How To Register a Car In New Mexico

Have you just moved to New Mexico? Before registering your car, you’ll need to provide the required documents and pass a state emissions inspection.
Written by Andrea Barrett
Reviewed by Christelle Agustin
background
If you’ve landed in
New Mexico
, you have 30 days to visit your local MVD field office or register your vehicle online—but you’ll need to provide the required documents and an Emission Certificate of Inspection.
If you want to renew your New Mexico vehicle registration, the process is pretty straightforward. But you’ll have to complete all the state requirements before receiving a vehicle registration certificate.
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How to register a car in New Mexico

Registering your vehicle in New Mexico is pretty simple and can be done online if you’re renewing or in person for first-time registrants. You’ll need the following:
You’ll also have to pay a registration fee of $27.00 to $62.00 for a one-year registration or $54.00 to $124.00 for a two-year registration.

If you just moved to New Mexico

If you’ve just settled in the Land of Enchantment, you’ll have 30 days to register your vehicle and 60 days to transfer any official documents and identification, including your New Mexico driver’s license. You’ll need to visit a New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (NM MVD) branch for both the license and
vehicle registrations
.
If you’re moving to New Mexico from another state, you’ll need a vehicle identification number (VIN) inspection. Most MVD offices offer this service, but you’ll have to make an appointment (and call ahead, as some offices don’t offer it at all). You can complete a VIN inspection before starting the registration application process.
Once you’ve completed the New Mexico vehicle inspection, you can apply for a New Mexico car registration certificate at any MVD field office. Ensure you’ve collected the required documents:
  • A completed Application for Vehicle Title and Registration
  • The vehicle’s title
  • Proof of New Mexico car insurance
  • Proof of identity (NM driver’s license, photo ID, birth certificate, U.S. passport)
  • Two documents of New Mexico residency (bank statement, pay stub, utility bills)
  • A completed
    Affidavit of Gift of Motor Vehicle or Boat
    (only required if the vehicle was obtained as a gift)
  • An Emission Certificate of Registration, if applicable
  • Payment covering registration fees
Registration fees vary based on the weight and model year of the vehicle, but passenger vehicles typically range between $27.00 to $62.00 for a one-year registration.
Keep in mind that if you’re late registering by less than 31 days late, you’ll be subject to a $10 fee, and if you’re late by 31 days or more, you’ll pay an additional fee of 75% of the registration fee.
Trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 26,000 pounds or less have slightly different fees: $38 to $207 for a one-year registration and $76 to $414 for a two-year registration. 
See, pretty straightforward! Once you’ve collected the required documents and submitted them to your local NM MVD office, you’ll receive a single New Mexico plate and registration tags for the vehicle!

If you just bought a car

If you’ve just purchased a brand new vehicle and you’re registering it for the first time, you likely won’t have to deal with registration—dealerships will generally take care of the paperwork.
However, if you’ve purchased a car and it isn’t registered, you’ll need to collect the following documents and bring them to your local NM MVD:

How much insurance coverage do you need in New Mexico? 

If you’re new to the Land of Enchantment, you’ll need to abide by
New Mexico’s car insurance laws
before legally driving your vehicle. The minimum state requirements include the following: 
If your policy meets the NM minimum coverage limits, you’ll be good to go!
But remember that while the minimum requirements in New Mexico are decent, it’s generally a good idea to go beyond the pre-set limits and purchase additional coverage like extra liability,
collision insurance
,
comprehensive insurance
, or even
new car replacement insurance
.

How to renew your New Mexico vehicle registration 

If you already have a New Mexico vehicle registration, you’ll have to renew it yearly or every other year, depending on how long you purchased it. There are three methods to renew your registration: online, by mail, and in person—and if you use the first method, you’ll receive a 5% discount

Online

To
renew online
and receive the discount, you’ll need to collect the following:
  • Control Number (shown on reminder renewal postcard), or
  • License Plate Number and VIN (last six characters only)
  • Credit card information (MasterCard, Visa, American Express, or Discover credit card)
When renewing online, you have two options: Express Renewal, where you cannot replace your plate or update your address, or Vehicle Renewal, which allows you to replace your plate and update your address.

By mail

If you choose to renew your vehicle registration by mail, you’ll need to complete the mail-in registration renewal form that you receive from the NM MVD, along with a check for the correct renewal fee (one or two years).
Checks can be made payable to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division; cash or credit card information is not accepted.
Send payment to:
Registration Renewal Section
Motor Vehicle Division
PO BOX 25129
Santa Fe, NM 87504-5129

Visit a New Mexico MVD office

You can also take your current registration information to an MVD office and the appropriate fee for a one-year or two-year renewal. MVD Field Offices will accept cash or checks.

How to replace a lost registration sticker or license plate

If you’re in the unfortunate position of having lost your registration sticker or license plate—or if it was damaged or vandalized—don’t panic yet. You can request a replacement sticker at your local NM MVD office for $7.50.
If your sticker or plates were stolen, a replacement car tag fee might be waived with proof of the police report. Damaged plates or stickers can be replaced for $15
You can use the New Mexico eServices to complete a request for a duplicate registration. If your plates are lost, stolen, or damaged, you’ll need to visit an MVD office and provide current registration, driver’s license, and all fees.
MORE: How to renew your driver’s license in New Mexico
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FAQs

To register a vehicle in New Mexico, you’ll need a VIN inspection, the vehicle’s title, proof of New Mexico car insurance, proof of identity, two documents proving New Mexico residency, an emissions certificate (if applicable), a completed Application for Vehicle Title and Registration, and your registration fees. The fees are listed on your renewal notice, but you can also find them on the New Mexico MDV website or at your local MVD office.
The exact fees to register your vehicle in New Mexico depend on your vehicle’s weight and model year. On average, one-year vehicle registration for a passenger vehicle costs between $27.00 to $62.00 and between $54.00 to $124.00 for a two-year registration.
The cost to register a commercial vehicle in New Mexico depends on the vehicle's weight.
Trucks with a gross vehicle weight (GVW) of 26,000 pounds or less cost $38 to $207 for a one-year registration and $76 to $414 for a two-year registration. 
More details on registering a commercial vehicle in New Mexico can be found on the
MVD website
.
The New Mexico MVD doesn’t list people exempt from registering their vehicles. Contact your local field office for more information. 
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