Call Us Email Map Contact Us
Search Button

Chapter 2: Non-Commercial License

01/01/2014
3:24 PM

Section A.  Issuing a Non-Commercial License
Section B.  Name Requirements
Section C.  Motorcycles
Section D.  Taking the Customer's Photograph
Section E.  Classes of Driver Licenses
Section F.  Temporary Driving Permits
Section G.  Endorsements
Section H.  Restrictions
Section I.  Minors
Section J.  Minors Moving from Out of State

Section A: Issuing a Non-Commercial License

Revised May 16, 2012

Who must be licensed to drive in New Mexico? (Section 66-5-2)

Except those expressly exempted, no person shall drive any motor vehicle, neighborhood electric car or moped upon a highway in this state unless the person: (1) holds a valid license issued under the provisions of the Motor Vehicle Code; and (2) has surrendered to the division any other license previously issued to the person by this state or by another state or country.

Who is exempt? (Section 66-5-4)

Those who are exempt from New Mexico licensure while driving on our roads and highways include primarily:

  1. military personnel while driving a motor vehicle owned or leased by the United States department of defense;
  2. a person who is at least 15 years of age and who has in his possession a valid driver's license issued in the person's home state or country, except that the person shall obtain a license upon becoming a resident and before the person is employed for compensation by another for the purpose of driving a motor vehicle; and
  3. a driver of a farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily drawn, moved or propelled on the highway.

Requirements for licensure

Persons applying for a Non-Commercial Driver's License must meet the following requirements:

  1. Applicant must meet minimum age requirements for the permit or license type applied for.
  2. Proof of identification number, identity and New Mexico residency(Chapter 6)
  3. A minor (under 18 years of age) must be accompanied by a parent, guardian or other responsible adult (PQU#65).
  4. Every first-time licensee between the ages of 18 and 24 must present a Certificate of Completion (regardless of date completed) for the self-taught, "None for the Road" DWI Awareness Class (Section 66-5-9E NMSA) offered by UNM Continuing Education. None for the Road flyers are available for distribution to customers in MVD field offices. Customers can also call (877) 663-7465 for additional information
  5. Any applicant 25 years of age and over who has ever been convicted of DWI, and who is applying for his first New Mexico driver's license, must also submit evidence that he has (ever - there is no time limit) successfully completed an approved DWI prevention and education program ("None for the Road" or another state's equivalent program).
  6. All applicants for both new and renewal drivers' licenses must pass an eye exam (vision screening 20/40 or better in at least one eye).
  7. A Medical Report (MVD-10124 Rev 09/01) is required for every applicant who answers "Yes" to question #4 on the driver application form.
  8. A written test is required for an applicant whose license has been expired, or has not held a valid instruction permit or driver's license, for one year or more. (Note: A permit or driver's license that has been suspended or revoked is not a valid permit or license. However, an ignition interlock license is a valid license.)
  9. A road test is required for an applicant whose license has been expired, or has not held a valid instruction permit or driver's license, for five years or more.
  10. An applicant who fails the written or road test three times must wait six months from date of application before retesting (PQU#14).
  11. A driver's license may be renewed 90 days before its expiration date.
  12. Licenses are generally issued for either four or eight years, and expire 30 days after the applicant's birthday in the final (fourth or eighth) year of the license.
  13. However, an eight-year license is not available to an individual who would reach age 75 during the last four years of the eight-year license period; and a license issued to an individual age 72-74 will expire 30 days after the applicant's 75th birthday.
  14. License fees for individuals age 72-74 are prorated based on the number of years before the license will expire.
  15. Applicants 75 years of age and older shall be issued a driver's license for one-year, with annual renewals required, and with no fee charged.

Replacing a prior license

Every prior license, permit or ID, whether in-state or out-of-state and including CDL and foreign licenses, when surrendered for a new, renewal or replacement New Mexico license or ID, is to have one hole punched through the license. The hole should be carefully punched so as not to destroy or make illegible any information (including expiry date) or the customer's photo. Return the hole-punched card to the customer with his or her new license or ID. (PQU#60)

Section B: Name Requirements

Revised February 6, 2012

First, Middle, Last

The name of every customer applying for a new or renewal driver’s license or ID is to be entered as first name, middle initial and last name. Creative naming conventions are not accepted for any reason (PQU#63).

Applicant with One Name

It is possible for an applicant's legal name to be a single name (no first, middle, last - just one name). In that case it will be necessary to contact your Bureau Chief or the Field Operations Help Desk. With help from IT they can walk you through the process and ensure that the license or ID is issued correctly.

Name Change

Applicants requesting a name change when applying for a non-commercial license, a commercial license, a provisional license, a permit or an identification card must present proof of the name change.

The documents presented must be the original or certified copies. The following are acceptable documents for changing a name:

  1. Marriage License
  2. Court Order
  3. Divorce Decree
  4. Birth Certificate
  5. Certificate of Naturalization

NOTE: Generally, the Birth Certificate is used when someone is correcting an error in the way his or her name appears on the license. Example: Current license shows name as “Daniel J. Martinez.” Applicant is requesting that name appear as on Birth Certificate - “Jose Daniel Martinez.” 

SSOLV No Match

As described in Procedural Quick Update (PQU) #9, the Social Security On-Line Verification System (SSOLV) may return a code 3, 4 or 5 “no match” due to a customer's name change.

On a non-CDL transaction, if the customer has the appropriate name-change documentation, the field office clerk, after receiving approval from his or her manager, supervisor or Bureau Chief, should use the Social Security override function and complete the transaction. Instruct the customer to contact the Social Security Administration (SSA) to correct the SSA record so that the same problem does not occur the next time the license or ID card is renewed.

By federal regulation, no overrides are allowed on CDL transactions.

Section C: Motorcycles

Revised October 17, 2008

Definition (66-1-4.11G)
As used in the Motor Vehicle Code "motorcycle" means every motor vehicle having a seat or saddle for the use of the rider and designed to travel on not more than three wheels in contact with the ground, excluding a tractor.

Authorization to operate a motorcycle (66-5-2)(18.19.5.30 NMAC and 18.19.5.113 NMAC)
In order to operate a motorcycle on a New Mexico highway a driver must have a valid license with a motorcycle (W, Y or Z) endorsement.
 

Endorsement    Authorizes licensee to operate
W   any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of 100 or more cubic centimeters piston displacement
Y   any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of at least 50 but less than 100 cubic centimeters piston displacement
Z   any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of less than 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement

 

Moped exception (66-3-1101B)
Anyone with a valid driver's license or permit of any class may operate a moped. A motorcycle endorsement is not required.

Helmet required for drivers and passengers under age 18 (66-7-356)
No person under the age of 18 shall operate a motorcycle unless he is wearing a safety helmet that is securely fastened on his head in a normal manner, and that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards. Nor shall any person carry a motorcycle passenger under the age of 18 unless the passenger is wearing a securely fastened safety helmet that meets federal standards.

Motorcycle license and endorsement at age 13 (66-5-5A(4))
A person 13 years of age or older who satisfactorily completes the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic RiderCourse offered by the New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program (877-667-8880) may be issued a motorcycle (M) license with a Y or Z endorsement.

The applicant's certificate of completion of the MSF Basic RiderCourse is sufficient to waive both the written and the road test requirement, assuming the endorsement requested is consistent with the motorcycle on which the applicant qualified.

An initial licensee (i.e. a first-time license holder whose license is issued under the age of 18) may not carry any other passenger while driving a motorcycle.

Motorcycle license or endorsement at age 15
A person 15 years of age or older who satisfactorily completes the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic RiderCourse offered by the New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program (877-667-8880) may be issued a motorcycle (M) license with a W, Y or Z endorsement, or may have a W, Y or Z endorsement added to his regular (D) instructional permit, provisional license or license.

The applicant's certificate of completion of the MSF Basic RiderCourse is sufficient to waive both the written and the road test requirement, assuming the endorsement requested is consistent with the motorcycle on which the applicant qualified.

The holder of an instruction permit with a motorcycle endorsement may not carry any other passenger while operating a motorcycle. (66-5-8G)

 

Off-highway vehicle – parental supervision of driver under age 18 (66-3-1010.3C)
The driver of an off-highway motorcycle is not required to be licensed, However, as a general rule, an off-highway motor vehicle (OHV) operator who is under age 18 must be visually supervised by a parent. Parental supervision is not required if the OHV operator is at least: (1) 13 years of age and has a valid motorcycle license and an off-highway motor vehicle safety permit; or (2) 15 years of age and has a valid driver's license, instructional permit or provisional license and an off-highway motor vehicle safety permit.

Motorcycle drivers age 18 and over
Motorcycle operators who are age 18 and above are not required to take the MSF Basic RiderCourse, and are not required to wear a helmet when operating a motorcycle. When adding a (W, Y or Z) motorcycle endorsement they are, however, required to take a road test on a motorcycle of appropriate size for the endorsement sought.

Section D: Taking the Customer's Photograph

Revised May 22, 2008

Head Covers, etc.

MVD field offices and private third party MVD providers have generally used a common sense approach regarding whether an applicant for a driver’s license or ID card may use a head cover in his or her photograph. However, it is necessary to set forth in writing MVD policy on head covers in photographs in order to assure that all offices follow uniform guidelines on this issue.

As a general rule, it is essential that MVD obtain a clear photograph for use on a driver license or ID card so that the individual is identifiable to law enforcement. Therefore, under MVD policy, an applicant is not permitted to wear in his or her photograph any item of clothing (such as a head cover) that interferes with or otherwise obscures identification of the individual. As an example, an applicant is not permitted to have an MVD photo taken if the applicant is wearing a head cover that reveals solely the applicant’s eyes but obscures other facial features. 

Eyeglasses

Effective March 2008, per PQU#58, customers are required to remove their glasses for drivers’ license and ID photos.

With implementation of the IDNM central issuance program, we have found that eyeglasses can result in false facial recognition system (FRS) matches, in effect tricking the system into thinking that two different people are the same person because they wear similar eyeglasses. In addition, as a quality-control issue, it is difficult, and can be unnecessarily time-consuming, to get a good, reflection-free photo that clearly shows the eyes of an individual who is wearing glasses.

Facial recognition technology makes it much, much more difficult for individuals to acquire DLs and IDs with multiple identities, or to engage in identity theft. The no-glasses rule allows the FRS to do its job better and more efficiently.. 

Section E: Classes of Driver Licenses

Revised July 22, 2008

The Motor Vehicle Division issues driver licenses and permits by class, according to the type of vehicles the licensee is authorized to operate. There are three classes of commercial driver license (A, B and C) and three classes of non-commercial driver license (D, M and E).

Non-Commercial Licenses (18.19.5.30 and 18.19.5.112 NMAC):

Class   Description
D

Authorizes licensee to drive a vehicle less than 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight, and to tow another vehicle provided that: (1) the towing vehicle is of equal or greater weight than the vehicle being towed; or (2) if the towing vehicle weighs less than the towed vehicle, the weight in the towed vehicle does not exceed the manufacturer's rated capacity and:

a.   the towing vehicle has either a class 4 or higher equalizing hitch or a fifth wheel;

b.   the vehicle being towed is a trailer; or

c.   the vehicle combination properly displays slow-moving insignia and moves at speeds of 25 mph or less. 

M

Authorizes licensee to drive a two- or three-wheeled motorcycle. This class of license is issued to drivers who drive only a motorcycle, and must have an endorsement of “Z”, “Y” or “W” to be valid. 

E

(CDL-Exempt) Issued only to individuals who are exempt from the requirements of the New Mexico Commercial Driver's License Act, including drivers of:

A.   Recreational vehicles - a vehicle licensed and used as a recreational vehicle

B.   Farm and ranch vehicles - vehicles that meet the following criteria: (1) controlled and operated by a farmer or rancher or an employee of a farmer or rancher; (2) used to transport agricultural products, agricultural machinery or agricultural supplies to or from a farm or ranch; (3) used within 150 miles of the persons farm or ranch; (4) not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier or otherwise used “for hire”;

C.   Firefighting vehicles - vehicles manufactured for and equipped to fight fires and equipped with audible and visual signals and operated by a person who is a member of a volunteer or paid fire organization; or

D.   Military vehicles - all vehicles owned or operated by the department of defense and operated by non-civilian operators.

All 1st time, renewal, or replacement “E” licenses require a Vehicle Certification Form. A Farmer may sign the certification for himself. However, if a farmer employs the applicant, the farmer must sign the Vehicle Certification Form. A firefighter must have his Fire Chief sign the Vehicle Certification Form initially and on every renewal. 

Commercial (CDL) Licenses (18.19.5.113 NMAC):

Class  Description
A Any combination of vehicles with a gross combined vehicle weight rating (GCWR) of 26,001 or more pounds, provided the gross vehicle weight rating (GVWR) of the vehicle(s) being towed is in excess of 10,000 pounds
B Any single vehicle with a GVWR of 26,001 or more pounds, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR.
C Any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds GVWR, or any such vehicle towing a vehicle not in excess of 10,000 pounds GVWR. Applies only to vehicles placarded for hazardous materials or designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

Note: Regardless of class of license, in order to operate a motorcycle a driver must have a motorcycle endorsement.

Section F: Temporary Driving Permits

Revised July 18, 2008

The field offices may issue 10-day and 30-day temporary permits using the red and white MVD form 11067. In addition, the Drivers Section in Santa Fe issues the yellow MVD form 10111 as a 30-day permit for individuals who are out-of-state and need a temporary extension of their driver’s license.

Form 11067 10-Day Temporary Permits (66-5-8F)

A 10-day temporary driver's permit may be issued to a license applicant while the division is completing its investigation and determination of the applicant's right to receive a driver's license. The permit shall be in the applicant's possession while operating a motor vehicle, and shall be invalid when the applicant's license has been issued or refused. No fee.

The form 11067 10-day permit may also be used if for any reason the field office is unable to print the Temporary License for the customer. The customer can then leave and come back later, when we are able to print the Temporary License.

Form 11067 30-Day Temporary Permits
A 30-day temporary driver's permit may be issued to a license applicant pending completion of the DWI Prevention and Education Program, when an out-of-state license will expire before the scheduled DWI awareness class. No Fee.

Form 10111 30-Day Temporary Permits
The Drivers Section in Santa Fe issues the yellow MVD form 10111 as a 30-day permit for individuals who are out-of-state and need a temporary extension or replacement of a driver’s license that is expiring or has been lost, stolen or mutilated. This temporary permit is intended to give the applicant the additional time needed to return to New Mexico and renew or replace the license. Up to two additional 30-day permits may be issued (for a total of 90 days) if necessary. No fee.  

Historical note
The yellow form 10111 permit was also authorized in 2004 for use by field offices when the SSOLV (Social Security Verification System) returned a “no match” code for name or date of birth. The yellow temporary permit was intended to give the customer time to resolve the problem with the Social Security Administration prior to issuance of a regular license. However, the availability of the Social Security override function has eliminated the need for this use. The form 10111 30-Day Temporary Permit is therefore no longer available for use by field offices (PQU#8rev.).

 

Section G: Endorsements

Revised June 5, 2012

An endorsement authorizes the licensee to operate a specific type of motor vehicle. A driver's license may be issued with one of the following endorsements. (18.19.5.31 and 18.19.5.114 NMAC)

Endorsement  Authorizes Licensee to Operate
H (CDL) Any vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. Re-testing is required upon renewal/replacement.
N (CDL) A tank vehicle intended for hauling liquids in bulk, in a tank with a capacity of 1,000 gallons or more.
P (CDL) Any vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
S (CDL) A school bus.
T (CDL) Combination vehicles with double or triple trailers.
V Victim of identity theft
W Any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of 100 or more cubic centimeters piston displacement.
X (CDL) Any tank vehicle used to transport placarded amounts of hazardous materials; a combination of endorsements “N” and “H”.    
Y Any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of at least 50 but less than 100 cubic centimeters piston displacement.
Z Any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of less than 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement.

 

 

Note: Unlike the other endorsements, the new (October, 2011) "V" endorsement does not authorize the licensee to operate a specific type of motor vehicle. Instead it serves as an indication to law enforcement that the licensee (or identification card holder) has been a victim of identity theft. It is available, with a new DL or ID number, to individuals who are listed in the New Mexico Attorney General's identity theft database.

Section H: Restrictions

Revised August 22, 2012

(18.19.5.32 and 18.19.5.115 NMAC)

Code  Restrictions Applies to
B Corrective Lenses –
must wear corrective lenses while driving
Commercial and Non-Commercial
C Mechanical Aids –
limited to vehicles equipped with suitable mechanical aids such as special brakes, hand controls or other adaptive devices
Commercial and Non-Commercial
D Prosthetic Aids –
must use prosthetic aids (other than corrective lenses) while driving
Commercial and Non-Commercial
E Automatic Transmission –
limited to vehicles with automatic transmissions
Commercial Vehicles Only
F Outside Mirrors –
limited to vehicles with outside mirrors
Non-Commercial Vehicles Only
G Limit to Daylight Only –
limited to driving a vehicle during daylight hours only
Non-Commercial Vehicles Only
H Limit to Employment –
limited to driving a vehicle for employment reasons only
Non-Commercial Vehicles Only
I Limit Local Area Only –
limited - other

Non-Commercial Vehicles Only

J Automatic Transmission –
limited to vehicles with automatic transmissions

Non-Commercial Vehicles Only

K Intrastate Only –
limited to driving a commercial vehicle in intrastate commerce only
Commercial Vehicles Only
L Vehicles without Air Brakes –
limited to driving commercial vehicles which do not have air brakes
Commercial Vehicles Only
M Except Class A Bus –
not authorized to drive a Class A bus
Commercial Vehicles Only
N Except Class A and B Bus –
not authorized to drive a Class A or Class B bus
Commercial Vehicles Only
O Except Tractor Trailer –
not authorized to drive a Class A tractor trailer combination vehicle
Commercial Vehicles Only
P Ignition Interlock –
limited to driving a vehicle with an ignition interlock device
Non-Commercial Vehicles Only
S Government Vehicle/Government Employee –
authorized to operate only a commercial motor vehicle owned by a governmental entity, and only as a government employee; medical card not required
Commercial Vehicles Only
T Bus Only (Class B or C) –
authorized only to operate a Class B or Class C bus
Commercial Vehicles Only
V Medical variance (federal or state waiver for a physical or vision condition) Commercial Vehicles Only
W Instructional/learner permit Commercial and Non-Commercial
Y Yearly Renewal –
term of license limited to one year based on medical report
Commercial and Non-Commercial

Note:  Restriction "X" (6-month temporary license) is no longer in use.

Section I: Minors

Created June 16, 2010

A Minor is anyone under 18 years of age.

Who must sign for a minor?
Except as specifically and explicitly required for a particular form (for example, a parent/guardian signature is not required on the Organ Donor Statement unless the applicant is under age 15), any application, affidavit or other form requiring a minor’s signature must be signed by both: a) a parent, guardian or other responsible adult; and (if the minor is capable of signing for himself) the minor.

Applications of minors
Sec. 66-5-11(A) NMSA 1978, regarding application of minors, says that, “The application of any person under the age of 18 years for an instruction permit, provisional license or driver's license shall be signed and verified by the father, mother or guardian or, in the event there is no parent or guardian, by another responsible adult who is willing to assume the obligation imposed under this article upon a person signing the application of a minor.”

Effective May 20, 2008 (see PQU#65), if a parent or legal guardian is not available to sign the application of a minor, the application may only be signed by another responsible adult who:

is specifically designated in writing by the parent or legal guardian; and
explicitly accepts the responsibility and liability imposed by statute for the minor’s actions when the minor is driving a motor vehicle.

The person who signs the application of a minor for a permit or license is liable with the minor for any damages caused by the minor's negligence or willful misconduct while driving a motor vehicle, unless the minor deposits or has deposited on his behalf proof of financial responsibility in respect to the operation of any motor vehicle owned or operated by him.

When taking a signature from “another responsible adult” on a minor’s application, the field office agent should always ask the adult signer to confirm his or her understanding that by doing so he or she accepts liability for the minor’s negligence or willful misconduct when driving a motor vehicle.

For minors of residences like the New Mexico Boys and Girls Ranch the accompanying adult must be an employee of the organization, and must provide proof of identification and a copy of the organization’s blanket liability insurance policy. The clerk must document the insurance policy number and the name and address of the individual and organization on the driver application.

Foreign Exchange Students may also, with proper identification, be issued a driver license or permit, if an adult is willing to sign, verify and assume the liability obligation.

Release From Liability (66-5-12)
A person who has signed the application of minor may file a verified written request that the license of the minor be canceled. The division shall cancel the minor's license and the person who signed the application shall be relieved of liability for any subsequent negligence or willful misconduct of the minor in operating a motor vehicle.

Death of person signing minor's application (66-5-13)
Upon receipt of satisfactory evidence of the death of the person who signed the application of a minor for a permit or license, the division shall cancel the minor's license, unless the minor has attained the age of 18 years.

Emancipated minors (32A-21-3 to 32A-21-5)
An emancipated minor any person 16 years of age or older who has entered into a valid marriage; is on active duty with any of the U.S. armed forces; or has received a declaration of emancipation from the children’s court of the district in which he resides.

An emancipated minor may apply for a driver's license without the signature of a responsible adult. The emancipated minor must present the original or a certified copy of the marriage certificate or court order of emancipation. The clerk must record on the driver license application the type of supporting documents presented.

GDL requirements must still be met. And the minor's parent or guardian may still be liable for damages caused by the minor's negligence or willful misconduct while driving a motor vehicle.

Section J: Minors Moving from Out of State

Created July 29, 2008

The Traffic Safety Bureau (TSB) is the regulating authority for Driver Education Schools and driver ed requirements in New Mexico.

30/6 hours requirement

According to TSB, although the New Mexico driver education requirement is 30 hours of class instruction and 7 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction, we may accept a driver education course certificate from another state if the course was provided: a) by a high school; or b) by a commercial school with a minimum of 30 hours of class instruction and 6 hours of behind-the-wheel instruction.

Classroom only acceptable for permit

A high school course that includes class room instruction only may be accepted for an instruction permit transfer because the road test is only required for the provisional license, which also requires 50 hours of practice driving.

Approved DWI prevention and education program

It should not be assumed that every out-of-state driver education course (for which a certificate or transcript must always be provided) includes a driving impaired section (DWI). If inclusion of an approved DWI prevention and education program is not documented, the minor must provide such documentation or be required to take the "None for the Road" class.

Documentation of other states’ driver ed requirements

If the certificate or transcript does not have specific information showing an approved DWI prevention and education program, class instruction hours, and behind-the-wheel hours consider these options:

  • Look in the most current Polk Motor Vehicle Registration Manual if available. Sometimes the information you need will be available.
  • Call the state where the course was provided and verify.
  • Have the customer provide additional information.

Do not call TSB. They will not decide for you whether a certificate or transcript can be accepted. If you cannot make a determination, contact your Bureau Chief.

Reciprocal exchange with other states

The Driver’s License Compact provides for the reciprocal exchange of drivers’ licenses with other states. If another state has a similar program to our GDL program, the New Mexico instruction permit and provisional license can be issued to replace their current permit or license.

Another state’s required length of time for the GDL permit or provisional phase may be different from New Mexico's. Except as noted above, New Mexico's time requirements will always prevail when the applicant is moving from a permit to provisional or provisional to a regular class D license. Examples:

  • A person from out of state who has had an instructional permit or equivalent for six months is eligible for a provisional license if the 50 hours of logged driving is provided and the road test is passed.
  • A person from out of state who has had a provisional or equivalent license for one year and has attained age 16½ may be issued a regular class D license if all other New Mexico requirements have been met.
  • The person who comes to NM with a regular, unrestricted license from another state must still provide a course certificate or transcript with 30/6 verification in order to get a New Mexico class D license. 

 

back to list

Locate an MVD Office

Find a MVD Service Provider Near You

MVD Home          Site Map          Privacy & Security          Site Policies          Accessibility          About Us          Contact Us

Governor Susana Martinez

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division Facebook Page


Call Email Map Contact