The 10 Most Common Ways to Get a Suspended License in New Mexico

Driving on a suspended license in New Mexico carries hefty fines, further suspension or revocation, and possible jail time.
Written by Zachary Morgan
Reviewed by Kathleen Flear
New Mexico driver's license
can be suspended (or revoked) for reckless driving, driving while intoxicated, and failure to appear in court, among other offenses.
Driving with a suspended license in New Mexico is a misdemeanor punishable by jail time and hefty fines. It will also affect the cost of your
New Mexico car insurance policy
Check out this handy guide to New Mexico’s license suspension regulations. We’ll describe some of the more common infractions as well as the penalties involved with each of them. 

What’s the difference between license suspension and revocation?

When discussing license suspension, the two words you’ll hear most often are “suspended” and “revoked.” It may seem like the words are used interchangeably, but they have distinctly different definitions:
  • License suspension means that driving privileges have been temporarily lost for a predetermined period of time
  • A license revocation is more serious and often means that the driver has to reapply for their license

What can your license be suspended for in New Mexico?

The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has the power to suspend or revoke licenses for a multitude of infractions, from failure to pay child support to more serious violations like DUIs. You can avoid losing your license by taking note of the reasons for license suspension in New Mexico listed below.

1. Unpaid child support

The New Mexico Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) aims to reduce the number of families reliant on welfare by expecting parents to provide the support owed to their children. CSED has a number of tools that they use to ensure compliance, including suspension of both personal and professional driver’s licenses for anyone with outstanding child support payments.

2. Failure to appear in court

If you fail to appear for a scheduled court proceeding, your license can be suspended indefinitely.

3. Failure to pay a citation

If you neglect to pay any court-ordered fines within the allotted time frame, your license could be suspended indefinitely.

4. Driving without insurance

New Mexico's car insurance law
is a serious offense. If convicted of driving uninsured, you will be given a misdemeanor and could face penalties of $300 and/or up to 90 days in jail. You may also require an
SR-22 certificate
going forward.
In addition, failure to immediately return your license plates and vehicle registration post-suspension could see the penalties increase to $1,000 in fines, up to six months in jail, or both. 

5. Reckless driving

Any motorist convicted of
reckless driving in New Mexico
can expect to have their license suspended for up to 90 days. Six demerit points will also be added to the individual’s driving record.

6. Having too many demerit points

New Mexico operates on a demerit point system for drivers. Points are accumulated for every moving infraction a driver commits, with consequences if they pass a certain threshold of points. Getting 12 or more points within a year will cause your license to be suspended. 
Furthermore, if you’ve accumulated between seven and ten points in a year, a judge may recommend license suspension. If this happens, your license will be suspended for 90 days.
License points dirty up your driving record and will often impact the cost of your car insurance in the future.


In New Mexico, drivers over the age of 21 can be charged for DUI if they are found to have a Blood Alcohol Content (BAC) at or above 0.08%. Alternatively, drivers under 21 can be charged if they have a BAC of 0.02% or higher, while commercial vehicle operators cannot test at or above 0.04%.
Punishments for
DUIs in New Mexico
are tiered based on the number of convictions a driver has:
  • First offense: License suspended for one year
  • Second offense: License suspended for two years
  • Third offense: License suspended for three years
  • Fourth offense: Lifetime loss of license
If pulled over on suspicion of driving under the influence of drugs or alcohol, you will be required to take a breath/blood test. If this test is failed, your license will be revoked for six months. Alternatively, if the test is refused, the revocation period is extended to one year. For a second offense, your license will be revoked for one year, no matter if you failed the test or refused it.

9. Driving on a suspended license

If convicted of driving on a suspended license, you will be charged with a misdemeanor and sentenced to a maximum $300 fine as well as up to 90 days in jail.
If your license was revoked instead of suspended, the penalties increase to as much as $1,000 in fines and between four days to a year in jail.
If your license was revoked due to a DUI, the penalties increase even further to between $300 and $1,000 and anywhere from seven days to a year in jail.

10. Other reasons

There are an array of other reasons for your license to be suspended or revoked. They range from the obvious to the obscure—speeding, failure to yield, not wearing a seatbelt, or running a stop sign can get your license suspended just as easily as, say, using your car to commit a crime.
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