New Mexico’s Graduated Driver’s License System

New Mexico’s Graduated Driver’s License System

The Graduated Driver’s License (GDL) system is accredited with significantly reducing the number of fatal crash accidents that involve young, new drivers. The system gives increasing privileges as you reach specific milestones, starting with the instructional permit.

You can apply for this permit when you reach age 15. You will be required to pass the vision and written knowledge tests and pay an application fee. The permit gives you six months to practice your driving skills and complete a driver education course that has a drunk driving component. You must have driving supervisor sitting beside you in the front passenger seat whenever you are operating a vehicle and this person must be age 21 or older and must have had their license for three years or more.

You need to accumulate 50 or more hours of on-the-road practice including ten hours of night practice before you can apply for your restricted license. While you have the learner’s permit, you must not consume alcohol and operate a motor vehicle, or you may lose your privileges for six months. You must not be convicted of any traffic convictions during the three months leading up to you applying for the next phase.

You can apply for the provisional license after having the permit for six months and after you are 15 years and six months old. You will need to provide the completion certification for your driving course, the GDL log of your 50 plus hours of supervised road experience, and pass the road skills test.

While holding the provisional license, you are restricted from –

  • Having more than one passenger under the of 21, unless they are immediate family members, and
  • Operating a motor vehicle between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless you are supervised by a driver over the age of 21 or you are going to or from work, school, school-related activity, religious function, or medical reason.

You will hold this license for 12 months before you are eligible for full privileges. During that time, you must not be convicted of or have a pending conviction for the following during the three months leading up to your application –

  • Failure to Yield
  • Careless Driving
  • Reckless Driving
  • Racing
  • Chemical Test Refusal
  • Drunk- or drugged-driving
  • Vehicular Injury to a Pregnant Woman
  • Vehicular Homicide
  • Speeding
  • Failure to Obey a Traffic Device or Signal

When you are 16 years and six months of age, you are eligible for an unrestricted license.

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