To operate a motorcycle in New Mexico, residents must obtain a Class M license or add the endorsement to their current license. All applicants under the age of 18 must take the basic RiderCourse, offered by the New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program, with the consent of a parent or legal guardian. The state does not have a manual for motorcycle drivers specifically, but a section of its driver’s manual is devoted to operating a motorcycle.
Motorcycle License Requirements
- Proof of residence
- Vision test
- Written knowledge test
- On-cycle skill test
New Mexico offers two Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) courses. The first is a basic RiderCourse, designed for beginners. It consists of five hours of classroom instruction and 10 hours of practical riding experience in a controlled, off-street environment. Motorcycles and helmets are provided, and the course concludes with a knowledge test and a riding skill evaluation. When students successfully complete this class, they will receive a completion card that waives the skills and written tests required for a motorcycle license.
The second course, the experienced RiderCourse, is one half-day class. Graduates qualify for insurance discounts with some insurance providers. Riders must bring their own motorcycles and helmets for this course. Interested persons can enroll for both classes online or by calling the New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program at 877-667-8880 or 505-338-2054.
New Mexico’s minimum insurance requirements for motorcycles fall under their minimum insurance requirements for all vehicles. New Mexico law states that everyone who operates a motor vehicle in the state must have liability insurance. The law specifies that owners must carry, at minimum, the following amounts of coverage: $25,000 for bodily injury to or death of one person in an accident; $50,000 for bodily injury to or death of two or more persons in an accident; and $10,000 for property damage. The Mandatory Financial Responsibility Act requires that drivers carry proof of insurance in their vehicle at all times. If you do not have insurance, your vehicle’s registration could be suspended and you could face criminal penalties.
Drivers shopping for insurance should check with multiple insurance providers to make sure they get a deal that best suits their needs. Motorcycle insurance rates are based on each individual’s unique circumstances, so insurance rates will vary. Rates depend largely on the motorcycle’s make, model, and age; how often you ride the motorcycle; your personal driving record and the driving records of all other riders; and the year the motorcycle was registered.
New Mexico’s experienced RiderCourse can reduce your insurance premium. Ask your insurance agent if your provider offers discounts for taking safety courses such as this one.
In accordance with New Mexico law:
- Drivers must carry proof of insurance.
- Motorcyclists under the age of 18 must wear a safety helmet. However, it is recommended that all motorcycle drivers and passengers wear a helmet.
- Motorcyclists must wear eye protection, unless the motorcycle is equipped with a windscreen.
- A passenger seat and footrest is required if motorcycle is carrying a passenger.
- A muffler is required, and cut-outs are prohibited.
- Sharing a lane with another car or motorcycle is usually prohibited. However, a staggered formation is permitted for groups of riders, with the leader driving on the left side of the lane.