Register Car in New Mexico
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If you need to re-register your car, visit the Registration Renewals page.
You’ll need to register your car for the first time if you:
- Have recently moved to the state
- Have been given or inherited a car
- Have bought a car
You must register the car immediately after you take possession. You have 60 days to register your vehicle after becoming a resident.
Students and military members do not have to register their cars here; you can keep your home registrations.
The state requires that you carry a minimum of $60,000 in liability insurance. To shop for rates online, check out our Insurance Center.
Buying a car from a dealer usually eliminates your role in paperwork―the dealer takes care of registration for you.
If you came by your car any other way, you’ll need to register it. Have the following ready when you go into a Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office:
- Application for Vehicle Title and Registration.
- Proof of residence, such as utility bills.
- Certificate of title. If the title is lost, you must apply for a new one.
- Proof of insurance coverage.
- Confirmation that the vehicle passed an emission test if you live in Bernalillo County, or if you drive into Bernalillo County 60 or more days per year.
If you’re getting ready to purchase your car, protect yourself with a Vehicle History Report that will tell you if the car’s salvaged, experienced flooding, or has had a million owners. And when you buy the car, remember to ask for a Bill of Sale and the title so you can prove you’re the new owner.
Expect to pay anywhere from $27.00 to $62.00 for an annual registration, and up to $124.00 for a two-year registration. The MVD calculates fees according to the year, model, and weight of the vehicle.
You’ll need to contact an MVD office for help in calculating your fees.
Now it’s time to make a trip to your most convenient MVD office. Here, you’ll turn in your paperwork and pay the fees. You may also need to:
- Fill out an odometer disclosure form.
- Have an MVD employee inspect the Vehicle Identification Number (VIN).
If the previous owner kept the license plates, you’ll also have to apply for license plates while you’re at the MVD.
You have the option of applying for specialty license plates. New Mexico has many to choose from, like one that honors wildlife, a National Guard plate, or a Disabled Plate. Or you may opt to apply for a vanity plate, spelling out whatever you wish within the limits of taste (and whether or not someone else already has it).
Completing your customized look, specialized license plate frames offer everything from your favorite sports team to a favorite hobby to emblazon your car.
After you apply for your license plates, your stickers and plates will arrive in the mail. Follow the directions to apply your expiration stickers to your plates.
Looking for every tax deduction you can get? You may be able to deduct part of your registration fees. The IRS allows you to deduct only the portion of the fees that are based on vehicle value, and not on anything else. So look at your receipt for the fee breakdown.
If you have any questions regarding this, consult a tax attorney.
You’re done with registration, but not completely ready to get out on the road just yet. Instead, do a quick safety check to make sure you’re covered.
For instance, does your insurance cover roadside assistance? If not, look into a roadside assistance program. Everyone’s car breaks down sooner or later, and it’s best to have this service just in case. A car emergency kit, with first aid supplies, flares, and more, is essential to stock in the car.
While you’re at it, finding yourself a reliable mechanic before you need one saves you a lot of headaches. And you might also want to shop for an after market car warranty that will cover your major systems, which is always helpful for a previously owned car.
Finally, make sure you’re connected with a hands-free headset if you’re going to be talking and driving. Also be sure to check your child’s safety seat if you have a small child―be sure it’s installed properly in your new car and that it meets current requirements.
Other Topics in This Section
- Register Car
- Registration Renewal
- Registration & Insurance
- Replacing a Lost Registration
- RV & Motorhome Registration
- Custom Built Car Registration
- Boat Registration and Licenses
- Title Transfers
- Replacing a Lost Title
- Salvaged Vehicles
- Special Vehicles
- Drivers with Disabilities
- License Plates & Placards
- Smog & Emission Checks
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.