New Mexico Graduated Driver Licensing

All teens under age 18 must complete graduated licensing to get a New Mexico driver permit and license. 

Graduated driver licensing eases beginning drivers into traffic by limiting their exposure to driving situations proven to be particularly dangerous. Teens begin driving with certain conditions that are gradually relaxed as drivers mature and develop greater driving skills.

Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) – 3 Stages

Stage 1: Instructional Permit – To get an instructional permit, a teen must be at least 15 years old, and go into a MVD Field Office with the following documents:
Proof of having completed or of being enrolled in a state-approved driver education program;
Proof of identity, identification number and New Mexico residency, to include:

  One (1) proof of identification number, and
One (1) proof of identity, and
Two (1) proofs or New Mexico residency.

At least one of the ‘proof of identity’ or ‘proof of identification number’ documents must also show the teen’s date of birth.

At the MVD Field Office the teen and the parent/ guardian will complete and sign an instructional permit application. Then, the teen must:

  • Pass a vision test
  • Pass a written test or provide a ‘Certificate of Completion’ from a state-approved driver education school that includes a 3-hour DWI component
  • Pay an instructional permit application fee
  • Once the teen gets the instructional permit, the teen must:
    • Hold the instructional permit for at least six months;
    • Complete a state-approved driver education program;
    • Drive with an adult 21 or older who has been licensed for a minimum of 3 years;
    • Complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice, including 10 hours at night;
    • Maintain a clean driving record for the 90 days preceding application for Stage 2; and
    • Not drink and drive. Even a .02 percent concentration of alcohol – barely one drink – could result in a 6-month license revocation for drivers under age 21.

Stage 2: Provisional License – To get a provisional license, a teen must be at least 15 ½ years old and have successfully completed Stage 1. At the MVD Field Office the teen and the parent/ guardian will complete and sign a provisional license application. In signing the provisional license application, the teen and the parent verify that the teen:

  • Has completed Stage 1 successfully;
  • Has been driving only with an adult 21 years or older who has been licensed for at least 3 years;
  • Has not been convicted of a traffic violation* in the 90 days preceding application for a provisional license; and
  • Has not been drinking and driving.

Then, the teen must:

  • Provide a ‘Certificate of Completion’ from a state-approved driver education school that includes a 3-hour DWI component.
  • Provide the GDL driving log that shows the teen has completed the practice driving component of 50 hours behind the wheel training, 10 of which are at night. The driving log must be signed by the parent or guardian.
  • Pass a road skills exam. If the teen has taken a road skills exam with a contracted ‘Driver Education School,’ the teen must provide the Certificate of Completion with the test scores.

Once the provisional license is issued, the following conditions apply:

  • The teen driver must hold the provisional license for at least 12 months.
  • Unless a licensed driver age 21 or older is in the vehicle, a provisional license-holder may not have more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member.
  • The teen driver may not operate a motor vehicle between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless accompanied by a licensed driver age 21 or older. Exceptions are permitted for school, employment, family and medical need, or religious functions (licensees must carry a statement from the appropriate school, or religious official, employer, doctor, or parent/ guardian).

Stage 3: Full License –To get a full-unrestricted license, the teen and the parent/ guardian must complete and sign a driver license application. In signing the driver license application, the teen and the parent verify that the teen: 

  • Has completed Stage 2 successfully;
  • Has not been convicted of a traffic violation* 90 days preceding application for a full license;
  • Does not have any traffic violations* pending at the time of application for a driver license; and
  • Has not been found guilty or have an offense pending involving the use of alcohol or drugs during the provisional period.

If the teen is 18 years or older, only the teen needs to sign the application.

What is New Mexico Graduated Driver Licensing?

What is New Mexico GDL? New Mexico Graduated Driver Licensing is a system for phasing in on-road driving, allowing beginners to get their initial experience under conditions that involve lower risk and introducing them in stages to more complex driving situations.

Take some time to watch the Young Drivers video here. See if your teen likes this video. If they do, they will love our New Mexico graduated driver licensing program.

  • We begin with combining the in-class with the behind-the-wheel training process concurrent with one another.
  • Then we add more hours behind-the-wheel to give the new drivers an opportunity to experience all four seasons and weather conditions under a controlled risk factor.
  • We take away the 6 hour driver training clock and base achievement and graduation on performance, skill and experience.

Remember when we were trying to teach our new teenagers as if we were traveling on a two-lane dirt road at 35 MPH, when our average traveled speed in New Mexico exceeds 55 MPH on a six-lane highway? Most families had a single vehicle in the fifties and sixties, and then to two vehicles in the seventies. The days of driving on weekends with mom and dad for the first year or two is over. In today’s hectic schedules, we are not allowing ourselves time to protect our New Mexico teens and teach them to drive as we should be. Parents need to realize that as the times change we must keep pace with that change.

Our driving generation, 35 to 50 years old, will be remembered as the worse driving generation in the history of the vehicle. We average 40,000 fatalities per year. Our generation needs to change the way we think and teach New Mexico graduated driver licensing.

If you look closely, you'll realize we spend about 12 years on basic education, reading writing, math, history and physical education…and only 6 hours behind the wheel training in a vehicle.

We need to be remembered as the generation that created the best New Mexico drivers in history. The generation that did something about the way we think and teach driver training. We need help from every mom and dad to complete this goal. We need to invest our time in our teenagers and take the time needed to teach our children to drive better.

This could mean as much as 1 or two years of guidance. And to do this you will need the very best New Mexico curriculum and training videos available. You will need to allow New Mexico graduated driver licensing to become part of your families dinner conversation and sharing experiences on new intersections, changes on the interstate on ramps or maybe a lost of a fellow student friend.

New Mexico Driver education and training is no longer a project to hire out to the local driving school. Parents need to get involved and stay involved for at least two or three years. Placing driving restrictions and hours on when a new driver is allowed to drive and with whom. This, in essence, is New Mexico Graduated Driver Licensing.


Online Video Library

As soon as you enroll, the student will have access to over 7 hours of excellent quality video content at the click of the button. All graduated driver licensing videos are also available on our Video Library DVD featured below. The online program is easy to follow, and provides over 100 video clips throughout the course to guide the teen driver along the way. A high speed internet access is required.

What is Graduated Driver Licensing?

Essentially an apprentice system, graduated driver licensing utilizes three stages. the first is a supervised learner's period, lasting a minimum of 6 months in optimal systems, then an intermediate licensing phase that allows unsupervised driving, but only in less risky situations, and finally a full-privilege license becomes available when requirements of the first two stages have been met.

Within this framework, substantial variation is possible in terms of the provisions of the stages and their duration. This variation often has created difficulty for jurisdictions that are producing a graduated driver licensing system. Lawmakers need to know what sections their system should include and what the features should be.

About Us About Us

NDT's foundational curriculum combines the at-home or classroom study with hands-on activities, focusing on all parts of the mind while examing the young driver's grasp of the lesson. Not only does this make concepts easier to learn and remember, it’s a blast!

There are seven levels to the curriculum, providing over 30 hours of accreditation. Each lesson ends with a written exam, which can be taken repeatedly if necessary to achieve the desired score.