How to Apply for a New Motorcycle License in New Mexico
A New Mexico motorcycle license is one of the essential documents needed for all motorcycle operators in the state. Motorcycles of all shapes and sizes are operated differently from other types of vehicles, and so it is critical that you are up-to-date with the relevant rules and regulations in your area. In New Mexico, you will need a standard driver’s license with a special endorsement or a unique motorcycle license to legally operate a two or three-wheeled vehicle on state roads.
However, getting a motorbike license is not always quite as simple as just getting your standard license, due to the additional testing and information required. Depending on your age and experience, you may be subject to taking special safety courses in order to get your license, permit or endorsement. This helpful article will help drivers to learn about the state Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), and the different types of licenses that will allow you to legally operate a motorcycle today.
What is a New Mexico motorcycle endorsement?
You will need a motorcycle endorsement if you are already a licensed driver in the state but wish to expand your driving capabilities with a motorcycle. Residents who wish to legally operate a motorcycle must have a standard driver license, but may need to get one of three different endorsements in order for that license to cover motorcycle operation. These include:
- W endorsements, which cover bikes with engines of 100 or more cubic centimeters piston displacement (cc).
- Y endorsements, which cover bikes with engines of between 50 and 100cc.
- Z endorsements, which cover bikes with engines of less than 50cc.
You can also get an NM bike license separately, if you do not already have a drivers license. However, you will only be able to drive motorcycles with this type of license, and standard vehicles will still require a standard license.
Motorcycle Permit Requirements in New Mexico
The motorcycle permit age in New Mexico is actually much more lenient than in many other states. To get a Y or Z endorsement along with a restricted permit in the state, you will need to be at least 13 years of age or older. This is younger than in most states, although drivers with this type of permit still may not carry any passengers. If you would like a W endorsement with an instructional permit, you must be 15 years of age or older and have completed a required New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic Rider Course or taken the MVD road and knowledge tests.
To get a motorcycle permit, you will need to provide the MVD with:
- Any active drivers licenses or permits that you already own.
- Proof of completion of a Basic Rider Course, if you wish to waive your road and knowledge test requirements.
- A parent or guardian’s signature, if you are younger than 18 years of age.
- Documents proving your name, date of birth, Social Security Number, New Mexico address and U.S. citizenship.
New Mexico Motorcycle Permit Rules and Restrictions
If you are wondering, “What does a motorcycle permit allow you to do?” then you may be surprised to learn about all of the different capabilities of this document. Drivers who are 13 years of age or older can legally operate a motorcycle on state roads, as long as they have the right documentation. However, they must wear a helmet at all times while operating their motorcycle until their 18th birthday.
In addition, NM motorcycle learners permit holders who have not yet turned 18 years of age may not carry any passengers while they are riding a motorcycle. Unless you are driving with a licensed adult, you may not use your permit to drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. Finally, if you have not completed the required training program or MVD tests, then you may also not be able to operate an off-road motorcycle without parental supervision.
How to Get a Motorcycle Permit in New Mexico
Getting a DMV motorcycle permit is possible only by applying in person at your nearest MVD office. This process will require submitting the applicable documents discussed above, as well as providing proof of a completed drivers education course in the state, passing a vision exam, passing any of the MVD exams not waived by your training program, paying a permit fee and more. You will receive your new permit from the MVD, or simply a notice of your endorsement if you already have a driver’s license.
New Mexico Motorcycle License Requirements
The motorcycle license age is no different than the permit age, as you must be 13 years of age or older to get a Y or Z endorsement in the state, and 15 or older to get a W endorsement. As long as you are at least 13 years of age and have a valid motorcycle permit, or 15 years of age and have a valid drivers license, you may be eligible to apply for a full license to operate a motorcycle.
The New Mexico motorbike licensing age rules above do still apply, such as only being able to carry passengers once you are licensed and turn 18 years of age. You will also need to prepare all of the documents listed above for your license application, along with your physical permit document.
How to Get a Motorcycle License in New Mexico
You can learn where to get a motorcycle license by visiting any of the dozens of MVD offices scattered across the state. If you completed vision and other forms of testing in the process of getting a motorcycle-specific permit in New Mexico, you will not need to complete those again for your license. However, many New Mexico residents skip the permit process, and simply wish to add these endorsements to their existing drivers licenses. If this is the case, then you will need to bring all of the required documents, fees, testing materials and more to the MVD when applying for your new license.
If all of your New Mexico M license documents and tests are accepted by the MVD, you will receive your new license in the mail. Applicants who are 18 years of age or older are not required to complete the otherwise-required safety course, or wear helmets while they ride.
Getting a New Mexico Motorcycle License as a New Resident
Having a DMV motorcycle license from another state does not mean that you are automatically allowed to drive a motorcycle in New Mexico if you are a new resident of the state. Instead, you will need to obtain an in-state motorcycle credential in order to be in adherence to rules and regulations. Upon moving to New Mexico, you must provide the MVD your old license or permits, take the necessary tests listed above, turn in the appropriate documents and fees and wait for your new license to be printed. However, you may receive a temporary license to use while waiting for this new license.
Required Motorcycle Classes in New Mexico
You will only need motorcycle classes in New Mexico if you are younger than 18 years of age, and wish to operate a motorcycle in the state. Perhaps the most famous provider of these courses, the MSF Basic Rider Course, is designed around teaching residents about how to properly mount and ride a motorcycle, turning, braking, changing lanes, wind management, insurance requirements and much more.
However, an NM motorcycle safety course may also be necessary if you are 18 years of age or older, and do not wish to take the road test upon applying for a W, Y or Z endorsement through the MVD. Different courses can teach you many different important topics, and there are many primarily in-person options available for New Mexico drivers to get hands-on driving education.
New Mexico DMV Motorcycle Test Details
A New Mexico DMV motorcycle test can be comprised of many different topics, and you will need to pass both of them if you are younger than 18 years of age and do not already have a drivers license. Registering for these tests is easy, and simply involves visiting your nearest NM MVD office and setting up a test date.
Motorcycle Written Test
Whether it is for your motorcycle permit test or the test for your actual license, there is a mandatory written knowledge exam for all motorcycle drivers in the state. The information on this test is outlined in the MVD’s official Driver Manual, and the test itself can be taken at any participating MVD office. It covers basic rules of the road, hypothetical driving situations and more.
Motorcycle Road Test
A motorcycle driving test is only required for drivers who are younger than 18 years of age, or those who are older than 18 but do not wish to undergo a safety course. This test will involve driving a motorcycle in front of a licensed instructor, and performing a number of driving maneuvers. It may also involve driving a set route, which could include residential and highway travel.
Do you need a motorcycle license to drive a scooter in New Mexico?
Most DMV motorcycle rules and regulations only apply to vehicles with over 50cc of engine power. If your scooter or moped has less than 50cc and cannot go over 30 miles per hour on level ground, you do not need a license to drive it. However, there are some motorcycles in New Mexico that have fewer than 50cc but still go faster than the limit, which is where you may need to get a Z endorsement.
You do still need a valid standard drivers license to drive a motorized scooter in the state.
New Mexico Motorcycle License Costs
To figure out your NM motorcycle license cost, you will need to determine which of the following aspects specifically apply to you. Some of the possible costs from the MVD include:
- The $10 permit with endorsements fee.
- The $18 four-year license fee.
- The $34 eight-year license fee.
- The $15 records check fee.
New Mexico Motorcycle License Forms
Note: DMV forms change regularly. The forms provided above are current based on the date of writing.
- Driver Procedures Manual from mvd.newmexico.gov
- New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program from mvd.newmexico.gov
- Apply for a New Driving Credential from mvd.newmexico.gov