Auto Insurance in New Mexico (NM)

If You Are Paying More Than $1,283.89 on Auto Insurance in New Mexico, You Are Paying Too Much.

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Auto Insurance Industry in New Mexico

  • An average consumer pays $1,663.00 on auto insurance
  • 254 of every 100,000 vehicles are reported stolen every year
  • Accident fatality rate of 1.39%
  • Of all accidents: 58% are road-way accidents, 8% are intersection accidents, and 11% of all accidents involve at least 1 truck.

New Mexico offers residents breathtaking landscapes, diverse cultures and the opportunity to drive legally within the state. Before registering a vehicle, every resident must demonstrate financial responsibility if an accident occurs.

New Mexico’s Minimum Requirements on Auto Insurance

New Mexico has two ways for residents to establish financial responsibility. The first is to purchase a $60,000 surety bond or deposit this cash amount with the state treasurer’s office. The second is to buy auto liability insurance from a licensed insurance carrier.

Most residents choose to buy an auto liability insurance policy that includes the minimum requirements set by the state. In New Mexico, the minimum coverage requirements are:

  • $20,000 - death or physical injury, one person
  • $50,000 - death or physical injury, two or more persons
  • $10,000 - property damage

Purchasing auto liability is the first step towards establishing financial responsibility. The next step is to keep proof of the insurance in your vehicle. Typically, the insurance carrier will issue an identification card that includes your name, vehicle information and policy details. You can show this to a law enforcement officer if you are involved in an accident or pulled over during a traffic stop.

You can face penalties if you fail to maintain financial responsibility or are unable to show proof to law enforcement. Generally, you could be charged with a misdemeanor for driving without auto insurance. Additionally, you could be fined $300 or more and have your vehicle registration suspended.

Insurance carriers authorized to sell auto insurance must report coverage information to the Insurance Identification Database (IIDB) in New Mexico. If the carrier notifies the state that your insurance is cancelled, you will receive a notice from the state. You must respond to the letter with proof of insurance or face subsequent penalties.

Consumer Car Licensing Information in New Mexico

In addition to establishing financial responsibility, drivers must also receive a Class W driver’s license. This type of license grants drivers permission to operate a passenger car and pick-up truck in the state. This rule applies to teenagers, first-time adult drivers and new residents.

New Mexico’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) has requirements for each age group applying for a driver’s license. Teenagers under 18 are required to take a driver’s education course and keep a provisional license for six months. After this waiting period, the state will issue a regular driver’s license. Young adults between 18 and 24 are required to complete a self-guided DWI awareness program. An application and course materials are available from a local MVD office. A driver’s education course is not required - but is recommended - for adults age 25 and older.

It is also recommended that you schedule an appointment with the MVD to complete the required testing. To apply, you will need to provide:

  • Certified copy of your birth certificate
  • Two forms of documentation to prove you are a New Mexico resident
  • A social security card
  • Proof that you completed the DWI awareness program, if applicable
  • Out-of state driver’s license if you are a new resident

You are only required to take the vision test if your out-of-state license has not expired. The fee for a four-year license is $18 and an eight-year license is $34.

Motorcycle Licensing Information in New Mexico

New Mexico issues a Class M motorcycle license to residents who wish to drive a motorcycle. Typically, a motorcycle training program is not required by the MVD. However, the state offers incentives to encourage all applicants to enroll in a training program from the Motorcycle Safety Foundation.

There are three endorsement levels associated with the Class M motorcycle license. A W endorsement is granted to residents 15 years old and older who want to operate a motorcycle that is 100cc or larger. For motorcycles that are between 50cc and 100cc, the state issues a Y endorsement for applicants who are at least 13 years old. The Z endorsement is also issued to applicants who are 13 and older and drive a motorcycle that is less than 50cc.

The requirements to apply for a Class M motorcycle license are similar to applying for a Class W operator’s license. The process is the same to have a motorcycle endorsement added to a Class W license. This generally includes an application, personal identification documents and passage of the written and on-cycle skills test.

New Mexico does not have a helmet law for motorcycle riders over 18 years of age. However, you must wear a helmet at all times if you are under 18.

Commercial Vehicle Licensing Information in New Mexico

New Mexico offers a Class A, B and C commercial driver’s license (CDL) to every resident who wants to drive a commercial vehicle. An intrastate CDL is issued to residents who are at least 18 years old. Residents who are 21 years old and older may qualify for an interstate CDL to drive commercial vehicles across state lines.

In general, a commercial vehicle is defined as a vehicle that:

  • Carries 15 or more passengers
  • Weighs more than 26,000 lbs.
  • Has a combined weight over 26,000 lbs. for the vehicle and trailer
  • Includes a hazardous materials placard

Generally, you are required to participate in rigorous training and testing to receive a CDL from the MVD. A written knowledge test is required. Additional written tests will also apply for specialized commercial driving such as a bus or tanker-truck.

A medical examination and certification of good health is also required. You will need to pay for and successfully pass a criminal background check before receiving an endorsement to transport hazardous materials. The fee for this is $127.

If you recently moved to New Mexico and have a valid CDL from another state, you must transfer the license. New Mexico’s CDL fees are $18 for a four-year license and $34 for an eight-year license.

More Resources on Auto Insurance in New Mexico

Department of Insurance