How to Get a Motorcycle License in New Mexico

New Mexico motorcycle license laws

Motorcycles are one of the most exciting ways to get around New Mexico. The scenery along the old Route 66 through Pecos, Santa Fe, and Suwanee alone rivals some of the best motorcycle rides found in Arizona. But in order to experience these beautiful landscapes firsthand, you’ll need a thorough understanding of New Mexico motorcycle license laws. Find out useful information that you need to know from our personal injury lawyers at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys.

Is a Motorcycle License Required in New Mexico?

Any motor vehicle with a seat or saddle which is designed to travel on three wheels or fewer (except a moped or tractor) is considered a motorcycle by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of New Mexico. In order to register and ride a motorcycle in the state of New Mexico, you will need a New Mexico motorcycle license endorsement.

Motorcycle Endorsements

The MVD differentiates between three distinct motorcycle license endorsements based on the vehicle engine’s piston displacement. Certain endorsements are age restricted.

W Endorsement

A W endorsement is required to operate a two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of 100 or more cubic centimeters piston displacement.

Y Endorsement

A Y endorsement is required to operate a two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of between 50 and 99 cubic centimeters piston displacement.

Z Endorsement

A Z endorsement is required to operate a two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of less than 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement. 

How Old Do You Have to Be to Get a Motorcycle License?

In New Mexico, those as young as 13 years old may be issued a motorcycle license containing a Y or Z endorsement with written permission from a parent or guardian. They must also complete the Motorcycle Safety Foundation (MSF) Basic RiderCourse. This course is offered by the New Mexico Motorcycle Safety Program and eliminates the requirement of a written and road test, as they are included in the comprehensive course.

At age 15, a licensee may be issued a W, Y, or Z endorsement, given that they complete the Basic RiderCourse and obtain written permission from a parent or guardian. Those who obtain their motorcycle license under the age of 18, regardless of the endorsement type received, are prohibited from carrying any passengers. New Mexico motorcycle license laws also require that all riders and passengers under the age of 18 wear a helmet.

Those who are at least 18 years old are not required by law to complete the Basic RiderCourse. In order to obtain their X, Y, or Z endorsement, they can complete either the motorcycle written and road tests or the RiderCourse. Riders over 18 are not required to wear a helmet, although any of their passengers under the age of 18 are.

Where Can You Apply for a Motorcycle License?

Per New Mexico motorcycle license laws, you’ll need to visit your local Motor Vehicle Division and bring the following items with you to obtain a motorcycle endorsement on your driver’s license:

  • Your birth certificate
  • Your social security card
  • Two items establishing proof of residency
  • Parent or guardian signature (if under 18)
  • Glasses or contacts (if needed) for the required vision test

You must also bring proof that you have passed the written and road tests (taken at the MVD) or successfully completed the Basic RiderCourse.

How Safe Are Motorcycles?

While riding a motorcycle is undoubtedly a thrilling mode of transportation, it can also be a dangerous one. The Annual Traffic Crash Report compiled by the New Mexico Department of Transportation reported 52 motorcyclists died and an additional 840 were injured in 2018 throughout the state. 

Those interested in obtaining their motorcycle license should carefully follow New Mexico motorcycle license laws in order to mitigate the increased risk of accident as a motorcyclist. Familiarize yourself with other important New Mexico motorcycle laws to prevent injury and even save a life.

In addition to administering the comprehensive Basic RiderCourse, the Motorcycle Safety Foundation website also offers motorcycle safety tips for riders, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced biker. 

Injured in a Motorcycle Accident in New Mexico?

Unfortunately, sometimes even the most careful motorcyclists are injured or killed in traffic accidents. If you or a loved one is injured on your motorcycle due to the negligence or recklessness of another motorcyclist or driver, you may be entitled to compensation to help with your medical expenses, pains and suffering, and lost wages.

Contact an Albuquerque motorcycle accident attorney at Lerner and Rowe Injury Attorneys to schedule a free consultation. An experienced personal injury lawyer will evaluate the details of your case to help you make the best legal decision for you and your family. Call us at 505-544-4444, chat online with a live representative, or submit the details of your case from the comfort of your own home using our secure contact form.

The information on this blog is for general information purposes only. Nothing herein should be taken as legal advice for any individual case or situation. This information is not intended to create, and receipt or viewing does not constitute, an attorney-client relationship.