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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 License, Permit or ID
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 December 12, 2017
 

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

Except those expressly exempted, no person shall drive any motor vehicleneighborhood 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? (§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

A person 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.
  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 (§66-5-9(J)) 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) 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 five years 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 non-commercial written/knowledge test may retake the test as soon as they want to, even the same day, but may not take the test more than twice in a single week.
  11. An applicant who fails the written or road test three times must wait six months from date of application before retesting. (§66-5-9(A))
  12. A driver's license may be renewed 90 days before its expiration date.
  13. Licenses are generally issued for either four or eight years, and expire 30 days after the applicant's birthday in the fourth year, or 8 years from the effective date of the license.
  14. However, an eight-year license is not available to an individual who would reach age 79 during the last four years of the eight-year license period; and a license issued to an individual age 76-78 will expire 30 days after the applicant's 79th birthday.
  15. License fees for individuals age 76-78 are prorated based on the number of years before the license will expire.
  16. Applicants 79 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.

Lost licenses and IDs

A person requesting a replacement for a driver’s license or identification card that was lost can use a New Mexico enhanced driver’s license photo from the motor vehicle division (MVD) database, subject to MVD’s ability to verify the applicant’s social security number or other identification number used to obtain the driver’s license or identification card, as sufficient proof to issue a replacement driver’s license or identification card.

Foreign visitors

A foreign visitor, who is here temporarily, and will return to his home country within a period of months, or even a year or more, is not required to obtain a New Mexico license.

MVD agents, when accepting a foreign license in support of any application for a New Mexico driver’s license, must, before processing the license application, confirm that the customer understands that his foreign license must be surrendered and will be returned to him with a hole punched in it to indicate that it is no longer valid. If any customer is unwilling to surrender his prior license on those terms, do not proceed to issue a New Mexico license.

If the foreign license holder insists that he does not want to give up his home-country license, but does need an official New Mexico identification document, inform him that he may apply for an identification card, and that he can keep his foreign license and have a New Mexico ID.

Section B: Name Requirements

Revised December 5, 2017
 

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 name and last name. Creative naming conventions are not accepted for any reason.

Some customers, understandably, would like to abbreviate their first name, or have their middle or nickname indicated as their first name, or use only initials to represent first or middle names.

Unfortunately, we cannot oblige. Federal Law, our systems, the need for easy look up of cardholders by their legal names, and a growing demand for consistency among official identity documents, require that we stick to first name, middle name, last name and suffix (1st, 2nd, 3rd, Junior, Senior, etc.) as indicated upon the birth certificate, qualifying identity document, or name change document.

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 Tapestry, the single, legal name will be entered in the required Last Name field. If only a last name is entered, a soft review error will populate, asking for verification that the customer does not have a first name. The Review icon can be selected to bypass the soft error.

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 their 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

SSOLV, the Social Security Online Verification, checks that three pieces of information match the Social Security Administration’s database. SSOLV verifies that the Name, Date of Birth (DOB), and Social Security Number of a customer match. There are six possible SSOLV errors that require corrections to previously satisfied Tapestry fields or a manual override by a manager or super clerk.

SSOLV may return a “no match” response for name or DOB.

On a non-CDL transaction, if the customer has the appropriate name-change documentation, the customer service representative (CSR), 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.

Field offices should no longer be telling customers to get the problem resolved with the Social Security Administration before issuing a license or ID card. That process places an unnecessary added burden on the customer, and some SSA offices have been refusing to update their records without a corrected New Mexico drivers license or ID card.

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

Effective immediately, manager approval is required for all Social Security overrides associated with assigning knowledge exams.

Driving Schools will need to contact Field Operations or Production Support if SSOLV returns a “no match” response for name and/or date of birth while assigning knowledge examinations.  Field Operations and Production Support representatives are available only during normal MVD business hours.

Field Operations Help Desk:
1-855-784-8411

Production Support:
505-690-1111
505-699-1011

Field Operations and Production Support representatives should refer to the Tapestry Call Center and Field Operations training guide for information on determining when allowing a SSOLV override for assigning examinations is appropriate.

Section C: Motorcycles

Revised December 11, 2017
 

Definition (§66-1-4.11(F))

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) (18.19.5.31 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 (§66-3-1101(B))

A moped is a two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicle with an automatic transmission and a motor having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, which is capable of propelling the vehicle at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground at sea level.

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 (§66-5-5(A)(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. (§66-5-8(G))

Off-highway vehicle – parental supervision of driver under age 18 (§66-3-1010.3(C))

The driver of an off-highway motorcycle is not required to be licensed. As a general rule, an off-highway motor vehicle (OHV) operator who is under age 18 must be visually supervised by a parent.

However, 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, or satisfactorily complete the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic RiderCourse.

Section D: Taking the Customer's Photograph

Revised December 5, 2017
 

A new photograph must be captured for every credential-issuance customer, upon every visit to a Field Office, regardless of issuance transaction type.

Clarification:

TAPESTRY allows no-fee credential transactions to be processed without capturing a new photograph. However, TRD-MVD policy is for a photograph to be captured upon every credential-issuance-related visit to a field office. This includes no-fee correction transactions.

*Only exception:  Express No-Fee transactions
 

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's 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

Customers who wear eyeglasses are required to remove their glasses for driver's license, DAC and ID photos.

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 December 11, 2017
 

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 non-commercial driver’s license (D, E and M) and three classes of commercial driver’s license (A, B and C).
 

Non-Commercial Drivers’ Licenses, Classes D, E and M (18.19.5.30 and 18.19.5.112 NMAC)

Class D License:

Authorizes the licensee to drive any single vehicle less than 26,001 pounds gross vehicle weight, and to tow another vehicle weighing

  1. not more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight, provided that the towing vehicle is of equal or greater weight than the vehicle being towed; or
  2. more than 10,000 pounds gross vehicle weight provided that either the towing vehicle is of equal or greater weight than the vehicle being towed or, if the towing vehicle is of lesser weight than the towed vehicle, the weight in the towed vehicle does not exceed the manufacturer's rated capacity and:
  1. the towing vehicle has either a class 4 or higher equalizing hitch or a fifth wheel;
  2. the vehicle being towed is a trailer; or
  3. the vehicle combination properly displays slow-moving insignia and moves at speeds of 25 mph or less.

A Class D licensed driver may also operate a motorcycle, but only with a “Z”, “Y” or “W” endorsement.

Class E (CDL Exempt) License:

Issued only to individuals who are exempt from the requirements of the New Mexico Commercial Driver’s License Act, including drivers of:

  1. Recreational vehicles - vehicles licensed and used as recreational vehicles;
  2. Farm and ranch vehicles - vehicles that are: (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 person’s farm or ranch; (4) not used in the operations of a common or contract motor carrier or otherwise used “for hire”; and
  3. Firefighting vehicles - vehicles manufactured for and equipped to fight fires and operated by a person who is a member of a volunteer or paid fire organization.

All 1st time “E” licenses require a Vehicle Certification Form. Farmer may sign the certification for themselves. However, if a farmer employs the applicant, the farmer must sign the Vehicle Certification Form. Firefighters must have their Fire Chief sign the Vehicle Certification Form.

A Class E license also authorizes the licensee to drive any Class D vehicle or (with a “Z”, “Y” or “W” endorsement) motorcycle.

Class M (Motorcycle) License:

Authorizes the licensee to drive a two- or three-wheel 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. 
 

Commercial Drivers’ Licenses (CDL), Classes A, B and C (18.19.5.113 NMAC)

Class A License:

Authorizes the licensee to drive 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.

Class B License:

Authorizes the licensee to drive 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.

Class C License:

Authorizes the licensee to drive 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.

Class A, B and C licenses also authorize the licensees to drive all lesser classes of vehicles, except that in order to drive a motorcycle a driver must have a motorcycle endorsement.
 

Restricted, Farm-Related Class B or C Commercial Driver’s License (§66-5-62.1):

The knowledge and skills tests normally required for issuance of a CDL are waived for this seasonal Class B or C commercial driver’s license, which is available only to employees of the following farm-related service industries:

  1. agriculture-chemical businesses;
  2. custom harvesters;
  3. farm retail outlets and suppliers; and
  4. livestock feeders.

The applicant for a restricted, seasonal commercial driver’s license must meet all the normal requirements for issuance of a Class B or C CDL, except for the knowledge and skills tests. The applicant must also have a good driving record, as defined in §66-5-62.1(C).

A restricted commercial driver’s license shall be limited to a seasonal period or periods determined by the division that does not exceed 180 days in any 12-month period.
 

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 December 12, 2017
 

90-Day Temporary License, permit or ID

Occasionally, a New Mexico credential holder will contact MVD because their driver’s license, permit or identification card (ID) is lost or stolen while they are traveling outside of New Mexico. Tapestry allows for the issuance of a 90-day temporary license, permit or ID issued upon the same template as the 45-day temporary licenses. A maximum of two of these 90-day temporary credentials will be allowed per year.

Upon return to New Mexico the applicant may return to a Field Office to renew or replace the lost/stolen credential. Replacements and renewals of New Mexico credentials are also available online.

Sometimes customers find the originally issued credential after a 90-day temporary has been issued. The 90-day temporary will expire upon the 90th day. The original credential will remain valid until its original expiration date or until the customer returns to replace it.
 

No Temporary Permit for Commercial Drivers

Temporary permits may never be issued to commercial drivers. There is currently no such thing as a temporary New Mexico CDL permit.

Section G: Endorsements

Revised December 5, 2017
 

An endorsement authorizes the licensee to operate a specific type of motor vehicle. A driver's license may be issued with one or more of the following endorsements.
 

Non-Commercial Driver’s License Endorsements (18.19.5.31 NMAC)

These endorsements authorize the driver 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.
 

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL) Endorsements (18.19.5.114 NMAC)

These CDL endorsements authorize the driver to operate:  

H       Any vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. Re-testing is required upon renewal/replacement.

N       A tank vehicle intended for hauling liquids in bulk, in a tank with a capacity of 1,000 gallons or more.

P       Any vehicle designed to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.

S       A school bus.

T       Combination vehicles with double or triple trailers.

X       Any tank vehicle used to transport placarded amounts of hazardous materials; a combination of endorsements “N” and “H”
 

Identity Theft Endorsement

?V       In addition, the “V” endorsement identifies the driver as a victim of identity theft. It 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 December 5, 2017
 

Non-commercial and commercial drivers’ licenses may be issued with one or more restrictions.
 

Non-Commercial Drivers’ License Restrictions (18.19.5.32 NMAC)

Code   Title   Description
C   Mechanical Aids          Mechanical Aids
D   Prosthetic Aids   Prosthetic Aids
E   Automatic Transmission   Automatic Transmission
F   Outside Mirrors   Outside Mirrors
G   Limit to Daylight Only   Limit to Daylight Only
H   Limit to Employment/School   Limit to Employment/School
I   Interlock License   Interlock License
Q   Instructional/Learner   Instruct/Learner, with license of  equal or higher class (permit only)

Commercial Drivers’ License Restrictions (18.19.5.115 NMAC).

Code Title   Description  
A Seasonal CDL   Agricultural use within 150 miles of farm/ranch  
B Corrective Lenses   Corrective Lenses  
C Mechanical Aids   Mechanical Aids  
D Prosthetic Aids   Prosthetic Aids  
E Automatic Transmission   Automatic Transmission  
K Intrastate Only   Intrastate Only  
L Vehicles without Air Brakes   Vehicles without Air Brakes  
M Except Class A Bus   Except Class A Bus  
N Except Class A and B Bus   Except Class A and B Bus  
O Except Tractor Trailer   Except Tractor Trailer  
P No Passengers   No Passengers  
V Medical Variance Waiver   Medical Variance  
W Instructional/Learner    Instruct/Learner, with license of  = or > class  
X Commercial Permit, No Cargo   No Cargo (permit only)  
Z No Full Air Brake Equipped   No Full Air Brakes  


Note:  Restrictions J, Q, R, S, T, U and Y are unassigned at this time.

Section I: Minors

Revised December 5, 2017
 

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 parent, guardian or other responsible adult; and
  • (if the minor is capable of signing for himself) the minor.
     

Applications of minors

§66-5-11(A), 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.”

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

The application of a minor who is in the custody of the state may be signed and verified by a grandparent; a sibling over the age of 18 years; an aunt; an uncle; a foster parent with whom the minor resides; or a child protective services worker or juvenile probation officer (§66-5-11(B)).

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. (§§ 66-5-11(C) and (D))

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 their understanding that by doing so they accept liability for the minor’s negligence or willful misconduct when driving a motor vehicle.

For minors placed in 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 is 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's 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

Revised December 5, 2017
 

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 the 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:

  • 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.

 

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