New Mexico Written Test – Learner’s Permit & Driver License



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#1. With a posted speed limit, what is the speed limit in a school zone during opening or closing hours?

The maximum speed limit is 15 mph within a school zone, with a posted speed limit.


#2. When you approach a traffic signal with a flashing yellow light, you must:

A flashing yellow traffic light means slow down and proceed with caution.


#3. What is true about shared lane markings (sharrows)?

Sharrows are shared lane pavement markings. They are painted on the pavement when a road is too narrow for side-by-side road sharing with slower vehicles. They indicate that bicyclists are encouraged to take the whole travel lane and that motorists shall yield to the bicyclist as needed.


#4. If you are hit from the rear your body will be thrown:

If your vehicle is hit from the rear, your body will be thrown backwards. Press yourself against the back of your seat and put your head against the head restraint. Be ready to apply your brakes so that you will not be pushed into another vehicle.


#5. What can you do to help prevent injured persons from going into shock at the scene of an accident?

To prevent an injured person from going into shock, cover the individual with a blanket or warm clothing such as a coat or jacket.


#6. Which of the following will help you steer straighter with less weaving?

Looking well down the road will help you to steer straighter with less weaving.

Look well down the road, not just at the road in front of your vehicle. Look for traffic situations where you will need to steer before you get to them. This way, you have time to steer smoothly and safely.


#7. A vehicle carrying this sign is likely to operate at a speed of:

A reflective orange triangle on the rear of a vehicle means the vehicle is traveling less than 25 miles per hour. A driver may see this sign on construction equipment or in rural areas on farm vehicles, or on horse drawn wagons or carriages.


#8. If you see a deer crossing the road, you should:

Where one animal is crossing, there may be more. Animals often travel in groups.

Assume that animals won’t get out of your way. Animals tend to fixate on headlights, so flashing them may cause the animal to freeze in the road.


#9. The law allows parking in all of following places, except:

You cannot park 10 feet of a fire hydrant (this is within 15 feet).

Note: this question asked where you cannot park.

Some versions of the New Mexico driver manual incorrectly states that parking is not allowed within 50 feet of a fire hydrant. It should be 15 feet.


#10. Driving at night with parking lights instead of headlights is:

Whenever it is necessary to drive with your lights on, you must use your headlights. Never drive with the parking lights on, parking lights are for parking only.


#11. When you drive through a construction zone, you should:

Adjust your speed to traffic conditions. Proceed with caution. Obey all instructions provided by signs, traffic signals and flaggers. Do not follow other vehicles too closely. Remember to be prepared for the unexpected when traveling through work zones.


#12. If you have been drinking alcohol, what will help you to sober up?

There is no way to sober up quickly. Things like coffee, fresh air, exercise, or cold showers will not help. Sleep will not help either, except to pass the time.

Time is the only thing that will sober you up.

This is a very common question on DMV tests.


#13. To avoid getting tired on a long trip, it is often a good idea to:

Do not eat a large meal before you leave. Some people get sleepy after they eat a big meal.


#14. Which background color is used on road signs that give distance and direction guidance?

Green and white signs are used for guide information. They show directions and distance to various locations such as cities, airports, or state lines.


#15. What is the most important driving technique when driving on icy or snowy roads?

Slow down and maintain a safe following distance.


#16. Under the graduated licensing law you must drive without any moving violations during which phase?

You must have not been convicted of a traffic violation in the 90 days prior to applying for a provisional license or an unrestricted driver’s license.


#17. On highways with several lanes traveling in the same direction, the right lane should be used for:

On a road with two or more lanes traveling in the same direction, stay in the right lane except to pass.


#18. The following are true about large trucks, except:

It is not true that trucks gain speed quicker than cars.

Watch for large trucks and small underpowered cars on steep grades or when they are entering traffic. They can lose speed on long or steep hills and it takes longer for these vehicles to get up to speed when they enter traffic.


#19. If you find yourself on a roadway marked with a yellow line on the right edge and a white line to your left:

If you ever find yourself with yellow to your right and white to your left, you are going the wrong way.

Remember, solid yellow lines are used on the left of the roadway edge of divided streets or roadways. When driving, a yellow line should always be to your left.


#20. What does this sign mean?

Merging traffic sign.

Traffic from the right is merging onto the main roadway.


#21. Which is true about the right of way at a 4-way stop?

At a 4-way stop, the driver reaching the intersection first gets to go first, after stopping completely. If in doubt, give the right-of-way to the driver on your right.


#22. A three-second rule is used for:

There is an easy way to tell if you are following too closely. It is called the three-second rule, and it works at any speed.

The more space you allow between your vehicle and the vehicle ahead, the more time you will have to see a hazard, and stop or avoid that hazard.

Remember, avoid tailgating. Most rear end collisions are caused by tailgating.


#23. If the rear of your vehicle starts to skid left, you should:

Ease off the gas and stay off the brake. Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid, which is the same as the direction you want your vehicle to go. As soon as the vehicle begins to straighten out, you might need to turn the steering wheel back the other way. Otherwise, you could start a new skid. Continue to correct your steering, left and right, until the vehicle is again moving down the road under your control.


#24. What should you do when you approach a railroad crossing marked only with a Crossbuck sign?

A white X-shaped sign or crossbuck is located at a railroad crossing. This sign has the same meaning as a yield sign.

Remember, you are legally required to yield the right of way to crossing trains. Never try to beat a train across the tracks.


#25. What does this yellow warning sign mean?

Divided highway ahead (divided highway begins).

The highway ahead is divided into two one-way roadways. Prepare to change lanes or shift lane position.

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New Mexico MVD Written Test

Quick facts about your MVD driver’s license and learner’s permit test in New Mexico:

  Number of Questions: 50
  Correct answers needed: 35
  Passing score: 70 percent
  Time limit:
  Earliest retest upon failure: Same day

500 Practice Questions for Your New Mexico License

This is a practice test for your New Mexico Driver License or Instruction Permit. It is a random multiple-choice test with 25 questions from a database with 500+ questions.

You can take the practice test as many times as you like. There is no registration and no hidden fees.

The test will help you cover all important facts in the New Mexico Driver Manual and make it easier to pass the knowledge examination the first time.

A practice test should always be used as a learning tool and a way to verify your knowledge. It means that it is not always exactly the same as the real written test. You cannot use this test as a certificate of a passed knowledge exam. is not affiliated with any State or Government Entity and this is not an official test.

The Official New Mexico Knowledge Exam

The official knowledge examination in New Mexico consists of 50 questions. The passing score is 70%, which means that you must correctly answer 35 questions to pass the test.

New Mexico has one of the lowest passing scores in United States

You may take the knowledge test as part of your driver education or at any New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office. Remember, if you are under 18 years, you must enroll in an approved driver education and complete the 3-step Graduated Driver Licensing (GDL) program.

The knowledge test is a closed book test, which means that you cannot bring your Driver Manual, any notes, or use digital devices like your cell phone. To avoid misunderstandings, it’s a good idea to turn off your phone during the test.

If you fail your test, you can take it again the same day, but only twice on one day or in one week. If need a third attempt to pass the test, you must wait until the following week. After three failures, you must wait six months before MVD allows you to try again.

Is the New Mexico Written Test Hard?

Even if the failure rate on the New Mexico written exam appears to be higher than expected (about 20%), the difficulty level is rated easy.

Easy - DMV Test difficulty grading by licenseroute

The Graduated Driver License Program

The purpose of New Mexico GDL program is to gradually introduce young drivers to driving situations proven to be particularly dangerous and develop driving skills under supervision of an experienced driver. Restrictions that are placed on their driving are gradually relaxed as they mature and develop greater driving skills.

GDL is a three-step program for all teenagers under 18 years. It includes these steps:

  • Step I: Instructional Permit
  • Step II: Provisional License
  • Step III: Unrestricted Driver License

At age 15, a teen can apply for their first instructional permit (learner’s permit). After holding a permit for at least six months, the young driver can advance to step two and apply for a provisional license. Before advancing to step three, an unrestricted Driver License, the teen must hold a provisional license for at least 12 months.

New Mexico Instructional Permit – Requirements

Minimum age: 15 years.

You can apply for a New Mexico permit when you turn 15.

Signed consent form.

A teenager under 18 years must provide a consent form signed by a parent or legal guardian.

Pass vision screening and knowledge test.

Before MVD issues a permit, you must pass the knowledge test and vision screening.

Enrolled in and attending a driver education course.

The driver education course must be approved by the Traffic Safety Bureau and include DWI education and behind-the-wheel practice. Read more here: Drivers Educational Info .

New Mexico Instructional Permit – Restrictions

You cannot drive alone.

Under no circumstances can you drive without being supervised by another driver.

The supervising driver must be an approved driver instructor or a licensed driver who is 21 years or older and has been licensed for at least three years in New Mexico or any other state.

A supervising driver must occupy the seat beside you.

You cannot drive without your permit.

When you drive, you must always have the permit in your possession.

You cannot use your cell phone.

All use of electronic devices, including cell phones, are prohibited while driving – even when in hands-free mode. The only exception is when you must summon medical or emergency assistance.

New Mexico Provisional License – Requirements

Minimum age 15 years and six months.

Held an instructional permit for six months.

Before applying for an instructional permit, you must hold an instructional permit for at least six months.

50 hours of driving practice.

During the permit phase, you must practice driving for at least 50 hours, of which 10 hours must be at night.

When applying for the provisional license, a parent or guardian must certify that you have completed your practice hours.

Pass the road skills test.

In addition to the vision screening and knowledge test, you must pass a behind-the-wheel test, also known as the road skills test.

No traffic violations,

You cannot have any traffic violations in the 90 days prior to applying for the provisional license.

New Mexico Provisional License – Restrictions

Night curfew

You cannot drive unsupervised on public highways between midnight and 5:00 a.m.

If you have a signed statement by a parent or guardian, you may drive during these hours if required by family or medical necessity.

With a signed statement from an employer you may also drive at night to and from work.

School or a religious activity are also exempt if evidenced by a signed statement of a school, religious official or a parent or guardian.

You can also drive at night if necessary due to a medical emergency.

No cell phone use.

Electronic devices, including cell phones, are prohibited while driving – even if in hands-free mode.

Unrestricted Driver License – Requirements

Held a provisional license for 12 months.

Before applying for a full and unrestricted driver license, you must have held the provisional license for at least 12 months.

No traffic violations.

You must not have been convicted of any traffic violations 90 days prior to applying for the driver license and you must have any traffic violations pending.

No alcohol or drug offenses.

You must not have been convicted of any alcohol or drug offenses during the provisional period or have such offenses pending.

New Mexico Driver License

New Drivers 18 Years or Older

If you are 18 years or older, you don’t follow the GDL program and a driver education class is not mandatory. This means that you will bypass the provisional license phase.

If you are under 25 years, you must enroll the “None for the Road” program instead. This program includes a self-taught, self-paced DWI Awareness Class.

A DWI Awareness Class is also necessary if you are 25 years and have been convicted of DWI (DUI).

If you enroll in a private driver education school, the class will include 30 hours classroom education and at least 7 hours behind-the-wheel. The school is often authorized to issue the learner’s permit after you have passed the necessary tests.

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