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You may obtain a copy of the New Mexico Driver Manual from a local MVD office, or CLICK HERE to go to the MVD New Mexico website for the latest edition and print a copy.

1. What is required for a teen driver to obtain an Instructional Permit (referred to as a learners permit)?

  • Be at least 15-years of age
  • Obtain parental or guardian consent
  • Provide identification and other documentation required by MVD i.e. social security card, certified birth certificate and have proof of enrolled in a state approved driver education program (Referral Card)
    Pass a written and vision test
  • Pay an application fee
  • The permit is issued for 4-years; however, the state approved driver education program must be completed within 1-year from issue of the permit.

2. Once teen student has obtained an instructional permit and completed the state approved driver education program, what are the next steps to obtaining a NM license?

  • Teen driver must complete the DWI Training, typically included with the state approved driver education program.
  • Teen driver must hold the instructional permit for at least 6-months, unless 30-days is added for each adjudication or conviction of a traffic violation.
  • Will need Instructional Permit (learners permit)
  • Drive with an adult 21 or older who has been licensed for a minimum of 3-years
  • Teen driver must complete 50-hours of supervised driving practice, including 10-hours at night; a parent or guardian must certify in writing that these hours have been completed.
  • Provide the driving log
  • After completing the previous three steps, teen driver is eligible for a “Provisional License”.
  • Teen driver must be a minimum 15 ½ years of age to obtain a Provisional License.
  • Teen driver must pass a behind-the-wheel test, aka Road Test, provided by state approved driver education instructors or the NM State Motor Vehicle Division for a fee.
  • Pay the licensing fee

3. What conditions come with a NM Provisional License?

  • Teen driver must hold the Provisional License for at least 12-months, unless 30-days is added for each adjudication or conviction of a traffic violation.
  • Teen driver may not have more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member, unless a licensed driver age 21 or older is in the vehicle.
  • Teen driver may not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of midnight and 5:00am, unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.
  • Exceptions are permitted for school, employment, family and medical need or religious functions (licensees must carry a statement from the appropriate school or religious official, employer, doctor or parent/guardian).

4. What does a teen need to obtain a NM Full Unrestricted License?

  • Complete #3 successfully
  • Have not had any traffic violations pending at the time of application for a driver’s license
  • Have not been found guilty or have an offense pending involving the use of alcohol or drugs during the provisional period.
  • Pay the licensing fee

5. What does the state approved driver education program require?

  • 30-hours of classroom instruction with 6-hours included for DWI prevention, impairments and distractions education along with information on organ donation
  • If program does not offer behind-the-wheel instruction, 56-hours of classroom sessions is required.
  • Minimum of 7-hours behind-the-wheel training
  • Some programs will include the behind-the-wheel test, aka Road Test.
  • Student must correctly answer at least 70% of the questions to pass the final exam.
  • Once student has passed, a TSB Certificate of Completion is provided.

6. When should a teen driver be added to the auto insurance policy as a driver?

  • Depended on the insurance carrier, the teen driver may need to be added at the time of obtaining a Provisional License. Other carriers may hold off until the teen driver has a Full License, recommend checking with your insurance carrier.

7. Is there a discount on auto insurance for the teen driver who has taken a state approved driver education program?

  • Some insurance carriers do provide a discount, recommend checking with your auto insurance carrier. You will need to provided a copy of the Certificate of Completion.

NOTE: Don’t drink and drive; even a .02 percent concentration of alcohol in one’s blood – barely one drink – could result in a 6-month license revocation for drivers under age 21.
8. What is required for an adult, 18 years of age or older, who has never driven and wants to obtain a NM Full License?

  • Proof of NM residency
  • Complete the DWI Training provided by the NM State Motor Vehicle Division
  • Pass a written and vision test
  • Pass a behind-the-wheel test, aka Road Test, provided by state approved driver education instructors or the NM State Motor Vehicle Division.
  • Pay the licensing fee

9. If you have moved to New Mexico, what is required to obtain a Full License?

  • Present to the NM Motor Vehicle Division:
  • 1-document proving your Social Security number
  • 1-document proving your identity
  • 2-documents proving your NM residency
  • Pass a vision exam
  • Surrender your out-of-state driver’s license
  • Pass a written exam, if your out-of-state drivers license is expired for 1-year or longer
  • Pass the behind-the-wheel test aka Road Test, if your out-of-state driver’s license has expired for more than 5-years
  • Complete the DWI training and pay the records check fee
  • Pay the licensing fee

10. What is the court mandated driving safety course, sometimes referred to as “traffic school”?
In many cases, drivers who are ticketed for safety violations are ordered by the court to attend a driving safety course certified by the New Mexico Traffic Safety Bureau with Coach Al’s Driving instructors approved and certified to teach the course.
Classroom hours may vary as mandated by a NM county specific court judge for traffic school resulting from a traffic violation. Although completion of the class does not remove the fine, it typically eliminates the traffic violation from an individual’s driving record. Circumstances do vary. Because this course is mandated, a discount to auto insurance rates for a driver safety course may not apply, recommending checking with your insurance agent. 66-10-11. Driving safety training considered by the court. (1993) In addition to other sentencing or penalty provisions of law, when a person is convicted of a penalty assessment misdemeanor or other misdemeanor committed while operating a motor vehicle, each court is authorized to and shall consider ordering that offender to take any driving safety course certified by the bureau but shall not specify a particular provider.



Class size limited to 25 students 

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