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  • Special Vehicles in New Mexico

    SUMMARY: How to Register Your Special Vehicle in New Mexico

    Vehicle types other than standard cars and trucks have their own registration requirements and regulations. Custom-built cars require extra paperwork to submit, while motorhomes and ATVs are registered like regular vehicles. Find your vehicle type below to see if you have different requirements and exemptions.

    With its beautiful scenery, New Mexico certainly lends itself to outdoor activities. It's no wonder, then, that vehicles such as snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles (ATVs) are widely popular in the state.

    So, let's take a look a closer look at these vehicles.

    Definitions

    Let's begin by looking at how New Mexico legislators have defined the various categories.

    An off-highway motor vehicle is defined as a motor vehicle designed by the manufacturer for operation exclusively off the highway or road. Included in this category are the following:

    All-Terrain Vehicle (ATV)

    An ATV is defined as a motor vehicle that:

    • Is 50 inches or less in width.
    • Weighs 1,000 lbs. or less (dry, unladen weight).
    • Has at least 3 low-pressure tires.
    • Uses a straddle-style seat.
    • Has handlebar steering.

    Off-Highway Motorcycle

    An off-highway motorcycle is defined as a motor vehicle traveling on not more than 2 tires, having a seat designed to be straddled by the operator, and a handlebar-type steering control.

    Snowmobile

    A snowmobile is defined as a motor vehicle designed for travel on snow or ice, steered and supported in whole or in part by skis, belts, cleats, runners, or low-pressure tires.

    Off-Highway Vehicles in New Mexico

    Off-highway motor vehicles need to be registered at a Motor Vehicle Division field office at a cost of $53 for the initial registration ($50 thereafter). See our Car Registration section for details on the process.

    Your registration will need to be renewed every 2 years.

    Off-highway vehicles also need to be titled using the same process outline in our Title Transfers section.

    Out-of-State Visitors

    A non-resident permit is required to ride on public lands. This applies to:

    • All-terrain vehicles (ATVs)
    • Dirt bikes
    • Off-road vehicles
    • Snowmobiles

    Purchase a permit at any New Mexico Department of Game and Fish office. You have the option of a permit valid for 2 years ($48) or permit valid for 90 days ($18).

    NM Motorhomes and RVs

    If you have a recreational vehicle (RV) or motorhome in New Jersey, you will need to have it registered, just like a standard motor vehicle. See our Register Car in New Mexico page for instructions.

    Custom-Built Vehicles

    To register your custom-built car, visit your local New Mexico MVD office with:

    Your fees may vary depending on your specific circumstance. Contact the NM MVD for more information.

    Mopeds and Scooters in NM

    You DO NOT have to register a moped in New Mexico. However, you are required to have a valid driver's license or permit to operate one.

    Mopeds are defined by New Mexico state law defines as vehicles with:

    • 2 to 3 wheels.
    • An automatic transmission.
    • An engine displacement of less than 50 cc.
    • A maximum speed of 30 MPH on flat ground.

    NOTE: If a vehicle DOES NOT meet these requirements, it is classed as a motorcycle and must be registered as one.

    Scooters can be classified as motorcycles, mopeds, or bicycles depending on their engine size and speed. Contact your local NM Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office for more information.

    Additional Registration Information

    By the way, if you're interested in information about boats or custom-built vehicles, we have separate sections covering these vehicles.

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