New Mexico Driver’s License Requirements

To get a driver’s license in New Mexico, you’ll need ID, proof of residence, and to pass vision, knowledge, and road tests.
Written by Melanie Johnson
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
To get your full driver’s license in
New Mexico
, you must be at least 17 years old and able to provide valid identification and proof of address. The process to receive your license involves a driver education course, as well as vision, knowledge, and road tests. 
Getting a driver’s license is an exciting milestone, but the process varies from state to state and can be confusing. We're breaking down the ins and outs of getting a New Mexico driver’s license

What are the requirements for a driver’s license in New Mexico?

You must be at least 15.5 years old to get a
New Mexico provisional driver’s license
. Before you can head to the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (NM MVD) to apply, you’ll need to round up the following documents: 
  • Primary identification: Original or certified copy of birth certificate, U.S. or foreign, passport, certificate of naturalization, certificate of citizenship, permanent resident card
  • Social Security number: Social Security card, W-2 or 1099 form, paystub including your complete SSN, foreign passport with visa or I-94
  • Two forms of
    proof of residency
    : Property rental or purchase agreement, mortgage statement, utility bill, employment pay stub, utility bill, New Mexico public assistance card
These are the requirements for a
New Mexico REAL ID
. Check the
website for a complete list of the documents you can use in your license application based on the license you’re applying for.

What are the requirements for young drivers? 

Applicants under 18 need parental consent and must hold a
learner’s license
for at least six months. Before you can apply for your provisional license, you will need to:
  • Complete six months of supervised driving
  • Pass a driver education program
  • Complete a driving log showing you have spent at least 50 hours driving, including 10 at night
  • Pass a road skills exam

What are the requirements for out-of-state drivers? 

You’ll want to transfer your out-of-state driver’s license if you move to New Mexico or become employed in the state. You’ll need to visit an MVD field office, but you’ll only need to pass a vision test—no knowledge or road tests required! 

How to get a driver’s license in New Mexico

For new drivers: take the None for the Road course 

If you’re under the age of 25 and it’s your first time getting a driver’s license, you’ll need to take a
None for the Road
course. This course covers the essentials of
New Mexico’s driving while impaired (DWI) laws
and prevention.
After you take this course (or skip it if you’re 25+), you’ll need to pass a vision test, knowledge exam, and a road skills test.

Vision test

Before you get out on the open road, it’s important that you’re able to see the road! 
To meet New Mexico’s vision requirements, you must have 20/40 or better vision in at least one eye. If you fail the test, you’ll be referred to a specialist, who will need to complete a vision report form.
If you required glasses to pass the test, you must always wear your glasses while behind the wheel.

Knowledge exam

After passing the vision test, you’re ready for the next step: the knowledge exam (aka the written test). The exam will consist of 25 multiple choice questions on New Mexico’s rules of the road, traffic signs, and DWI laws. You may take the test on the computer or on paper.
Study for your exam using the
New Mexico Driver’s License Manual
, which covers everything you need to know. There are also numerous online practice tests.
In order to pass your knowledge exam, you must get 70% of the questions correct

Road test

The final leg on the journey to your New Mexico driver’s license is a road test, which you can schedule on the
MVD website
. You’ll need to bring your own vehicle to the test, and it must: 
  • Be properly registered and insured
  • Have functional seatbelts, rearview mirrors, muffler, windshield and windshield wipers, parking brake, horn, front and rear signals, rear reflectors, and speedometer
  • Have a valid
    license plate
  • Have adequate fuel
Bring all of your required documents to the MVD. During the road skills test, be prepared to perform the following: 
  • Starting the car
  • Stopping at stop signs and traffic signals 
  • Choosing proper lanes
  • Passing other cars
  • Controlling your speed
  • Yielding right-of-way
  • Signaling, turning, steering, and braking
You will start with 100 points at the beginning of your road skills test—and the examiner will deduct points for your errors. 
To pass the test, you need at least 70 points. Check
the road score record
to better understand how you can lose points.
If you pass your driving test (yay!), you’ll be able to present your documents to the MVD and pay the $34 fee for an eight-year license or the $18 fee for a four-year one. 
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To get your full New Mexico driver’s license, you’ll need valid identification, a Social Security number or complementary documentation, and two forms of proof of residential address.
The fee for an eight-year, non-commercial New Mexico driver’s license is $34. The fee for a four-year license is $14.
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