Motorcycle License in New Mexico

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In New Mexico, there is increasing cases of fatalities resulting from motorcycle accidents. Unfortunately, the majority of these cases are caused by inexperienced drivers. You will find that these riders have no formal motorcycle training. They taught themselves how to ride. Most of these accidents can be prevented if riders agree to get formal training. The New Mexico’s Motor Vehicle Division (MVD), recommend riders to take MSF approved courses before applying for a motorcycle license. If you complete this course and pass, you will be exempted from the testing process. This course tests your driving ability on certain driving situations.

Types of Motorcycle License

The New Mexico Class M motorcycle license has three endorsements levels. These endorsement levels depend on the type of motorcycle you are tested on and your age.

  • W endorsement: You will be allowed to drive motorcycles with 100cc and more.
  • Y endorsement: You will be allowed to drive motorcycles between 50cc and 100cc.
  • Z endorsement: Allows riders to drive motorcycle under 50 cc.

When you take your licensing test, you will be tested on the motorcycle capacity that you wish to be licensed for.

Applying for a Motorcycle License

In order to legally ride a motorcycle in New Mexico, you will need to obtain a Class M license or add a motorcycle endorsement on your New Mexico driver’s license. The steps of applying for a New Mexico motorcycle license are almost similar to those of applying for a regular New Mexico driver’s license. You will need to apply the same documents and pass the knowledge and road tests. You will need to master the Driver License Manual, to pass the knowledge test. If you pass approved driver’s education course, you will be exempted from taking some tests.

Motorcycle Training

The state doesn’t require any formal motorcycle training as a requirement for obtaining a motorcycle license. But still it is for your own benefit if you get some training before hitting the road to ride. The basic motorcycle handling test and written test offered by the DMV office may not be enough. You need to have a solid motorcycle training foundation to have confidence on the bike. If you are under 18, you are recommended to enroll in a motorcycle riding and safety course before you ride any type of motorcycle on the road. If you are a starter, you can enroll in a MSF Basic Rider Course.

Basic Rider Course

The Basic Rider Course is offered by Motorcycle Safety Foundation. This course is a mix of classroom training and filed riding. It is a course designed to train you with the fundamentals of riding and handling a motorcycle. It is also designed to make you have confidence when riding a motorcycle. Before you enroll to get the training, you must:

  • Have some basic experience on a motorcycle. You must first know how to balance on a two wheeler.
  • Hold a current New Mexico learner's permit or driver's license.
  • Bring along an approved helmet for protection purpose.
  • Dress the part, with motorcycle riding attires.


In New Mexico, you must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle if you are under 18 years old. If you are over 18 years old, a helmet will not be mandatory but recommended.