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New Mexico Learners Permit Restrictions - NM Driving Permit Rules

New Mexico Permit Restrictions

Obtaining a New Mexico learners permit is a great achievement, however you must not forget that your permit is not equal to a full license and it comes with numerous learners permit restrictions. By enforcing New Mexico permit restrictions, the MVD is trying to ensure that you get a chance to practice driving skills in a safe driving environment. Quite a large proportion of the drivers either receive a traffic ticket or are involved in a traffic accident during their first year of driving. New Mexico drivers permit restrictions were designed to eliminate most of the distractions that lead to a traffic accident, so observance of the rules is in your best interest.

The permit restrictions that you will need to follow largely depend on your age when you choose to go ahead and apply for a New Mexico drivers license. If you are 18 years of age or older, the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division trusts you to be a mature and responsible adult and allows you to regulate your driving practice yourself, setting just the core boundaries. However, if you are under 18 years of age, you fall into a high risk group and the MVD will enforce a number of additional requirements and restrictions that will need to be followed before you can get a full drivers license. These learners permit restrictions and license requirements are known under the name of the New Mexico graduated drivers license program, a set of laws that was devised specifically for young drivers.

Many people seek the answer as to what the consequences of breaking these learners permit restrictions are. The consequences that you will have to face will largely depend on your situation and in most cases it will be up to the judge and the MVD officials to determine the punishment. In some cases, you may be let off easy, with a suspension of your driving privileges, in others, your driving privilege may be canceled altogether. Teenagers usually face a stricter punishment as they are more likely to break the rules and the possibility of a strict punishment serves as a preemptive measure.

Permit Restrictions - 18 and Older

If you are at least 18 years of age, there is really only one restrictions that applies to your New Mexico learners permit - you cannot drive alone. Whenever you are behind the wheel, you must have another licensed driver supervise you. The supervising driver must be at least 21 years of age, hold a valid drivers license and have at least three years of driving experience. The supervising driver must be seated in the front seat next to the driver and be able to take control of the vehicle should such need arise. Needless to say, both you and the supervising driver must be buckled up.

The idea behind this approach is to give you the chance to gain the essential driving experience, while minimizing the chances of you being involved in an accident or breaking the traffic law. Drivers who just got licensed tend to concentrate on the process of controlling the vehicle too much, which may lead to them missing traffic signs or misjudging the traffic situation around them. Another experienced driver present in the vehicle can point out the mistakes and help to prevent a potentially dangerous situation from developing. Plus, psychologically, the trainee feels more comfortable when the responsibility is shared, which takes some of the stress out of the process.

Although there are not that many New Mexico permit restrictions for you to observe, you will still need to go through the same testing procedures as younger drivers and you will have to pass a New Mexico drivers permit test before the MVD will issue you with a permit. You may want to take a New Mexico practice permit test before you go in for the real exam, just to make sure that you are prepared.

Permit Restrictions - Under 18 Years of Age

If you choose to apply for a drivers license before you turn 18, you will have to go through the graduated drivers license program and meet a number of additional drivers license requirements. Before you even go to the MVD for your permit exam, you must sign up and start taking a state-approved New Mexico drivers education course. The course is provided through high schools and commercial driving schools and you will need to obtain a proof of enrollment form from your drivers ed provider.

Once you got you permit, you can officially get behind the wheel and start driving. However, you must observe the following drivers permit restrictions while driving:

  • No driving alone. No exceptions. Whenever you are behind the wheel, you must have a supervising driver seated in the front seat next to you. The supervising driver can be either a certified driving instructor or a licensed driver at least 23 years of age with at least three years of driving experience.
  • Seat belts. Both you and the supervising driver must wear seat belts whenever you practice driving.
  • No cell phones. You cannot use a cell phone while behind the wheel.

These restrictions will need to be observed for at least six months before you can take a drivers test and apply for a provisional drivers license. You must not have a traffic violation within at least 90 days prior to taking a drivers license test.

Apart from observing these New Mexico permit restrictions, there are other GDL requirements that you must meet during the learners permit stage. The official MVD drivers handbook has more information about the graduated license program.

Provisional License Restrictions

If you have met all of the requirements of the learners permit stage and have passed a New Mexico drivers test, you are issued with a provisional drivers license and you can start driving alone. Although the permit restrictions don't apply anymore, it is not a full license yet, the provisional license has its own set of driving restrictions:

  • Curfew. No driving alone between midnight and 5 a.m. An exception can be made if you are traveling to or from an employment or school event for which no other transportation is available or in case of a medical emergency.
  • Passenger restrictions. For the first six months, you cannot carry any passengers under the age of 21 who are not members of your immediate family

The provisional drivers license restrictions are to be observed for at least 12 months.