Car Registration in New Mexico is handled by the state Motor Vehicle Division, or MVD. Before a vehicle registration can be processed, the car must have a New Mexico title. Because it is a "Vehicle Plate to Owner" state, NM car owners are responsible for removing the license plate from a vehicle that has been sold, gifted or traded in. Within 30 days of the purchase date, the owner must take the tag to the NM MVD to have the plate destroyed or reassigned. To avoid penalties, drivers should take care of car registration promptly whenever ownership changes. Learn more about New Mexico auto registration services by studying the information below.
New Mexico Vehicle Registration Information Required
NM car registration agents require similar documentation whether the car being registered is new or used. However, new car registration requires a couple of different papers and those are described below. No matter which type of car you are registering, bring the following documents:
- MVD Form 10002, Application for Title and Registration.
- Car registration fee payment in the form of cash or a check.
- Proof of auto insurance that meets the state's minimum liability requirements.
New Mexico car registry applicants are expected to operate their vehicles with a certain amount of liability auto insurance. All drivers seeking auto registration must have $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person, $50,000 for bodily injury or death of two or more persons, and $10,000 to cover property damage in any one accident.
Where to Register a Car in New Mexico for the First Time
All first-time car registrations in New Mexico must be processed in-person at one of the dozens of MVD Field Offices located throughout the state. Mail-order car registry transactions are limited to registration renewals.
How to Register a New Car in New Mexico
Drivers getting car registration documents for a new car need to provide the information listed above and the original Manufacturer's Certificate of Origin (MCO), not a copy of it. A New Mexico vehicle registration packet must also include the original dealer's invoice or a certified copy and an odometer statement. This can be the odometer mileage statement located on the back of the MCO, or applicants can complete MVD Form 10187, Odometer Mileage Statement.
Applicants wondering, "Do I need emissions testing to register my car in NM?" will be glad to know that in most cases, the answer is no. New Mexico's registration of vehicle regulations place tight limits on who must undergo emissions testing. Only out-of-state vehicles being registered in NM and newly-registering vehicles purchased in-state need to have the emissions tested, and that is only if the owner lives in Bernalillo County or commutes to work there more than 60 days a year.
How to Register a Used Car in New Mexico
Applicants seeking motor vehicle registration on a used car need to provide all of the information listed in the New Mexico Vehicle Registration Information Required section above in addition to the following documents. NM DMV car registration applicants must bring the current Certificate of Title with the Assignment of Title section completed and signed by the former owner of the car. This must be an original form; no copies will be accepted. Used car registration applicants must also provide an odometer statement that proves they agreed with the odometer reading at the time of the sale. Either complete the Assignment of Title section on the back of MVD Form 10009, Certificate of Title Bill of Sale, or use MVD Form 10187, Odometer Disclosure Statement.
To get car registration on vehicles coming to New Mexico from another state, the applicant must have proof of a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection to verify that the number on the paperwork matches the actual vehicle being registered. This car registry procedure is usually done by an agent at an MVD Field Office, but some offices do not perform VIN inspections. Call ahead to schedule a VIN inspection appointment and learn if this service is offered near you.
Temporary New Mexico Vehicle Registration
New Mexicans wondering how to get car registration for a temporary purpose can choose from four types of NM MVD temporary registration permits for individuals.
- Retail Permit: This temporary New Mexico car registration is good for 30 days and allows the applicant to operate the vehicle while waiting for action by the MVD regarding a registration or titling issue.
- Out-of-State Transportation Permit: Good for 2 to 10 business days, this car registry document allows out-of-state residents to purchase a car in New Mexico and drive it back to their home state for titling and registration.
- Demonstration Permit: Allows individuals to demonstrate a vehicle for resale purposes. It is valid for up to 5 business days.
- Request for Lien Holder Title: Temporary car registry applicants must complete Form MVD-10234, Request for Lien Holder Title if they are moving to New Mexico from another state and need to title a vehicle whose Certificate of Title is in the possession of a lien holder. The applicant keeps the pink copy of this three-part form and it serves as a temporary permit until full registration can take place.
To mail in NM car registration documents or visit the main MVD office, use this address:
New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division
Joseph Montoya Building
P.O. Box 1028
1100 South St. Francis Drive
Santa Fe 87504-1028
For vehicle registration information and answers to your car registration questions, call (888) MVD-INFO or (888) 683-4636.