New Mexico Motorist Info

The following information is updated periodically. However, laws and regulations can change between updates. State statutes and local ordinances are the ultimate authorities for these issues.

Points of Interest

  • New Mexico State Police do not patrol between midnight and 6 am. New Mexico State Police are available for emergencies and accidents.

Speed Limits

Rural Interstates: Cars 75, Trucks 75
Urban Interstates: Cars 65, Trucks 65
Other Limited Access Roads: Cars 60-70, Trucks 60-70
(http://www.ghsa.org/html/stateinfo/laws/speedlimit_laws.html)

These speed limits apply unless a different limit is posted.

Speed limits are absolute–exceeding the speed limit is illegal per se (regardless of whether it was safe under the specific conditions).

Speed Limits Enforcement Techniques
Enforced through use of:
Pacing: Yes
Radar: Yes
Vascar: Yes
Automated Speed Enforcement: Yes
Aircraft: Yes
Laser: Yes

Ticket Payment Methods
Consult your ticket or clerk of courts

Trial By Declaration Allowed
No

Discovery
Allowed with limitations

Jury Trial Allowed
Speeding: Yes
Parking: Yes
Equipment: Yes
DWI: Yes

Member of Nonresident Compact
Yes

Member of Driver License Compact
Yes

When and Where to File Accident Reports
Accidents involving death, personal injury, or property damage exceeding $500 must be reported immediately to the local authorities and within 5 days in writing to the Motor Vehicle Division.

Resident Insurance Requirements
Liability insurance is required (although some states allow posting a cash bond or such as an alternative)
Minimum Coverage Required:
Injury to one person: $25,000
All injuries: $50,000
Property Damage: $10,000

Phone/Texting Restrictions
Hand-Held Ban: Local option
All Cell Phone Ban: Learner’s permit and intermediate license holders
Texting Ban: All drivers
Enforcement: Primary: texting by all drivers
http://www.ncsl.org/research/transportation/cellular-phone-use-and-texting-while-driving-laws.aspx

Other Regulations

  • Open intoxicants are prohibited in the vehicle.
  • The BAC level is .08%.
  • New Mexico has an administrative license suspension law and an implied consent law. The breathalyzer refusal penalty is a 1-year driver’s license revocation.
  • Handguns, rifles, and shotguns may be carried in a loaded and concealed condition anywhere in a private automobile for self-protection.
  • Studded tires are permitted, for safety reasons only, throughout the year.
  • Tire chains are not required.
  • New Mexico has a seat belt law with primary enforcement for all occupants. Points are assessed to your license if ticketed.
  • New Mexico has a mandatory child restraint law for passengers under 12 years of age. Children under age 1 must use approved car safety seats. Adult safety belt may be used for ages 1-5 in rear seat only and ages 6-11 in all seats.
  • New Mexico has a mandatory motorcycle helmet law for persons under 18 years of age.
  • Registration and insurance card must be carried in the vehicle.

General Information
Telephone: 505/827-9000 (Department Of Public Safety) or contact the court of your specific jurisdiction
Emergency Cellular Phone Number: 505-827-9301