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Driver’s Education in New Mexico
Driver’s Ed is required if you’re a new teenage driver applying for your first driver’s license with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD).
Driver’s education, a component of the NM graduated driver licensing (GDL) program, can help prepare you to become a safer, more experienced, and more knowledgeable driver.
On this page you’ll find information about Driver’s Ed in New Mexico and the next steps you’ll need to take to obtain your first driver's license.
If you’re younger than 18 years old, you’ll need to complete Driver’s Ed as a requirement of the New Mexico DMV GDL program.
You can enroll in a driver’s education program if you will be at least 15 years old by the end of the classroom portion of your course.
You do not need to have your learner's permit in order to take a Driver’s Ed course in New Mexico.
Regardless of where you decide to take your driver’s education course, your instructor will cover topics including:
- Safe driving skills.
- Defensive driving.
- Sharing the road with other drivers, motorcyclists, and bicyclists.
- Traffic laws.
- Alcohol/drug abuse and awareness.
- Managing driving risks and identifying hazards.
An approved New Mexico Driver’s Ed course will consist of a minimum of:
- 30 hours of classroom lessons and 7 hours of behind-the-wheel training.
- 56 hours of classroom sessions if the program does not offer behind-the-wheel instruction.
At least 3 hours of your course will include information about driving while intoxicated (DWI) and DUI violations, penalties, and prevention.
Driver’s education in New Mexico is provided by public/private schools and professional driving schools approved by the NM Department of Transportation (DOT) Traffic Safety Bureau (TSB).
NOTE: Some approved Driver’s Ed programs are also contracted with the New Mexico MVD and are licensed to administer DMV written and road tests to students.
The New Mexico MVD offers a full list of MVD-contracted driver’s education programs.
- For information about driver’s education offered in your school district, contact your school’s main office.
- For more information about all approved Driver’s Ed programs in New Mexico, call the TSB at (800) 541-7952.
Once you find a program that is right for you, contact your course provider for details about costs and schedules.
Successfully completing your driver’s education program will put you one step closer to the driver’s seat and prepare you to handle your new responsibilities as a driver.
If you don’t already have your learner's permit, you will need to apply for one by visiting an MVD office. You will need to show:
- Proof of your identity and NM residency.
- Proof you are enrolled in or have completed a driver’s education course.
See our Drivers Permits in New Mexico page for more information.
Before you apply for a provisional NM driver’s license, you’ll need to:
- Be at least 15 1/2 years old.
- Hold your learner’s permit for at least 6 months.
- Complete a minimum of 50 hours of supervised driving practice with a licensed adult.
- Have a clean driving record for at least 90 days before applying.
- Pass the DMV road test or provide your passing test scores from a MVD-contracted Driver’s Ed course.
For more information, please visit our page on Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in New Mexico.
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