New Mexico Car Insurance

With sparkling white sand dunes, forested hills and snow-capped peaks, New Mexico’s miles of open road are a veritable joy rider’s paradise. But whether you’re cruising through the Land of Enchantment in a car, motorcycle or RV, you better know the rules of the road. That’s why The Simple Dollar has gathered all the info for insurance, licensing, and state laws you need to keep your journey a safe one.




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Stats in Your State

Be sure you’re getting the best deal on car insurance and repairs by looking at the average numbers in your state. Compared with the U.S. as a whole, New Mexicans fare well in some areas, paying lower insurance premiums and suffering fewer fatalities at the wheel, but also pay some of the highest repair costs at the garage.

Auto Insurance Premiums

Car insurance premiums in New Mexico have been steadily creeping upwards over the last decade, from an average of $662 per vehicle in 2001 to $728 in 2008. At least New Mexicans can rest assured that their rates are still well below the national average of $789 in 2008.

Traffic Fatalities over time

Like across much of the U.S., traffic fatalities in New Mexico began a dramatic drop in the middle of the last decade, falling nearly 28% between 2005 and 2011. Officials attribute the nationwide drop largely to vehicle and roadway safety improvements, like airbags and rumble strips.

Auto Repair Costs

In 2011, New Mexicans pay the seventh most expensive car repair bills in the nation: $229.30 for parts and $129.32 for labor, totalling an average of $358.62 for each visit to the garage. The good news is New Mexico pay less than their South Western neighbors Colorado, Arizona and Utah.

Rules in Your State

If you live in New Mexico or are planning to move there, it’s best to know the laws and regulations before getting behind the wheel. Keeping informed about insurance, teen driving and DUI laws will keep you out of sticky situations.

Minimum Insurance Requirements in New Mexico

According to the New Mexico MVD, drivers must have liability coverage of 25/50/10, or:

  • $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person,
  • $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons, and
  • $10,000 for property damage in any one accident.

Understanding Colorado’s Graduated License: Licensing Facts for Teen Drivers

Driving begins at age 15 for teens in New Mexico. Starting with an instructional permit and then a provisional licence, new drivers are subject to a unique set of rules. Make sure you familiarize yourself before letting your kid hit the road.

  • Hardship License for Minors? No
  • Learner’s Permit Age: 15 years. To obtain the instructional permit, a teenager must pass a vision test and written DMV exam. The teen must then take a driver’s education class and log 50 hours of supervised driving before qualifying for a provisional licence.
  • Restricted License Age: 15 years, 6 months. Once completing the instructional phase, a teen must pass a DMV road skills test to obtain the provisional licence. This licence allows a teen to drive alone, but not between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver aged 21 or older. More than one passenger is also forbidden, unless the passenger is over 21 or an immediate family member.
  • Full License (Unrestricted) Age: 16 years, 6 months. To qualify for a full license, a teen must have held a provisional license for at least 12 months and have had no drug or alcohol related offenses during that time or traffic violations within the last 90 days.


Administrative license suspension 1st offense? 6 months - 1 year
Restore driving privileges during suspension? Yes
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for first offenders for the following offenses? Yes
Are ignition interlocks mandatory for repeat offenders for the following offenses? yes
Fine for first offense? No
Jail sentence for first offense? Up to 90 days

Representatives & Resources in Your State

If the road gets rough or you just want to make sure you have the best information available, the agencies and organizations below are the authorities for driving in New Mexico.

New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division
P.O. Box 1028
1100 South St. Francis Drive
Santa Fe, NM 87504-1028
(888) 683-4636

New Mexico Public Regulation Commission
Insurance Division
1120 Paseo De Peralta
Santa Fe, NM 87504
Get Directions
(888) 427-5772

New Mexico Department of Transportation
1120 Cerrillos Road
Santa Fe, NM, 87504-1149
Get Directions
(505) 827-5100