Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in New Mexico
Before you roar off into the sunset on the open roads, you must first show your financial responsibility―in other words, proof that you're financially able to cover damages your motorcycle might cause in an accident.
Ways to Establish Financial Responsibility
New Mexico has different methods by which you can prove that you’re financially trustworthy. You may either:
- Leave $60,000 in cash or a surety bond with the state treasurer’s office.
- Purchase liability motorcycle insurance.
Before you spend time looking motorcycle insurance, first figure out if you even need it. Not all two-wheeled vehicles with motors are defined as motorcycles, and if it’s not a motorcycle, you don’t need to register, title, or insure it.
- Motorcycle―The state considers a motorcycle as having a seat/saddle for the rider and no more than 3 wheels.
- Moped/Scooter―A moped or scooter doesn't require registration or insurance―just a driver's license. Your ride is a moped or scooter if it:
- Has no more than three wheels.
- Has an automatic transmission.
- Has an engine less than 50 cc.
- Can't travel faster than 30 mph on flat ground.
NOTE: If what you call a moped or scooter meets the motorcycle criteria, chances are you'll need to register and insure it. If you're not sure, or need more information, contact the Motor Vehicle Division at (888) 683-4636.
New Mexico Motorcycle Insurance Requirements
If you don't post a surety bond, you must buy motorcycle insurance to be legal on your bike. Not only will insurance protect the other drivers, it will protect you and your assets from getting liquidated in the event of a bad accident.
The minimum coverage limits you must have as part of your policy are:
- $25,000 for bodily injury or death of one person
- $50,000 per accident for bodily injury to or death of two or more people
- $10,000 per accident for property damage
You don’t actually put down those amounts; you pay much less than that. These amounts are how much the insurance will cover you for.
As you shop and get motorcycle insurance quotes you may find that you need more than what is required. Uninsured motorist coverage and collision coverage, among other optional coverages, are also available. If you have a loan on your motorcycle, the loan company might require you to get more insurance. You may also want to consider purchasing higher liability limits.
How Coverage Affects Helmet Requirements
Every rider younger than 18 must wear a helmet. Ask your insurance company if they will give you a discount for wearing a helmet, or for taking a safety course.
Proof of Insurance and Financial Responsibility
Once you’ve chosen and paid for your insurance policy, the company will give you a proof of insurance card. Keep this with you while you ride. You will need to show it if you either get pulled over in a traffic stop, or if you get in an accident. Your insurance company should also notify the New Mexico Insurance Identification Database.
Motorcycle Insurance Violations
Having no insurance is a serious problem in the state, which has the highest national percentage of uninsured drivers.
The penalties you could face include:
- Criminal charges.
- Getting your registration canceled.
The state has cut down on its uninsured driver rate by the use of a monitoring system. The New Mexico Insurance Identification Database (IIDB) lets insurers tell the state when you let your insurance drop and when you have coverage.
If you drop your motorcycle insurance, the state will notify you to fix the situation. Not doing so could result in penalties and fines.
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