Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in New Mexico
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If you’re a teen ready to start driving or just new to the state, you’ll have to apply for a new driver’s license. New Mexico offers:
- Regular driver’s license for passenger cars and pick-up trucks (Class W)
- Commercial Driver Licenses (Class A, B, and C)
- Motorcycle Licenses (Class M)
NOTE: If you’re under 18, you must take a driver’s ed class before you get a provisional license. After you’ve had the provisional license for six months, you’ll get a regular license.
Younger Than 18― Driver’s Ed is a requirement.
18 to 24― Those between the ages of 18 and 24 must complete a home-study DWI-awareness program, "None for the Road." An application for the course materials is available at the MVD office. For more information, call (877) 663-7465 toll-free.
Age 25 and Up
The state doesn’t require a driver’s ed class, but taking one will help you pass the written and driving tests.
Make an appointment at an MVD field office at least 48 hours in advance of your test. It’s the simplest way to avoid lines.
Before you get in line for a new license application, be prepared with:
- Current driver's license from out of state (if applicable)
- Birth certificate or certified copy
- Social Security card
- Two proofs of residency (a P.O. box is not allowed)
- Proof of completion of the "None for the Road" program (if applicable)
- Eyeglasses or contacts, if you need them for the vision test.
- Your DWI-awareness completion certificate, if applicable.
- $18 for a four-year license; $34 for an eight-year license.
Only the vision test is required, unless your license has been expired for a year or more.
Now that you have the means to practice driving, you might want to buy a car. Things to consider include price, mileage, make, how far you’ll be traveling and with whom.
Used cars have the most bang for your buck. Before you plunk down money, get a Vehicle History Report. A VHR tells you useful information, like whether the car is salvaged or flooded. All you need is the car’s VIN. A one-month subscription gives you access to all the cars you want.
Now you have to get adequate car insurance. The best way to do this is to shop around for deals. Ask if the company offers you any breaks. Some have a break for completing a supplemental driver’s ed class, or for being a good driver or student.
Unless you’re from out of state, you’ll need to take the road test.
Make an appointment online, or by calling (505) 827-2257. Appointments can be made from 6 to 45 days in advance.
Once You Pass
You’ll be given a temporary license, good for 45 days.
If You Fail
Make another appointment to come back and retake the test.
It should be mailed to you within 10 days. If you don’t get it, call the office.
If you decide to become a New Mexico resident, you'll need a driver's license. To obtain a license, follow the steps as described above. Identification will be the only difference. You will need to provide:
Social Security Card
If you are unable to obtain a Social Security card, you must provide two other forms of identification, which include:
- An individual tax identification number (ITIN), or a letter from the IRS issuing an ITIN
- A Matricula Consular card issued AFTER February 1, 2005 by the Mexican Consulate in Albuquerque or El Paso, Texas
- A valid and current foreign passport only if you ineligible for an ITIN or a valid Matricula Consular card
You must provide one of the following documents:
- An original or certified foreign birth certificate, along with English translation
- Original copy of an FS545 or FS1350 form, documenting birth abroad and translated into English
- An N560 certificate of citizenship
- An N550 certificate of naturalization
- A valid permanent resident card issued by the U.S. government
- A valid I-551 resident alien card that was not issued prior to 1997
- A marriage certificate issued by a U.S. state or territory
Proof of Residency if Over 15 Years Old
You must provide two of the following:
- A bank statement
- An employment pay stub, containing your name and address
- An insurance statement (car, home, health) documenting current coverage
- A property rental or purchase agreement
- Any type of utility bill, excluding a cell phone bill
- A local property tax statement
- A local mortgage document
- Documented proof of having a child enrolled in New Mexico's school system
- A current and valid motor vehicle registration certificate
- A New Mexico medical assistance or public assistance card
- An original document from a New Mexico community organization, or from a city, county, state, tribal or federal government organization confirming that you a New Mexico resident
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