Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements in New Mexico
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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 two 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 insurance.
Those of us who don’t have $60,000 lying around choose to buy insurance.
Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined
Before you spend time looking for liability 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 your two- or three-wheeled vehicle a motorcycle if it has an engine of 50 cc and can travel 30 mph (even if the engine is 49 cc). Even if you call your ride a motor scooter, if it meets these criteria you must insure it.
- 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.
If you don't post a surety bond, you must buy insurance to be legal on a motorcycle. 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 liability amounts you must buy are:
- $20,000 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.
Yet you may need more than this. Uninsured motorist coverage and collision coverage are also available. If you have a loan on your motorcycle, the loan company might require you to get more insurance. Read about the different types of coverage, then decide what you need as you begin shopping.
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.
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.
Having no proof of insurance is a serious problem in the state, which has the highest national percentage of uninsured drivers (29%, according to the Insurance Information Institute).
The penalties you could face are:
- Criminal charges.
- Fines of $300 and up.
- Getting your registration canceled.
But if an officer stops you and you simply forgot your insurance card, take the proof of your insurance to the courts and ask for the citation to be dismissed.
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 insurance, the state will notify you to fix the situation. Not doing so could result in the above penalties.
In This Section
Other Topics in This Section
- Auto Insurance Requirements
New Mexico car insurance information center. What insurance to buy in New Mexico, how to decide, compare policies, purchase NM car insurance.
- Motorcycle Insurance Minimum Requirements
NM financial responsibility requirements for your moped, atv, scooter or motorcycle. Protect your bike and your liability in New Mexico by purchasing motorcycle insurance.
- Commercial Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements
Commercial vehicle insurance requirements in NM. Protect your rig or your fleet by maintaining proper financial responsibility on your commercial vehicles in New Mexico.
- Penalties For Driving Without Insurance
Learn More On Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In Your State. No Insurance Violations Vary By State. Avoid Allowing You Car Insurance Policy To Lapse.
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