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



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#1. Your headlights will let you see about 400 feet ahead. When it is dark, you should drive at a speed that allows you to stop within this distance, or about:

It is harder to see at night. You must be closer to an object to see it at night than during the day. You must be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead with your headlights. Your headlights will let you see about 400 feet ahead. You should drive at a speed that allows you to stop within this distance or about 50 mph


#2. When you see a sign with this shape, color, and symbol, you must:

When you see this sign, do not drive onto the street or ramp in the direction you are heading.

You will see this sign at roadway openings that you should not enter such has exit ramps where you would be going in the wrong direction, in crossovers on divided roadways and at numerous locations on one-way streets.

If you enter, you will be going against traffic and most likely see a wrong way sign farther from the crossroad.


#3. If you have a tire blowout while driving, you should:

If a tire suddenly goes flat, hold the steering wheel tightly and keep the vehicle going straight. Slow down gradually. Take your foot off the gas pedal and use the brakes lightly. When your vehicle is under control, pull off the road in a safe place. Do not stop on the road if at all possible.

Remember, it is dangerous to brake or steer off the road before your vehicle is under control.


#4. The blood alcohol level at which it is illegal for any person 21 years or older to drive is:

In New Mexico, it is illegal to drive with a breath or blood alcohol concentration of .08 or more if you are 21 or over.

The legal limit is .02 if you are under 21 and .04 if you drive a commercial vehicle.


#5. Parking is never allowed:

Never park within an intersection.

Parking in handicapped parking space is allowed when you have an authorized handicapped license plate, tag, or sticker.


#6. By looking ahead and being ready to stop or change lanes if needed, you can:

By looking ahead and being ready to stop or change lanes if needed, you can drive more safely, save fuel, help keep traffic moving at a steady pace, and allow yourself time to better see around your vehicle and alongside the road. Looking well down the road will also help you to steer straighter with less weaving.


#7. Following closely behind another vehicle:

Rear-end crashes are very common. They are caused from drivers following too closely to be able to stop before hitting the vehicle ahead when it suddenly stops.


#8. When making a left turn into a two-way street, you should:

You should turn from the lane that is closest to the direction you want to go and turn into the lane closest to the one you came from. This way, you will cross the fewest lanes of traffic. When making turns, go from one lane to the other as directly as possible without crossing lane lines or interfering with traffic. Once you have completed your turn, you can change to another lane if you need to.

If there are signs or lane markings that allow for two or more turning lanes, stay in your lane during the turn.


#9. Red road signs indicate:

All red signs are regulatory signs and must be obeyed. They indicate stop or prohibition and include signs like: stop, yield, do not enter and wrong way.


#10. When a traffic signal is showing a flashing red light, you must:

A flashing red traffic light means the same as a stop sign. You must come to a full stop and then may proceed when it is safe to do so.

The signal does not change color, it stays red.


#11. In which situation are you allowed to overtake a stopped school bus?

You may proceed if the alternating flashing red lights have been turned off.

Watch for children along the side of the road and wait until they have completely left the roadway and it is safe to proceed.


#12. When there is an oncoming car to your left and a child on a bicycle to your right on a two-way road, you should:

When possible, take potential hazards one at a time. Instead of driving between the car and the child, slow down and let the vehicle pass first so that you can give extra room to the bicycle.

You may pass a bicyclist only when safe and legal to do so.


#13. When could it be a good idea to give your horn a light tap?

You may tap your horn as a warning when a driver is not paying attention or may have trouble seeing you.

Do not tap your horn at a blind pedestrian as it could confuse or frighten the pedestrian.


#14. This sign tells you that:

Reduction of lanes (right lane ends).

There will be fewer lanes ahead. Traffic must merge left. Drivers in the left lane should allow others to merge smoothly.


#15. This sign (a steady yellow X) means:

A green arrow means you can use the lane beneath it.

A red X means you may not.

A flashing yellow X means the lane is only for turning.

A steady yellow X means that the use of the lane is changing, and you should move out of it as soon as it is safe to do so.


#16. A pedestrian has entered a crosswalk and should be given the right-of-way:

You must yield to pedestrians in or about to enter a crosswalk. Always yield to pedestrians before making a turn.


#17. What is the best thing to do if you start to feel tired while driving?

Never drive if you are sleepy. It is better to stop and take a nap than to take a chance thinking you can stay awake. If possible, switch driving tasks with another driver so you can sleep while they drive.


#18. When are you required to stop at a railroad crossing?

Remember to obey traffic control devices, crossing gates or barriers or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing. You must stop when:

  • A train is moving through or blocking the crossing.
  • A train is plainly visible and approaching the crossing within hazardous proximity to the crossing.
  • The sound of a train’s warning signal can be heard.
  • A traffic control device, crossing gate, barrier or light or an enforcement official signals the driver to stop.

#19. Drivers entering a rotary or traffic circle:

Drivers entering a traffic circle or rotary must yield to drivers already in the circle.


#20. If you are about to be hit from the rear and cannot avoid being hit, you should:

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.


#21. When a tractor-trailer appears to be turning left ahead, you should:

Big trucks and RVs need more room to make turns. They often swing wide to make a right turn. When you follow a big rig, look at its turn signals before you start to pass. If you think the truck is turning left, wait a second and check the turn signals again. The driver may really be turning right.


#22. If your car gets hit from the side and you are not wearing a seat belt, your body will move in what direction?

If your vehicle is hit from the side, your body will be thrown towards the side that is hit.

When a vehicle is struck from the side, it will move sideways. Everything in the vehicle that is not fastened down, including the passengers, will slide toward the point of crash, not away from it.


#23. When you see a wild animal standing near the roadway:

Scan the road as you drive. Watch the edges of the highway for wildlife that are about to cross. Watch for animal crossing signs. These signs warn you that vehicles have hit wildlife in this area before. And if you see animals that have been hit or animals standing beside the road, slow down.


#24. The program that gradually phases in driving privileges for new drivers is known as:

If you are applying for your first New Mexico driver license and are under age 18, you must go through the New Mexico Graduated Licensing System to get your license.

Graduated driver licensing eases beginning drivers into traffic by limiting their exposure to driving situations proven to be particularly dangerous.


#25. What does HOV mean?

HOV stands for High Occupancy Vehicle.

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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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