New Mexico Teen Driver GDL Laws
On January 1, 2000, New Mexico’s Graduated Driver’s Licensing Law (GDL) went into effect. The law is designed to give young drivers more experience behind the wheel and limit driving in high-risk situations before teenagers obtain their license. It requires anyone under the age of 18 applying for a learner’s permit to complete a three-stage process to obtain a driver’s license.
To obtain a permit, you must:
- Be at least 15 years old
- Obtain parental or guardian consent
- Complete or be enrolled in a state-approved driver education program
- Pass a written and vision test
- Pay an application fee
So you’ve got the permit, now what?
- Hold the permit for at least 6 months
- Complete a state-approved driver education program
- Drive with an adult 21 or older who has been licensed for at least 3 years
- Complete 50 hours of supervised driving practice, including 10 hours of nighttime driving; a responsible adult needs to sign off on the logged time
- Maintain a clean driving record for 90 days preceding application for a provisional license
- Do not drink and drive; even a 0.02% blood alcohol content-barely one drink-could result in a 6-month license revocation for drivers under 21
To get a provisional license, you have to:
- Complete stage 1 successfully
- Be at least 15 ½ years old
- Pass a behind-the-wheel driving test
So, you’ve got the provisional license, what are the rules?
- Teen drivers must hold the provisional license for at least 12 months.
- Unless a licensed driver aged 21 or older is in the car, a provisional license holder can’t have more than one passenger in the vehicle under the age of 21 who is not an immediate family member.
- There’s no driving between midnight and 5 a.m., unless accompanied by a licensed, responsible adult. Exceptions may include work permits, school or religious functions, family and medical emergencies.
To get your full-unrestricted driver license, you must:
- Complete stage 2 successfully
- No convictions for traffic violations 90 days preceding application
- No traffic violations pending at the time of application