Standard Driver’s License

In the United States, it is required for anyone who operates a vehicle on public roads to have a valid Driver’s License.  Over time, the requirements to obtain one have evolved along with the types of Driver’s licenses issued.  On the bright side, having one comes with many benefits such as having a form of identification, finding better paying jobs, opening a bank account, cashing checks and giving you the freedom to explore freely without relying on others.  Although applying for one may seem difficult, know that In & Out MVD is here to make the process and experience smooth and hassle-free!  Our friendly and knowledgeable MVD Agents are always here to assist you and guide you the whole way to help you obtain your New Mexico Driver’s License and get you on the road today!

New Mexico offers two types of Driver’s Licenses, REAL ID or Standard Driver’s Licenses.  Both types of licenses are valid for driving, however, a REAL ID Driver’s License can also be used to board a domestic flight within the U.S., enter federal courthouses, military bases, nuclear power plants and other secure federal facilities.  After May 3, 2023, the Standard Driver’s License will not be accepted for those purposes.  Although we encourage a REAL ID compliant Driver’s License, in the event you are unable to provide proof of Legal Status or you simply don’t want or need a REAL ID for official federal purposes, you may apply for a Standard Driver’s License.  No fingerprints and no social security number are ever needed and most of the time you can choose a 4 or 8 year license, however, drivers who are 79 years of age or older can only apply for a 1 year license.  Under New Mexico law, Standard Driver’s Licenses must be accepted for all other identification purposes in New Mexico on the same terms as a REAL ID credential.  This includes transactions like cashing a check or obtaining state and local government services.

If you recently moved to New Mexico, once you have established residency, you will be required to surrender your license from any other state and apply for a New Mexico Driver’s License as New Mexico is a one-credential-state.

Persons applying for a New Mexico Standard Driver’s License are issued a temporary Driver’s License valid for 45 days while their regular Driver’s License is being processed and mailed.  If you have an old Driver’s License or ID, it will be voided and may be used in conjunction with the temporary Driver’s License, for up to 45 days from the date of issue.

To obtain a Standard Driver’s License, you will need the following:

Required Documents:

  • Lawful Identity and Age (One (1) of the following):

    • U.S. Original or Certified Copy of Birth Certificate
    • Valid U.S. Passport or US Passport Card
    • Affidavit of Birth issued by any Federally recognized Tribal Nation’s Vital Records
    • Valid Foreign Passport – must include:
      • I-551 Stamp or
      • US Visa affixed accompanied by the approved I-94 form documenting the applicant’s most recent admittance into the US (valid and verified by SAVE)
    • Consular Report of Birth abroad issued by US Dept. of State forms:
      • FS-240
      • DS-1350
      • FS-545
    • Documents issued from Department of Homeland Security or US Citizenship & Immigration Services
      • Permanent Resident Card (I-551)
      • Certificate of Naturalization (DHS forms N-550 or N-570)
      • Certificate of Citizenship (DHS forms N-560 or N-561)
      • Valid Employment Authorization (I-766 or I-688B)

           ***Note: Must be verified through Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements System (SAVE)

    • Real ID Act of 2005 Driver’s License or ID Card plus 1 of the following:
      • Unexpired immigrant or nonimmigrant visa status for admission into the US
      • Pending or Approved application for asylum in the US
      • Admission into the US as a refugee
      • Pending or approved application for temporary protected status in the US
      • Approved deferred Action Status
      • Pending application for the adjustment of status to legal permanent resident or conditional resident
      • Conditional permanent resident alien status
      • Other documents as DHS may designate by notice published in the Federal Register
  • Proof of Residency in New Mexico (Two (2) of the following):

    • Current real property rental or purchase agreement
    • Most current Local Property Tax Document issued by County Assessor

       The following documents must be dated within 60 days

    • Utility Bill which includes water, gas, electric, propane, internet, cable, satellite (no cell phone bills)
    • Bank, Credit Card or Mortgage Monthly Statement
    • Employment Pay stub
    • Education Institution Document which include a transcript, report card or enrollment confirmation
    • City, County, State, Tribal or Federal document attesting to NM residency
    • NM Medical Assistance Card with letter from issuing agency that came with card showing name and address or profile print out from issuing agency or benefit award letter showing current benefits
    • NM Public Assistance Card with letter from issuing agency that came with card showing name and address or profile print out from issuing agency or benefit award letter showing current benefits
    • Document evidencing eligibility and proof that the applicant is currently receiving services from a non-profit organization qualified pursuant to Section 501 (C) (3) of the Federal IRS Code of 1986 provided the document displays the applicant’s physical address

       The following documents must be dated within 6 months and be unexpired

    • Insurance Bill, Card or Binder

       *If you are presenting a binder you must be the policy holder

       **Home, health, life, auto, homeowners and renter’s policies are acceptable

For Applicants under the age of 18

  • Document indicating membership in a NM religious organization issued by that organization
  • Document indicating membership in a NM sports organization issued by that organization
  • Affidavit from the applicants parent or guardian stating the applicant lives with that person as long as the affidavit is accompanied by the parent/guardian’s NM Driver’s License/ID Card If the parent has an out of state credential the parent must present 2 proofs of NM physical residency along with the affidavit. (This affidavit can be completed at our office)


  • All proof of residency documents MUST include your name and physical NM address, not a PO BOX or HC address
  • Printed paperless statements are acceptable
  • If you are married you can present proofs of residency in your spouse’s name along with the marriage certificate
  • All documents must be in English or submitted with a written translation. In & Out MVD offers translation services. Click HERE for translation services information.

Required Tests:

You may be required to take the following tests:

  • Eye Exam: Persons with a current driver license from another state or country, or those applying for a first-time New Mexico Driver’s License, are required to pass an eye exam.
  • Written Test: Persons applying for a first-time New Mexico Driver’s License, or those with licenses expired for one year or more, must pass the written test. This test is not required if you have a current out-of-state Driver’s License.  Persons with a current out-of-country license are required to take the written test.  In the event you do not pass on your first try, you are allowed to re-take this test a 2nd time that same day.  If you do not pass on your 2nd attempt, you will have to wait 1 week to re-take this exam.  If you do not pass on your 3rd attempt, you will then have to wait 6 months to re-take it.  Currently, this test is offered in the following eight (8) different languages:

Currently, the written test is offered in the following eight (8) different languages:

Are you ready to take the written test?  No worries, In & Out MVD has you covered!  No appointment is necessary and walk-ins are always welcome at any of our locations.  Simply bring one (1) form of identification and you are all set!

(Please know we stop offering this test 1 hour prior to closing to ensure you have enough time to complete the test.)

  • Road Test: Persons applying for a first-time New Mexico Driver’s License, or those with licenses expired over five years, must pass this road test. This test is not required if you have a current out-of-state Driver’s License.  A license will not be issued if your driving privileges are suspended, revoked or denied by this state or any other state.  You must first resolve the suspension or revocation of your license.  If you need to take this test and are ready to take it, In & Out MVD can help you!  Call our Coors location in Albuquerque today for additional information and scheduling at (505)831-6800.

Important things to know before you take a Road Test

    • You are required to provide the vehicle in which the Road Test will be taken
    • The vehicle and its equipment must be in good working order. The MVD Agent will perform a simple walk-through inspection of the vehicle prior to the Road Test. (MVD Agent will inspect headlights, break lights, hazard lights, signal lights, mirrors and other vehicle equipment and everything must be in good working order.)
    • Other passengers, children or pets are not allowed in the vehicle during a Road Test
    • The current certificate of registration must be in the vehicle and you must provide proof of current insurance
    • Due to COVID, certain areas of the vehicle may be wiped down/disinfected by the MVD Agent (Mostly where the MVD Agent will be seating)
    • If you are applying for an ignition interlock license, the vehicle must be equipped with an ignition interlock device
    • Due to inclement weather, your Road Test may have to be rescheduled as no test will be given under hazardous road conditions (At MVD Agent’s discretion)
  • Non for the Road: This course is required if you are applying for your first New Mexico Driver’s License and:
    • You are 18 to 24 years of age


    • You are 25 years of age or older and have been convicted of DWI (DUI)

The None for the Road class is administered by UNM Continuing Education, not by the Motor Vehicle Division.  You do not need to attend a class.  This is a self-taught and self-paced course that is done individually online.  Additional information about the class and a class application are available online at: or by calling (505)277-0051 (Albuquerque and surrounding areas) or call toll-free at (877)663-7465.  Once you have enrolled you will be issued a verification number which you may bring to any of our In & Out MVD locations to take your final exam.  No appointment is necessary, however, we stop offering these exams 2 hours prior to closing to ensure you have enough time to complete the exam.  There is no limit on the times you are allowed to take this exam, you may take it as many times as you need.

We are always just a call away!

We understand some requirements may be confusing but don’t worry, In & Out MVD is always just one call away to promptly answer any questions you may have about Standard Driver’s License requirements.  We are committed to giving you the best MVD customer service experience in New Mexico and would love the opportunity to earn your business.  Visit or call us today, we are here for YOU!