Renewing Your License in New Mexico
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Depending on the fee you paid the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) when you first applied or last renewed, your driver’s license will expire in four or eight years. (If you’re 75 or older, it will expire every year.)
You can renew your license up to 90 days before it expires (which is usually 30 days after your birth date), and you have a “grace period” of 30 days after it expires. After that, you’re driving illegally and can’t hit the roads again until you renew.
You must also maintain proof of financial responsibility on each vehicle you own. Refer to our Insurance Center for details about minimum liability coverage requirements, cash deposits, and security loans, as well as to shop for the best available car insurance rate.
To renew a valid driver’s license, you must appear in person at an MVD field office.
Before you check below for details about the renewal process, check your driving record to make sure your license is valid―if it’s not, you may have a different process to follow.
NOTE: Commercial drivers must follow certain steps to renew their CDLs.
As is the case with a valid license, you must renew your expired license in person at an MVD field office.
There are no penalty fees for renewing your license once it has expired; however, if it’s been expired for one year or longer, you must pass the written and driving tests again.
Because the renewal process for an expired license may involve additional steps, prepare yourself ahead of time when you check your driving record.
Even the most experienced drivers can make mistakes that result in license suspensions, and this is one reason why it’s best to confirm your driving record from time to time. Otherwise, you may have to explain why you drove yourself to the MVD field office to renew a license you shouldn’t even be using to drive, and that’s just awkward.
If you find your license is suspended, refer to our Suspended License section to begin the reinstatement process and learn about limited licenses.
Keep in mind car insurance providers sometimes hike up rates when something like a license suspension appears on driving records. Don’t worry; just head over to our Insurance Center to shop for a more affordable policy.
Visit Replacing a Lost License to learn how to order a duplicate driver’s license.
The MVD doesn’t issue renewal notices, but they do encourage you to give them a call if you have any questions regarding your driver’s license renewal.
You can’t renew your driver’s license online. See below for information about renewing by mail or in person.
You can only renew your driver’s license by mail if you’re military personnel or a dependent and currently stationed outside the state.
Actually, you have two options:
- If you’ll soon be back in the state, contact the MVD and ask to begin the process to receive a 30-day temporary license.
- If you won’t be back in the state for a while, contact the MVD and order a renewal-by-mail packet.
Either way, you must contact the MVD.
NOTE: For more information regarding military personnel and dependents stationed outside the state, please visit Drivers in the Military.
Once it’s time to renew your license, you’ll need to:
- Make sure you have your current driver's license.
- Locate one proof of identification.
- Be able to pay the appropriate fee ($18 for a four-year renewal and $34 for an eight-year renewal), or smile because you're 75 years old and your renewal is free. MVD offices accept cash, check or credit card (American Express, Visa, MasterCard, Discover).
- Be prepared to pass the required tests (a vision exam, and both the written and driving tests if your license has been expired for a year or longer).
- Call the MVD field office to make an appointment or get suggestions about the best time to show up.
The MVD will mail you your hard copy license within 40 days. Until then, they’ll give you a temporary license to use. If you don’t receive your hard copy license after 40 days, contact the MVD.
To keep yourself current with up-to-date traffic laws, enroll in a supplemental training course. State-approved courses are available, as are nationwide driver improvement programs, and in some cases you can reduce points on your driving record or satisfy a traffic ticket.
Once you complete the course, share the good news with your car insurance provider―you may qualify for a discount. If you don’t, head over to our Insurance Center to shop for providers who do offer discounts.
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