Before you take your motorcycle on the open roads, you must first prove that you’re financially able to cover the damages your ride might cause should an accident happen. That’s why getting motorcycle insurance for your vehicle must be your first priority.

Two-Wheeled Vehicles

Not all two-wheeled vehicles that have motors are defined as motorcycles in the state of New Mexico. If your ride is not a motorcycle, you won’t be required to register, title, or insure it.

  • A motorcycle is a vehicle that has an engine of 50 cc and can travel 30 mph (even if the engine is 49 cc). A motor scooter that meets these criteria also requires insurance.
  • Mopeds/scooters don’t need to be registered or insured. Mopeds/scooters have the following characteristics:
    • No more than three wheels.
    • An engine less than 50 cc.
    • An automatic transmission.
    • Can’t travel faster than 30 mph.

In case moped/scooter meets the motorcycle criteria, you might need to register and insure it as well. For more information on this contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (888) 683-4636.

Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Insurance covers any damage you might cause with your motorcycle, in other words, it protects the other drivers, you and your assets from getting liquidated in the event of a bad accident. The state of New Mexico requires you to buy the following minimum liability amounts:

  • $10,000 per accident for property damage.
  • $20,000 for bodily injury or death of one person.
  • $50,000 per accident for bodily injury to or death of two or more people.

You have always an option to purchase more than this. Don’t forget that uninsured motorist coverage and collision coverage are also available. If you have a loan on your motorcycle, the loan company might require you to get more insurance. See the form at the top of the page. You can also get insurance by using it, and you can save money on motorcycle insurance for the future.

Helmet Requirements

Motorcycle riders under 18 years of age must wear helmets. To find out if you can get a discount for wearing a helmet, or taking a safety course, contact your insurance company.

Financial Responsibility

In New Mexico you can prove that you have established financial responsibility by using one of these methods:

  • Pay $60,000 in cash or a surety bond with the state treasurer’s office.
  • Purchase liability insurance.

Proof of Insurance

After getting motorcycle insurance you will be issued a proof of insurance card. Make sure this card is with you while you ride, as you might need to show it upon request.


New Mexico has the highest national percentage of uninsured drivers (29%, according to the Insurance Information Institute). So, if you ride without insurance you could face the following penalties:

  • Criminal charges.
  • Fines of $300 and up.
  • Getting your registration canceled.

Note: In case an officer stops you and you simply forgot your insurance card, just take the proof of your insurance to the courts and ask for the citation to be dismissed.

Monitoring Drivers

New Mexico has cut down on its uninsured driver rate by using a monitoring system. The New Mexico Insurance Identification Database (IIDB) allows insurers to tell the state when you let your insurance drop and when you have coverage.

If you drop your insurance, the state will notify you to do something about that. By not doing so, you are facing the abovementioned penalties.

Last updated on Thursday, October 15 2020.