If you’re at the age where it’s time to obtain your graduated driver’s license or learner’s permit, congratulations! Learning to drive a motor vehicle is a very fun and exciting experience, and thanks to MVD Express, you can get your learner’s permit quickly and efficiently! We’re proud to offer New Mexico residents several motor vehicle department service centers in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, and more. Learn more about what to bring when you visit our facility or contact us today to schedule an appointment!

Graduated Driver’s License Program in New Mexico

In the state of New Mexico, new drivers are required to go through the graduated driver’s license program that consists of three sections. When you visit our DMV, we’ll make it easy and convenient for you to obtain to your learner’s permit, provisional license, and your unrestricted full driver’s license. When you visit our state-of-the-art motor vehicle clinic, you may be required to take your written driver’s test at our facility. Below are the three stages:

STAGE 1:
INSTRUCTIONAL PERMIT
STAGE 2:
PROVISIONAL LICENSE
STAGE 3:
FULL LICENSE
To obtain an Instructional Permit, a teen must be at least 15 years old, enrolled in a Driver’s Education Program or Driving School and present the following documents:
  • Driver Education Referral Card
  • Original state-issued Birth Certificate
  • Original Social Security Card (cannot accept laminated card)
  • Parent/legal guardian must accompany new teen driver
  • Two Proofs of New Mexico Residency
    • An Affidavit of Residency can be signed to prove residency for anyone under the age of 18 years old. Form can be obtained atMVD Express.
    • A document from an education institution, such as a transcript, report card or enrollment confirmation, provided it is dated within 60 days.

You’ll need to follow special rules to successfully complete this state of obtaining your license:

  • The permit must be held for at least six months.
  • The driver must drive with an adult 21 or older who has been licensed for a minimum of three years.
  • The driver must also complete a detailed log of 50 hours of supervised driving practice, including 10 hours at night. A parent or guardian must certify in writing that these hours have been completed.
  • The driver will need to maintain a clean driving record for the 90 days preceding the application of Provisional License.
 To obtain a Provisional License, a teen must be at least 15 ½ years old, completed Stage 1 (Drivers Instructional Permit) of the GDL process and present the following documents:
  • Real ID or DAC Drivers Instructional Permit
  • Original state-issued Birth Certificate (If applicant has DAC Drivers Instructional Permit)
  • Original Social Security Card (If applicant has DAC Drivers Instructional Permit)
  • 50-Hour Driving Log including 10 hours at night
  • Certificate of Completion from driving school
  • Parent/legal guardian must accompany new teen driver
  • Two Proofs of New Mexico Residency:
    • An Affidavit of Residency can be signed to prove teen residency. For anyone under the age of 18 years old. Form can be obtained at MVD Express.
    • A document from an education institution, such as a transcript, report card or enrollment confirmation, provided it is dated within 60 days.

By providing an original birth certificate, Social Security Card and two proofs of New Mexico residency, you are eligible for either a non-federal-compliant Driver Authorization Card (if applicant cannot prove lawful status) or a Real ID-compliant license (if applicant can prove lawful status).
In order to continue on to Stage 3 of the process, you’ll need to comply with the following:

  • The Provisional License will need to be held for at least one year or until teen reaches the age of 18. The teen driver may not have more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member.
  • The teen driver may not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older.
  • Exceptions are permitted for school, employment, family and medical need, or religious functions (licensees must carry a statement from the appropriate school, religious official, employer, doctor, or parent/guardian).
  • The driver will need to maintain a clean driving record for the 90 days preceding the application of Instructional Permit.
 To obtain a full unrestricted license, a teen must have held their Provisional License for at least one (1) year, completed Stage 1 and Stage 2 of the GDL process, and come to MVD Express with:
  • Real ID or DAC Provisional License
  • Original state-issued Birth Certificate (If applicant has DAC Provisional License)
  • Original Social Security Card (If applicant has DAC Drivers Instructional Permit)
  • Two Proofs of New Mexico Residency
    • An Affidavit of Residency can be signed to prove residency for anyone under the age of 18 years old. Form can be obtained atMVD Express.
    • A document from an education institution, such as a transcript, report card or enrollment confirmation, provided it is dated within 60 days.
  • Parent/Guardian if under the age of 18

It’s important to note that any traffic violations that are made during your graduated license steps can delay your ability to obtain a full license. We’ll outline the rules below so that you know the consequences of traffic violations when obtaining a learner’s permit.

New Mexico Driver’s License Violations

According to New Mexico law, there is a six-month minimum period for which an individual is required to hold an instruction permit before obtaining a provisional license. This time frame is extended by 30 days for every traffic violation committed during the time the individual was driving with the instruction permit.

The 12-month minimum period for which an individual is required to hold a provisional license before obtaining a regular driver’s license is also extended by 30 days for every traffic violation committed during the time the individual was driving with the provisional license, for which the individual was convicted or adjudicated delinquent.

Traffic violations may include: a child not in restraint device or seat belt; failure to properly fasten safety belt; using a mobile communication device while driving a motor vehicle (unless the driver holds a valid, FCC-issued amateur radio operator license and is operating an amateur radio); and buying, attempting to buy, receiving, possessing or permitting oneself to be served alcoholic beverages.

If you’re looking for a fast and easy to way take your learner’s permit test to obtain your graduated driver’s license, stop by your local MVD Express today!