Who is required to obtain a New Mexico driver license?

Anyone who wants to operate a motor vehicle on public roadways in the state.

I moved to New Mexico and I hold a valid out-of-state driver license. Do I need a NM driver license?

Yes, you must obtain a New Mexico driver's license once you establish your residence in the state.

Can I drive if I am younger than 18 years old?

Yes, you may start driving under the Graduated Driver License program.

Which documents are required to apply for a driver license in New Mexico?

  • Proof of identity;
  • Social Security Number;
  • 2 proofs of NM residency.
If you are under 18, you must also provide proof of completion of an approved driver education program. If you are between 18 and 24, you must complete a “None for the Road” class.

Can undocumented immigrants apply for a New Mexico driver's license?

Yes, unauthorized immigrants can apply for a New Mexico driver's license, if the required documentation is provided. The law allows the Department of Motor Vehicles to accept tax identification numbers as a substitute for a Social Security number regardless of immigration status.

Can I sign my application if I am younger than 18?

No, a parent or legal guardian must sign your instructional permit application.


How is the Graduated Driver License program structured?

You must pass three levels to gain full driving privileges:
  • Instructional permit;
  • Provisional license;
  • Unrestricted Driver License.

What are the requirements to obtain a NM instructional permit?

  • Be at least 15 years of age;
  • Be enrolled in and attend a driver education course;
  • Pass the vision and knowledge tests.

How long should I hold my instructional permit?

For at least 6 months.

How can I practice driving with my instructional permit in New Mexico?

You may drive only if accompanied by a licensed driver of at least 21 years of age, who has been licensed for at least 3 years and occupies the seat beside you.

How can I upgrade to a provisional license?

  • Hold your instructional permit for at least 6 months and reach at least 15 years and 6 months of age;
  • Complete at least 50 hours of supervised practice driving (including at least 10 at nighttime);
  • Provide a certification of your driving practice signed by a parent or legal guardian;
  • Pass a road test;
  • You must not be convicted of any traffic violation in the 90 days period prior to the application.

Which restrictions apply to my New Mexico provisional license?

  • You are allowed to drive unsupervised, except between 12 pm and 5 am;
  • You may not have more than one passenger under 21 years of age in the car (except for family members or unless a licensed driver that is at least 21 years of age rides in the car with you).

How can I obtain an unrestricted driver license?

  • Hold your provisional license for at least 12 months;
  • You must not have had any convictions for a traffic violation 90 days prior to the application;
  • You must not have any traffic violations pending.


How can I prepare for the New Mexico written test?

Do I have to pass a vision test to obtain a driver license in New Mexico?

Yes, a vision test is required.

Can I wear corrective lenses during my vision test?

Yes, you must wear them every time you drive.

How many questions are there on the NM written test?

The test contains 25 multiple-choice questions. You must correctly answer at least 18 questions to pass the test.

Do I have to make an appointment for my road test in Mexico?

Yes, contact the MVD to make an appointment.

What is the road test about?

  • Controlling the vehicle;
  • Left and right turns;
  • Crossing an intersection controlled by traffic lights or signals;
  • Crossing an intersection controlled by stop signs;
  • Yielding the right-of-way;
  • Adhering to lane markings;
  • Parallel parking;
  • Driving straight away for at least four blocks.

Which errors will make me automatically fail my road test?

  • Cause a crash or being involved in a crash;
  • Make an incomplete stop;
  • Fail to signal;
  • Fail to follow the examiner's instructions.

I failed my NM written or road test. What's next?

An MVD official will advise you when you can retake the exam.