2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 66 - Motor Vehicles
Article 3 - Registration Laws; Security Interests; Anti-Theft Provisions; Bicycles; Equipment; Unsafe Vehicles; Off-Highway Motor Vehicles; Other Vehicles
Section 66-3-302 - Caravan fee.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 66-3-302 (2019)

A. A person or an employee, agent or representative of that person shall not use the highways of New Mexico for the transportation of any vehicle, regardless of whether the vehicle is registered in another state or whether the vehicle is transported on its own wheels or on another vehicle or by being drawn or towed behind another, if the vehicle is transported by any person or the agents or employees of that person engaged in the business of transporting vehicles or if the vehicle is being transported for the purpose of delivery to any purchaser of the vehicle on a sale or contract of sale previously made, unless the vehicle carries:

(1) a valid New Mexico registration plate;

(2) a valid dealer's plate issued by the department;

(3) a special permit for the use of the highways of this state for the transportation of the vehicle in the manner in which the vehicle is being transported, which has first been obtained and the fee paid as specified in this section; or

(4) a valid temporary transportation permit issued under Subsection B of Section 66-3-6 NMSA 1978.

B. Special permits for the use of the highways of this state for the transportation of such vehicles shall be issued by the department of public safety upon application on the form prescribed by the department of public safety and upon payment of a fee of ten dollars ($10.00) for each vehicle transported by use of its own power and a fee of seven dollars ($7.00) for each vehicle carried in or on another vehicle or towed or drawn by another vehicle and not transported in whole or in part by the use of its own power. A fee imposed pursuant to this section may be referred to as a "caravan fee". Every permit shall show upon its face the registration number assigned to each vehicle, the name and address of the owner, the manner of transportation authorized and a description of the vehicle registered, including the engine number. The permit shall be carried at all times by the person in charge of the vehicle. A suitable tag or placard for each vehicle may be issued by the department of public safety and, if issued, shall be at all times displayed on each vehicle being transported. The permit, tag or placard shall not be used upon or in connection with the transportation of any vehicle other than the one for which the permit, tag or placard is issued.

C. A caravan fee shall not apply to the transportation of vehicles carried on another vehicle for the operation of which a weight distance tax is paid, nor shall the vehicle transported be required to carry a registration plate or temporary transportation permits. The New Mexico state police division of the department of public safety is authorized to impound any vehicle transported in violation of the Motor Transportation Act [Chapter 65, Articles 1, 3 and 5 NMSA 1978] until a proper permit has been secured and any fine levied has been paid.

History: 1953 Comp., § 64-3-302, enacted by Laws 1978, ch. 35, § 78; 1995, ch. 135, § 14; 2005, ch. 258, § 2; 2007, ch. 319, § 27; 2015, ch. 3, § 34.


The 2015 amendment, effective July 1, 2015, provided the New Mexico state police division of the department of public safety with the authority to impound vehicles in violation of the Motor Transportation Act; in Subsection C, in the second sentence, after "The", deleted "motor transportation and the", after "state police", changed "divisions" to "division", and after "public safety", deleted "are" and added "is".

The 2007 amendment, effective June 15, 2007, amended the section to change department from the motor vehicle division of the taxation and revenue department to the public safety department.

The 2005 amendment, effective July 1, 2005, changed the fees in Subsection B from $7.50 to $10.00 for each vehicle transported by use of its own power and from $5.00 to $7.00 for each vehicle carried or towed by another vehicle; and provided in Subsection B that the fee imposed pursuant to this section may be referred to as the caravan fee.

The 1995 amendment, effective June 16, 1995, rewrote the section to the extent that a detailed comparison is impracticable.

Constitutionality of tax. — State law exacting a permit fee for the privilege of transporting motor vehicles over the highways of the state for purposes of sale does not violate the Fourteenth Amendment of the federal constitution. Morf v. Bingaman, 298 U.S. 407, 56 S. Ct. 756, 80 L. Ed. 1245, rehearing denied, 299 U.S. 619, 57 S. Ct. 4, 81 L. Ed. 456 (1936).

Applicability. — Caravan tax does not apply to transportation of out-of-state automobiles by a driver who is under contract to the owner, arranged by an agent, to transport the car from one state to another when the vehicle is not being transported for sale or for lease. 1958 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 58-208.

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 7A Am. Jur. 2d Automobiles and Highway Traffic § 155.

60 C.J.S. Motor Vehicles § 78.

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