New Mexico Motorcycle Manual Online 2016


Riding is a popular activity in New Mexico, in part due to its scenic routes and long list of motorcyclist clubs. Anyone who wants to operate a motor vehicle or motorcycle on a public road in New Mexico first needs a driver license.

Permits and Licenses

Learners are required to get a learners permit, which allows them to operate a vehicle under the supervision of another driver. They can then obtain the provisional license or the unrestricted drivers license, depending on their age. The drivers license is a requirement for a motorcycle license.

Before obtaining the motorcycle license (Class M1 License) in NM, applicants must first get a motorcycle permit. Applicants over 18 years of age will need to complete the following steps:

  • Application form
  • Photo and thumbprint
  • Application fee
  • Vision test
  • Signs and traffic laws exam (each applicant has three chances to pass the exam)

Motorcycle Information

The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department (NM MVD) does not offer a separate motorcycle operator’s manual, but instead has a section specifically for riders in its Driver Manual. This section talks about important practical skills for motorcycle riders, including:

- Passing – how to pass safely

- Sharing the road with cars

– Riding alongside cars

– Passing parked cars

– Sharing a lane

– Being passed – dangers to be aware of; avoiding being sideswiped by other vehicles; wind from large vehicles.

- Lane positioning – using positioning to one’s advantage

- Braking

– Front and rear wheel brakes

– When to use brakes and how

– Using both brakes during a turn

– Integrated braking systems

- Signals

- Helmet requirements

– Required for riders and passengers under 18 years of age

– Must meet DOT standards

– Cannot be damaged or worn

– Must fit the wearer properly

- Using the mirrors

– When stopping at an intersection

– Before changing lanes

– Before slowing down

- Night riding

– Reduce speed

– Increase distance between other vehicles

– Use high-beam headlights

- Riding with a group

– Staggered formation

– Passing in formation

– Single-file formation

- Animals

– What to do when being chased by an animal

- Intersections

– Blind intersections

- Wobble

– Conditions that result in wobble (e.g. improper loading, inappropriate accessories, tire pressure)

– Stabilizing in a wobble

Getting the right information

The New Mexico Driver Manual is available at the MVD offices, as well as for free download in English and Spanish online. See the online version here: NM Driver’s Manual.Although the manual does include extensive motorcycle information, it recognizes that there is much more to know about motorcycle training and safety. It thus directs riders to check out the Motorcycle Safety Foundation for more information.

Click here to take FREE NM MVD practice tests →