NM road test

How to Pass the New Mexico Road Test: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 05, 2022

With a NM driver’s license, transportation for yourself, your family, and your friends becomes much easier. But first, you’ll need to pass your driving test. Most new drivers dread their test, but it doesn’t have to be so stressful. The key is preparation and practice. You’ll want to make the most of the weeks leading up to your road test, and we’re here to help you know what you have to do.

New Mexico Road Test Requirements

It’s important that you’re absolutely certain you’ve completed all the requirements before you schedule your road test. Nothing’s more disappointing than feeling entirely prepared for your test, only to be turned away because of a simple mistake. Use the outline below to double-check that you’re ready:

In New Mexico, the road test requirements vary depending on the age of the driver.

Under 18

If you’re under the age of 18, you must complete the graduated driver’s license program. As part of this program, you must complete an instructional permit stage and a provisional license stage before you can get your full license.

  • Obtain your instructional permit.
    • Reach the minimum age of 15.
    • Obtain the consent of your parent or guardian.
    • Pass the vision and knowledge tests at a driver licensing office.
  • Practice driving with a licensed driver who is over the age of 21. Carry your permit whenever you’re driving. Supervising drivers must carry their license as well.
  • Track at least 50 hours of driving time on a driving log. Ten of these hours must be at night.
  • Enroll in and complete an approved driver’s education program. This includes both classroom and behind-the-wheel instruction.
  • Hold your permit for at least six months. However, if you’d like to practice longer, go for it!
  • Maintain a clean driving record for three consecutive months.

18 years or older

If you’re age 18 or over, the process of getting your license is much simpler as you can skip the instructional permit process.

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 24, the only requirement is that you complete the None for the Road program, which exists to reduce the number of accidents caused by driving while under the influence of alcohol or drugs.

For drivers aged 25 and over, you’ll simply need to bring the required documentation to the MVD and pass the vision, knowledge, and road skills tests.

Preparing For Your NM Driving Test

Now that you know you’re ready to take your test, start preparing and practicing. You’ll want to check out your vehicle, collect the various items you’ll need at the MVD, and practice the driving skills you’ll be tested on.

Schedule Your Appointment

You have a few different options as to where you’d like to take your road test. The test doesn’t vary much between locations. Many approved third-party options are accessible, so find a convenient location with good availability.

Schedule your appointment when you’re ready. Also, consider pre-applying online to save time at the NM MVD.

What to Bring

You’ll need to present a number of documents at the MVD before you’ll be allowed to take your driving test. To be considered acceptable, documents must be original (and unaltered) and in good condition. Documents that are faded or illegible won’t be accepted. You may want to consider bringing additional identification to ensure that it won’t be rejected.

You’ll need to bring the following:

  • Proof of identity (such as your instructional permit, birth certificate, or passport)
  • Identification number (such as your social security number)
  • Two proofs of residency
  • Social security card
  • Proof of registration and insurance for your vehicle

If you’re between the ages of 18 and 24, you’ll also need proof that you’ve completed None for the Road.

You’ll also need to bring a vehicle to take the road skills test in and a licensed adult to drive you or accompany you to the MVD.


In New Mexico, you take the driving test in your own vehicle, so you’ll want to check it out and make sure that it’s in good working order. A vehicle that doesn’t meet minimum safety standards will be rejected and you’ll have to reschedule your test.

Check that vehicle lights, brakes, tires, mirrors, doors, seatbelts, etc. are functioning properly. Make sure that no dashboard warning lights are illuminated and that you have enough gas to complete the test.

Your vehicle must also be properly registered and insured. You need to have an insurance card, license plates that are securely attached, and a certificate of registration.

What is Tested on the Road Test in New Mexico?

You’ll complete a pre-test portion in which you must show that you’re familiar with using various functions in your vehicle. For example, know how to turn your headlights and hazard lights on, how to adjust your mirrors, how to use your horn, and how to activate your parking brake.

During your test, you’ll drive along a predetermined route while an examiner observes. The route may include the following traffic situations:

  • Right and left turns.
  • Intersections controlled by traffic lights or stop signs.
  • Parallel parking on a hill.

Though the actual maneuvers you’re required to complete may be few, you should demonstrate good driving technique at all times. This means that you’re doing mirror checks when necessary, using your turn signal, obeying speed limit signs, wearing your seatbelt, and being an overall safe and courteous driver.

What Can Cause You to Fail Your Test?

Road tests in New Mexico are graded through a point system. Minor mistakes may lower your grade, but won’t cause you to fail. Certain dangerous actions, such as those listed below, can cause an immediate failure.

  • You don’t know how to start your vehicle.
  • You don’t use your seat belt.
  • You are dangerously inexperienced as a driver.
  • You cause an accident.
  • You require interference from your examiner or other drivers to prevent an accident.
  • You pass a car in a no-passing zone.
  • You make a dangerous turn from the wrong lane.
  • You speed more than 15 miles over the speed limit.
  • You run a stop sign or red light.
  • You refuse to comply with your examiner’s instructions.
  • You attempt to bribe your examiner.

You will not be told whether you’ve passed or failed the test until you get back to the driver licensing office.

Furthermore, your road test may be canceled at any point for the following reasons:

  • You’re unable to present a required document.
  • You fail your vision or knowledge tests.
  • You aren’t accompanied by a licensed adult.
  • Your vehicle is considered unsafe.
  • You don’t know how to use the various functions of your vehicle (such as lights and mirrors).
  • Poor weather makes driving unsafe.

If your test is canceled for some reason, reschedule whenever it’s convenient. If you fail your test, you must wait at least a week before you can take it again.

That’s It!

That’s everything you should know about passing the NM road test! Hopefully, this guide helped clear up any confusion you might have had. Preparing for tests can be unpleasant, but Zutobi is the perfect option to help you make the most of your study time. With plenty of interactive study material, you’ll be able to quickly and effortlessly learn the information you need to know so that you can ace your test on the first try.

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