New Mexico Permit Requirements

Applicants for a New Mexico driver permit with Motor Vehicle Division, should understand all the permit requirements.  Make sure you have the met the MVD prerequisites and that you have the necessary documentation ready.

Young people learning to drive in New Mexico have many steps to complete before becoming a fully licensed driver.  The state has implemented a Graduated Driver Licensing program to ensure that teens are ready for the challenges of the road.  Students should enroll in a driver education course prior to applying for a permit.

In New Mexico, graduated driver licensing is divided into three stages.  Stage One is gaining an instructional permit.

Applying for a New Mexico Permit

To obtain this permit, the teenager must be at least 15 years old and go to a local MVD office with the required documents.  Examples of acceptable documents include:

  • an original birth certificate
  • Social Security card
  • proof of enrollment in school such, as a high school transcript, report card or school ID card

Additionally, applicants must show proof of enrollment in, or completion of, a state-approved driver education program.  Taking drivers ed is required to receive a permit, and applicants must present a referral card from their driver education program.

Once the instructional permit application is completed, the teen and their parent/guardian must sign it and pay a $10 fee.  Next the applicant will take a vision screening and the written knowledge exam.

The test is given on a computer at an MVD field office, and consists of multiple choice questions that test your knowledge of traffic safety, road signs, safe driving and rules and regulations for driving in New Mexico.   There are 25 questions per test, and applicants must correctly answer at least 18 questions in order to pass.

Driving with a New Mexico Permit

Once the instructional permit is obtained, it must be held for six months before moving on to Stage Two. They can drive only with a driver 21 or older with at least three years of driving experience in the car.  The permit holder must then complete 50 hours of supervised driving experience, of which 10 hours must be at night.   The driver must also avoid driving while impaired. Being found with a blood alcohol level of only .02 could lead to a six-month license revocation.

Stages of Driver Licenses in New Mexico

Stage Two is known as the Provisional License.  Applicants must be at least 15.5 years old, complete Stage One, and fill out the application with their parent or guardian. After paying the $18 fee, the applicant must provide proof of a passing score from a driver education school, show a practice driving log signed by a parent or guardian, and pass the MVD Road Skills Exam.

Once all this is completed, the driver must hold the provisional license for a minimum of one year. They also cannot operate a motor vehicle between midnight and 5 a.m. without having a licensed driver 21 or older with them unless they are going to school, work, religious functions, or medical appointments or emergencies. Also, unless they have a licensed driver 21 or older with them, they cannot have more than one passenger with them under age 21 who is not an immediate family member.

Finally, Stage Three is gaining a full, unrestricted license. To do so, an applicant must fill out the application with their parent or guardian and pay the licensing fee. For a four-year license, the fee is $18 while an eight-year license costs $34. To receive a full license the driver must have not had any traffic violations in the past 90 days and no convictions of drug or alcohol abuse during the provisional period

If the applicant is 18 years or older when applying for the full license, a parent or guardian is not required to sign the application.  If the applicant meets all of the above criteria, a full license is issued, and all previous restrictions are lifted.  Then the driver is free to put their skills to the test on the open road.