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



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#1. 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.


#2. When entering a high-speed roadway or a limited access highway it is wrong to:

You should not insist on the right-of-way.

Remember that traffic on a high-speed roadway or a limited access highway has the right-of-way. You cannot always count on other drivers seeing you or moving over to give you room to enter.


#3. When driving at night, be sure that you can stop:

Never overdrive your headlights. Keep your speed low enough to be able to stop within the distance you can see ahead.


#4. 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.


#5. What does this sign mean?

This sign is used at locations along a roadway where a flagger may be stationed to control traffic.


#6. The best way to increase visibility when backing up is to:

Always turn your head and look to the rear while backing. Do not depend on your mirror. Back slowly, your vehicle is much harder to steer while you are backing.


#7. In general, which drink contains more alcohol?

It is not what you drink, it is how much. A single alcohol drink is considered 1.5 ounces of 80 proof liquor (one shot glass) straight or with a mixer, a 5-ounce glass of wine or a 12-ounce container of beer. Specialty drinks can have more alcohol and one drink may equal several normal drinks.

Note that it was 4 ounces of whisky in the question.


#8. A flashing red traffic signal at an intersection has the same meaning as:

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.


#9. If gates rise at a railroad crossing, but the red light is still flashing, you should:

Never drive through, around or under a crossing gate or barrier at a railroad-highway grade crossing while the gate or barrier is closed or being opened or closed. It is dangerous and against the law.


#10. You approach this vehicle from behind. It is keeping an exceptionally low speed. What should you do?

A broken yellow line indicates that passing on the left is permitted when the way ahead is clear. Overtaking and passing should be done with care because of oncoming traffic.


#11. 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.


#12. When may you drive faster than a maximum speed limit?

You must comply with speed limits.

Remember, the maximum limit should be driven only in ideal driving conditions and you must reduce your speed when conditions require it. For example, you should reduce your speed when the roadway is slippery, during rain, snow, icy conditions, or when it is foggy and difficult to see clearly down the road.


#13. When approaching a sharp curve, you should:

It is easy to go too fast in a curve. If you go too fast, then the tires will not be able to grip the road and the vehicle will skid. Always slow down before you enter the curve, so you do not have to brake in the curve. Braking in a curve can cause the vehicle to skid.


#14. Bicyclists must always ride:

Bicycles are required to travel in the same direction as traffic, making left and right turns in the same way cars do.


#15. At night, where is it acceptable to drive with your lights on high beam?

Use your high beams whenever there are no oncoming vehicles. High beams let you see twice as far as low beams. It is important to use high beams on unfamiliar roads, in construction areas or where there may be people along the side of the road.

Dim your lights when necessary. Do not use high beams in fog or when it is snowing or raining hard.


#16. What does this sign mean?

Traffic signal ahead.

Slow down and be ready to stop at the signal ahead.


#17. When you are very tired (fatigued):

When you are tired, you cannot drive as safely as when you are rested. You do not see as well, and you are not as alert as when you are rested. It takes you more time to make decisions and you do not always make good decisions. You can be more irritable and can get upset more easily.

Stop and rest. Never drive if you are sleepy.


#18. A person may never stop and leave a vehicle parked and unattended:

Never park on any bridge or elevated structure.


#19. When should you always proceed against a red light?

Directions given by a police officer overrule the message of any sign, signal, or road marking.


#20. A good rule of thumb for calculating safe driving distances is:

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.


#21. You should check your rearview mirrors:

Besides watching traffic ahead of you, you must check traffic behind you. Check your rear-view mirror periodically. You need to check more often when traffic is heavy.

Remember, keep shifting your eyes from one area of the roadway to another, near and far left and right. Avoid staring straight ahead.


#22. You can reduce the risk of hitting a deer or other type animal on the road, if you are especially alert:

Use caution when driving at dawn and dusk. This is when animals are most active. Deer/vehicle crashes occur most frequently from October to December.


#23. This yellow warning sign means:

Divided highway ends.

The divided road ends ahead. Two-way traffic will no longer be divided by a center island. You will be on an undivided roadway with two-way traffic. Keep to the right.


#24. Who must yield to other vehicles at a traffic circle?

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


#25. What color are traffic signs that warn a driver of temporary traffic conditions due to highway construction or maintenance work?

Work area signs are construction, maintenance, or emergency operations signs. They are generally diamond or rectangular shaped, orange with black letters or symbols and warn you that people are working on or near the roadway. These warnings include reduced speed, detours, slow moving construction equipment and poor or suddenly changing road surfaces.

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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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