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How to Apply for a New Driver's License in New Mexico

You can apply for a new driver's license at any [ Motor Vehicle Division] in New Mexico. Obtain a New Mexico Driver's Handbook to familiarize with the driving rules and regulations.


Following are the basic requirements for applying for a New Mexico driver's license:

  1. Applicants must be 15 years or older. For those between 15-17 years it is necessary to take a driver's education course.
  2. First time applicants between the ages of 18 to 24 need to take a mandatory "None for the Road" self-study DWI awareness class before applying for a license. Please note that the course is provided by the UNM Continuing Education and not by the MVD. Further information is available online. You can avail the same information Monday through Friday (8 A.M to 5 P.M) at 277-0051 in Albuquerque and surrounding areas, or toll free at (877) 663-7465.
  3. Any individual under 18 should provide parental consent and must complete the graduated driver license process. For additional details, see Beginner Drivers and/or Instructional Permits for Beginner Drivers (also called as Learner's Permit).
  4. Everyone must pass the knowledge, vision, and driving tests. See Practice Tests and Driver's Handbook for more information on the written examination. Driver education programs can help individuals prepare for their road test.
  5. Applicants must provide acceptable proof of identification.
  6. Applicants must provide two proofs of New Mexico residency.
  7. Applicants must also provide a proof of identification number. It can be any of the following:
    • Social Security Number.
    • A verification document from Social Security confirming your SSN.
    • A valid passport.
    • Matricula Consular issued after February 1, 2005 by the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque or El Paso.
    • Individual Tax Identification Number (ITIN) card or the letter from the IRS issuing your ITIN.
  8. A complete list of all required identification documents is available [ here].


New residents from other states will have to surrender their old license. The documentation required to obtain a new license will be the same as for first time applicants. A license holder from another state is required to take a fresh eye test exam. A written test has to be given for all applicants who are applying for a first time driver's license or for those whose licenses have expired for one year or more. Road tests are also mandatory for first time applicants or those with licenses expired for over 5 years. Issue of license is compliant to absence of any penalties from the other state. Non-US citizens visiting can drive using their valid licenses. It would be better to have an international license issued by your home country. If you plan to become a resident in New Mexico you will need a New Mexico license. The procedure for applying for this is the same as for new applicants.


The cost for a non-commercial (Class D) New Mexico driver's license is $18.00 for a four-year license or $34.00 for an eight-year license.


The validity of a New Mexico driver's license is for a period of either 4 or 8 years from the date of issue.


With certain restrictions, an individual can legally drive in New Mexico with a learner's license. See more information on learner's permit here.


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