico Learners Permit
The cost of an instructional permit is $10 and it is good for two years.
Steps to Getting a New Mexico Learners Permit
In order to get your learners permit, you must apply in person at your local DMV branch office. Before beginning the process, download the online Drivers Manual and study the traffic laws, rules and regulations. Follow these steps for a quick and hassle free process:
Gather together all of your required documentation and make an appointment online at least one hour before the office closes to allow time for testing. Once prepared, you will follow these steps to apply:
- Visit the branch office at your scheduled time and fill out a learners permit application
- Provide the clerk with your application and proof for identity and residency. In addition, you will need documentation that you are enrolled in a driver’s education course.
- Pass the vision test, and take your permit written test www.dmvcheatsheets.com. You must receive a minimum score of 70% to continue.
- You will be issued a paper learners permit that expires two years from the date of issuing.