Vehicle Code in New Mexico
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If you like to get information directly from the proverbial horse's mouth, then you will find reading state statutes right up your alley. In New Mexico, the vehicle code is Chapter 66 of the statutes. You can ponder whether this is by pure coincidence or an ironic reference to Historic Route 66, which traverses the state.
New Mexico's vehicle code is a hodgepodge of laws (both active and repealed) that govern just about everything having to do with a vehicle: driver's license, titling, registration, traffic laws, dealer license, and commercial driving issues. If you ever find yourself confused by a citation or needing to review your case before heading to a traffic arraignment in court, the code is a good place to go to get the facts.
Yes, many of the laws are left open to interpretation, and lawyers have a heyday with them. But for the most part, the vehicle code sets out in black-and-white everything you could possibly need to know about operating a vehicle in New Mexico.
Chapter 66: Motor Vehicles
- Article 1: General Provisions This is where all of the terms you will be reading about in the statutes are defined.
- Article 2: Motor Vehicle Division of Taxation and Revenue Department If you are curious as to how the MVD is set up and run, you will find the information discussed in these sections.
- Article 3: Registration Laws; Security Interests; Anti-Theft Provisions; Bicycles; Equipment; Unsafe Vehicles; Off-Highway Motor Vehicles; Other Vehicles As you see, New Mexico tends to lump a lot of statutes into one article. These sections are where you will find all the information necessary for registering and titling a vehicle. It also covers the different types of license plates available, rules of the road for bicyclists, and details regarding off-road vehicles.
- Article 4: Licensing Dealers and Wreckers All the laws in these sections relate to the regulation of dealerships, dismantlers, title companies, and auto recyclers.
- Article 5: Licensing of Operators and Chauffeurs; Financial Responsibility; Uninsured Motorists' Insurance; Identification Cards These sections deal with all aspects of the New Mexico driver's license. You will also come across the laws governing the commercial driver's license and identification cards. If you are one of those who must insure your vehicle by alternative means, you will need to peruse the sections under Financial Responsibility.
- Article 6: Fees Here is where you will locate the current fees for certain transactions with the Motor Vehicle Division.
- Article 7: Traffic Laws; Signs, Signals and Markings; Accidents; Weight and Size; Traffic Safety All you could ever want to learn about the regulations overseeing vehicles on New Mexico roads is piled into the sections of this article. It is essentially where the state's point system is cobbled from.
- Article 8: Crimes, Penalties, and Procedures This is a listing of the penalties and fines for traffic violations. Is is also where you can glean information on how the court system functions when prosecuting traffic violations.
- Article 10: Driver Education Schools The sections in this article contain laws relating to driver education and motorcycle training programs.
- Article 12: Boating} If you have a boat and want to get it into the waters of New Mexico, it is a good idea to skim through this article. It details all of the laws pertaining to vessels, and explains how to title and register them.