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  • New Mexico Driver’s License Classifications (A Complete 2022 Guide)

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Are you looking to get a license in New Mexico?

If so, then it’s a good idea to familiarize yourself with the driver’s license classifications in the state. 

I mean, what license type should you get?

Here, we’re going to give you a complete guide on New Mexico driver’s license classifications. Plus, we’ll add how to get the most basic license type. 

So buckle up and let’s go!

Driver License Classifications in New Mexico

There are 2 types of licenses. These are:

  • Commercial driver’s license
  • Non-commercial driver’s license

For each type, there are a few classes. Let’s take a look at them. 

Commercial Driver’s License (CDL)

  • Class A – allows the operation of any vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds, provided that the GCWR of the towed vehicle is more than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class B – allows the operation of a vehicle with a GCWR of 26,001 or more pounds, provided that the GCWR of the towed vehicle is NOT more than 10,000 pounds.
  • Class C – allows the operation of a vehicle with a GCWR not more than 26,001 pounds, provided that the GCWR of the towed vehicle is NOT more than 10,000 pounds. This only applies to placarded vehicles for hazardous materials or a vehicle design to transport 16 or more passengers.

Non-Commercial Driver’s License

  • Class D – allows the driver to operate any single vehicle with a GCWR of less than 26,001 pounds, and can tow a vehicle weighing not more than 10,000 pounds.

Class D license holders can also operate a motorcycle, provided they have a “W”, “Y”, or “Z” endorsement.

  • Class E – issued to those who are exempted from the New Mexico Commercial Driver’s License requirements, including the operators of recreational vehicles, firegihting vehicles, and farm or ranch vehicles.
  • Class M – authorizes the licensee to drive a two or three-wheel motorcycle. Driver must have an endorsement of “W”, “Y”, or “Z” to be valid.

Understanding Endorsements in New Mexico

An endorsement will allow the license holder to operate or drive a specific type of motor vehicle. 

Non-Commercial Driver’s License

The following endorsements will allow the driver to operate a two-wheeled or three-wheeled motorcycle:

  • W – with an engine of 100 cubic centimeters or more piston displacement
  • Y – with an engine of 50 but less than 100 cubic centimeters piston displacement
  • Z – with an engine of less than 50 cubic centimeters or more piston displacement

Commercial Driver’s License 

  • H – will authorize the driver to operate any vehicle used to transport hazardous materials. For renewal or replacement, re-testing will be required.
  • N – will authorize the driver to operate a tank vehicle with a capacity of 1,000 gallons or more used for hauling liquids in bulk.
  • P – will authorize the driver to operate any vehicle intended to transport 16 or more passengers, including the driver.
  • T – will authorize the driver to operate combination vehicles that have double or triple trailers.
  • X – will authorize the driver to operate any tank vehicle used to transport hazardous materials.

How to Get a Class D Driver’s Licenses in New Mexico

Since the Class D license is the most common, here’s how you can obtain this license. 

1. Get an Instructional Permit

An instructional permit authorizes you to drive any motor vehicle under the supervision of a licensed driver who is 21 years old or older. The driver should retain the instructional permit for at least 6 months. 

To obtain an instructional permit, you should be meet the following requirements:

  • You should be at least 15 years old.
  • Enroll in a driver education program from a state-approved driving school
  • Pass the vision test and the knowledge exam

2. Get a Provisional License

A provisional license allows you to operate a vehicle without the supervision of a licensed driver, however, there are some requirements and restrictions:

  • You should be 15 ½ years old or older.
  • You should complete at least 50 hours of practice driving, including 10 hours of night driving. 
  • Pass the vision test, knowledge test, and road exam.
  • You can’t drive from 12:00 a.m. to 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver who is 21 years old or older.

3. Get your Unrestricted Driver’s License

If you have fully developed your driving skills and held a provisional license for 12 months, you’re eligible to get an unrestricted license. There are, however, some minimum restrictions:

  • You should be at least 17 years old.
  • You should not have a pending or convicted traffic violation at least 90 days before applying for the license.
  • You should not have a pending or adjudicated guilty offense involving alcohol or dangerous drugs during your provisional period.
  • Complete the “None of the Road” DWI Awareness Class if you’re 18 to 24 years old
  • Pass the vision test and knowledge exam
  • Pass the road skills test

Conclusion

So there you have it. 

Those were all the license classes in New Mexico. 

Now that you’re familiar with them, you can easily pick which is the license you need. 

Good luck!

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