New Mexico gets its nickname, “The Land of Enchantment”, from a combination of its sweeping scenic beauty and its rich Native American and Hispanic heritage. The state’s landscape is intriguing with treasures such as the Rio Grande Gorge, Carlsbad Caverns, Chaco Canyon and Sangre de Cristo Mountain Range. Mountain peaks in the north and white-sandy deserts in the south, “The Land of Sunshine” offers visitors and residents not only natural wonders but an abundantly rich southwestern art community. A good drive through the state shows off its unique variety, and CheapCarInsurance.net has been working hard to let drivers experience this landscape. After sifting through all the driving laws and information for the state of New Mexico, this list has been compiled to give drivers a quick-reference guide to let them get back to enjoying their sunshine.
Car Insurance Quotes for New Mexico
Car insurance quotes are for one car and one driver who has state minimum coverage with $500 comprehensive and collision deductibles. The hypothetical driver is 40 years old, female, married, employed, a college graduate, and has good credit. She has no moving violations, claims, or lapse in coverage. The vehicles are assumed to be garaged on premises, used primarily for commuting, and driven 16,000 miles per year. Car insurance quotes include commonly available discounts and are estimates and not guaranteed.
Average Car Insurance Premiums
New Mexico premiums are consistently lower than the national averages. While enjoying record lows in 2007, New Mexico’s average premiums as a percentage of income have remained above average the last few years.
Drunk Driving Fatalities
New Mexico’s drunk driving fatalities have fallen below the national average once again after jumping above the nation’s average in 2011. The number of fatalities remained unchanged from 2013 to 2014.
Teen Drinking and Driving
The Center for Disease Control puts the state’s teen drinking and driving numbers above the national average.
Vehicular Theft in New Mexico
New Mexico saw an increase in vehicle thefts in 2012, and an even larger increase in 2013 and 2014. The number of thefts remains well above the national average.
LAWS & REGULATIONS
New Mexico’s laws and regulations change constantly, and this list will help drivers stay ahead of those changes. Included in this list are all the essential facts to keep New Mexican drivers safe and informed while on the road.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance in New Mexico
- The New Mexico Office of Secretary of Insurance states that while all vehicles must be covered by Liability Insurance and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage, the latter may be refused by the driver in writing.
- Liability Coverage and Uninsured/Underinsured Motorists minimums:
- $25,000 per individual to cover bodily injury or death.
- $50,000 per accident involving bodily injuries or deaths.
- $10,000 for property damage.
New Mexico’s Consumer Assistance Bureau offers assistance to consumers who have questions regarding insurance laws in New Mexico.
New Driver Licensing Requirements:
- The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) requires New Mexico residents who drive a vehicle in the state to possess a valid state driver license. The state has instituted a Graduated Driver License (GDL) program to allow drivers under the age of 18 an opportunity to gain driving experience prior to applying for their regular drivers license. The program consists of three parts, each of which are listed below:
- Instructional Permit. Beginning at age 15, applicants must pass the vision and knowledge tests and enroll in a MVD-approved Driver Education Course. After paying the required fees, the following requirements/restrictions apply while the permit is held:
- Must hold the permit for at least 6 months
- Complete and pass the Driver Education requirement
- The applicant must be accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older who has held his/her license for at least 3 years.
- Complete 50 hours of supervised driving including 10 hours of night driving
- Maintain a clean driving record for at least the 90 days preceding level 2
- Provisional License. At age 15 years, 6 months, applicants who have completed the requirements for the Instructional Permit may pass the Road Skills Test to obtain their Provisional License. While holding this license, the following applies:
- Must hold the license for at least 12 months
- The applicant may not drive between 12am and 5am unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older. Exemptions include driving to activities associated with:
- No unrelated passengers under 21 years of age are allowed unless the driver is accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.
- Full License. To obtain a Full License, applicants must meet the following requirements:
- Successful completion of stage 2
- Holding no pending violations or alcohol-related offenses, and has not been convicted of either within the past 90 days
- Vision Exam. Applicants must pass the vision test with a visual acuity of at least 20/40 in at least one eye. Corrective lenses may be used, and restrictions may be made for certain applicants with varying visual acuity.
- Knowledge Test. The knowledge test is comprised from concepts included in the New Mexico Driver’s Manual, and a passing score of 70 percent is needed.
- Road Skills Test. The vehicle used for the test must be provided by the driver, and it also must be licensed, registered and insured. Additional information for the road test requirements can be found on the New Mexico MVD’s website. The test administrator will evaluate the driver’s skill in a number of areas:
- Left and right turns
- Approaching intersections with traffic signals
- Obeying stop signs
- Grade stopping, parking and starting
- Upon failing the test, the applicant must wait one week before he/she can re-take the test.
- Fees. New Mexico drivers license fees are as follows:
- Instructional Permit, $10.
- Provisional License, $10
- Full Driver’s License, $18 for a 4-year license and $34 for an 8-year license
- BAC limit: .08 The New Mexico MVD website provides a helpful overview of the state’s DWI process and penalties. Included here are New Mexico’s minimum penalties for DWI offenses:
- First Offense:
- Fine: maximum $500
- Jail: maximum 90 days
- License revocation: 1 year
- Ignition Interlock Device: 1 year
- Community service: minimum 24 hours
- DWI school
- Second Offense within 10 Years:
- Fine: maximum $1,000
- Jail: maximum 1 year and possible 5 years of probation
- License revocation: 2 years
- Ignition Interlock Device: 2 years
- Community service: minimum 48 hours
- Ignition Interlock Device (IID) during suspension and 1-3 years following re-instatement.
- Third Offense within 10 Years:
- Fine: maximum $1,000
- Jail: maximum 1 year and possible 5 years of probation
- License revocation: 3 years
- Ignition Interlock Device: 3 years
- Community service: minimum 96 hours
- Complete a court-mandated alcohol or drug abuse evaluation and/or treatment program
- Fourth and subsequent offense(s) result in a lifetime license revocation in addition to increasingly severe fines and jail terms.
Texting & Driving Laws
According to Distraction.gov, New Mexico has banned handheld cell phone devices for drivers with in-state vehicles, and novice drivers are banned from both handheld and hands-free cell phone use. A ban on texting for all drivers is effective 7/2014.
New Mexico is no stranger to strange laws. For instance, the state prohibits betting on bicycle races, but ostrich or camel races? Sure! Also, no hunting is allowed in the Deming City cemetery, and it is unlawful for any woman to appear unshaven while in public!
State Department of Insurance
Department of Transportation
Department of Motor Vehicles
New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department
Motor Vehicle Division
Joseph Montoya Building
1100 S. St. Francis Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1028
888-683-4636 or 888-MVD-INFO