Behind the Wheel in New Mexico
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New Mexico Driver's Training
If you're a teenager applying for your first driver's license in New Mexico, you must complete both driver's training and supervised behind-the-wheel practice as part of the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) graduated driver licensing (GDL) requirements.
Your behind-the-wheel driving practice will help you develop the necessary driving skills and gain the knowledge you need to be a safe driver. You'll also be better equipped to pass your road test and face the challenges of driving unsupervised.
On this page you'll find information about your behind-the-wheel requirements and the next steps in the New Mexico GDL program.
NM Behind-the-Wheel Requirements
If you are younger than 18 years old, you'll need to satisfy the supervised driving requirements of the New Mexico GDL system, which consists of:
- Driver's training/driver's education.
- At least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel driving practice with a licensed adult.
To begin your GDL program requirements, you'll need to be at least 15 years old, enroll in or complete a driver's education program, and apply for your learner's permit.
For more information, please visit the following pages:
New Mexico Driver's Training Course
Driver's training is a component of most New Mexico Driver's Ed programs and is provided by:
- Public schools.
- Private schools.
- Professional driver's training schools.
If your program offers an in-car component, you'll complete at least 30 hours of classroom training and at least 7 hours of behind-the-wheel practice. If the course you chose does not offer behind-the-wheel training, you will need to complete 56 hours of classroom training.
Generally, you'll begin the behind-the-wheel component of your course after completing the classroom sessions. You'll be able to directly and immediately apply the knowledge you'll gain in the classroom to your in-car training.
After you complete the entire course, you'll receive a completion certificate, which you may need to show to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division when you apply for your driver's license.
Supervised Driving Requirements
During the learner's permit stage of the GDL program, you can begin practicing driving with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old and has held a driver's license for at least 3 years.
You'll need to complete at least 50 hours of behind-the-wheel practice before advancing to your provisional driver's license. Of this driver training, 10 hours must be completed at night.
As you practice your supervised driving, you'll need to keep a log of your hours. Your parent/legal guardian must sign the log to verify that you've completed your driving practice.
Getting Your Provisional Driver's License
You'll be eligible to take your driving test and apply for your provisional New Mexico driver's license once you meet certain requirements. You must:
- Be at least 15 1/2 years old.
- Have had no traffic violations in the past 90 days.
- Have held your instruction permit for at least 6 months.
- Have completed Driver’s Ed.
- Have completed your supervised behind-the-wheel driver's training and submitted your driving log.
For more information about the next steps in the New Mexico MVD GDL program, please visit our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in New Mexico page.