2020 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 66 - Motor Vehicles
Article 5 - Licensing of Operators and Chauffeurs; Financial Responsibility; Uninsured Motorists' Insurance; Identification Cards
Section 66-5-4 - Persons exempt from licensure.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 66-5-4 (2020)

The following persons are exempt from licensure under the Motor Vehicle Code [66-1-1 NMSA 1978]:

A. military personnel while driving a motor vehicle owned or leased by the United States department of defense;

B. a person who is at least fifteen years of age and who has in immediate possession a valid driver's license issued to the person in the person's home state or country may drive a motor vehicle in this state, except that the person shall obtain a license upon becoming a resident and before the person is employed for compensation by another for the purpose of driving a motor vehicle;

C. a nonresident who is at least eighteen years of age whose home state or country does not require the licensing of drivers may drive a motor vehicle for a period of not more than one hundred eighty days in any calendar year if the motor vehicle driven is duly registered in the home state or country of the nonresident;

D. a driver of a farm tractor or implement of husbandry temporarily drawn, moved or propelled on the highway; and

E. a driver of an off-highway motorcycle.

History: 1953 Comp., § 64-5-4, enacted by Laws 1978, ch. 35, § 226; 1989, ch. 318, § 14; 2005, ch. 124, § 2; 2007, ch. 321, § 3.


Cross references. — For driver's licenses of members of the armed forces on active duty, see 66-5-21.1 NMSA 1978.

The 2007 amendment, effective April 2, 2007, eliminated the exemption of an employee of the United States while driving a motor vehicle owned or leased to the United States and added an exemption from licensure military personnel while driving a motor vehicle owned or leased by the United States department of defense.

The 2005 amendment, effective June 17, 2005, deleted former Subsection F which provided that a person who is in the military service or who has been honorably discharged is exempt from licensure under certain specified conditions.

The 1989 amendment, effective July 1, 1989, added present Subsection E, and redesignated former Subsection E as present Subsection F, while substituting therein "six" for "four" in Paragraph (1) and "this state" for "the state" in Paragraph (2).

New resident can be required to obtain New Mexico license. — The department of motor vehicles (now motor vehicle division) can require a person who has become a resident of this state to acquire a New Mexico operator's license regardless of how long or short a period he has been in the state. A person who has become a resident of New Mexico and has in his possession an operator's license issued to him by another state no longer falls within the exemption in Subsection B, of Section 64-13-38, 1953 Comp. (similar to this section), that is, carrying a valid driver's license from his home state. 1966 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 66-22.

Licensed nonresident drivers are not required to apply for New Mexico operator's license. 1959 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 59-48.

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 7A Am. Jur. 2d Automobiles and Highway Traffic § 104.

60 C.J.S. Motor Vehicles § 150.

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