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

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Any resident of New Mexico who wants to operate a motor vehicle on public roads in the state must have a valid drivers license. Therefore, drivers license applicants must meet the age requirement and provide the needed documentation at the nearest New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD). In addition, applicants must pay the required fees and pass all drivers license exams, which consist of vision, written and road tests.

Did you know? Research shows that 7 out of 10 drivers fail the written test on their first try. Increase your chances to get a passing score on the written test by completing our online practice driving tests.

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

  • Visit an NM MVD location.
  • Present the required documentation.
  • Pass an eye test.
  • Pass a written test.
  • Pass a road test.
  • Pay the NM drivers license fees.

The sections below cover everything you need to know on how to get a drivers license in New Mexico.

Types of Drivers Licenses in New Mexico

New Mexico residents who want to operate a motor vehicle on public roads in the state must familiarize themselves with the types of driver's licenses available. The NM Motor Vehicle Division offers the following types of drivers licenses:

  • Class A, B or C Commercial Drivers License (CDL) - Issued to drivers who operate commercial vehicles with a weight of more than 26,001 pounds.
  • Class D drivers license - Issued to drivers who operate vehicles with a weight less than 26,001 pounds.
  • Class E drivers license - Issued to drivers who operate vehicles exempt from CDL requirements (recreational, farm, firefighting and military vehicles).
  • Motorcycle license - Issued to drivers who operate motorcycles.

First-Time Driver (Under 18) in New Mexico

First-time drivers license applicants who are younger than the age of 18 must enroll in a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program and fulfill the requirements set by the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. Those requirements include presenting certain documentation, paying the required fees and passing a series of exams, such as: an eye test, a written test and a road test. Once you complete all these requirements, you will then be issued a drivers license in New Mexico.

For more information, visit our Learner's Permit page.

New Mexico New Drivers (Over 18)

NM Driver's Study Guide and Driver's Practice Test

First-time drivers license applicants are required to pass a New Mexico written test. Therefore, driving applicants can start getting prepared by studying the New Mexico Driver Manual. You can also check your knowledge taking our practice driving tests, which contain similar questions to those on the actual exam.

How to Apply for Drivers Licenses in NM

To apply for drivers license in New Mexico, residents must be at least 15 years of age and present the following documentation:

  • Proof of identification number.
  • Proof of identity.
  • Two proofs of New Mexico residency.

NM Eligibility Requirements

New Mexico residents need to comply with certain requirements in order to get drivers licenses. Driving applicants must be at least 15 years of age when enrolling in a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program, and they must submit the required documents to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. In addition, drivers license applicants also need to pass three examinations: a vision test, a written test and a road test.

NM Written/Driving Test

The New Mexico written knowledge test is part of three examinations that each drivers license applicant must pass in order to get driving privileges. The written test contains questions on traffic laws and road rules that each applicant must know in order to safely operate a motor vehicle in the state. Drivers license applicants who take a driving practice test are more likely to pass the written test on their first try.

NOTE: Drivers who currently hold an out-of-state drivers license are not required to take the written test.

NM Driving Test

The road test is the final exam in the drivers license application process. It examines the applicant's ability to safely operate a motor vehicle under different circumstances. You will be tested on the following select maneuvers:

  • Starting the vehicle.
  • Accelerating and steering the vehicle.
  • Speeding the vehicle.
  • Bringing the vehicle to a stop.
  • Scanning other traffic participants.
  • Using your lights.

NOTE: Drivers who currently hold an out-of-state drivers license are not required to take the road test.

New Mexico New Resident

New residents must apply for drivers licenses in New Mexico immediately after they move to the state. The drivers license application process can begin at your nearest NM Motor Vehicle Division. Driving applicants will be required to present certain documentation, pass a series of exams and pay the applicable fees in order to get drivers licenses.

You will first be issued a temporary license, and your out-of-state hole-pinched license can be used for up to 45 days.

Replace Drivers License in New Mexico

Any damaged, stolen or lost drivers license in New Mexico must be replaced at the nearest NM MVD office. For detailed information on how to replace drivers licenses, follow this link.

Locate a DMV in New Mexico

Browse through our NM MVD locations page to obtain phone numbers, addresses and working hours of every DMV branch throughout the state.

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