From Albuquerque to Alamogordo, Clovis to Las Cruces, New Mexico has thousands of miles of roadways. They’ll take you from the slopes of the Sangre de Cristos to the banks of the Rio Grande, to a UFO festival at Roswell and into historic Santa Fe. They’re used by nearly 1.4 million licensed drivers, who each put in an average of over 12,000 miles a year. Along the way, those drivers are involved in thousands of traffic accidents every year, including many that result in serious injury or death. Wherever you live and drive in the Land of Enchantment, carrying adequate car insurance is both a legal requirement and commonsense protection. This is your guide to New Mexico’s basic vehicle insurance requirements and laws.
New Mexico state law requires you to carry a minimum amount of car insurance. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties that may include monetary fines and jail time. Under New Mexico’s tort system, you may also be liable for actual damages (expenses associated with property damage and medical costs), economic damages (lost wages and earning capacity) and emotional and physical pain and suffering.
The bare minimum car insurance requirement for New Mexico drivers is:
$25,000 bodily injury per person per accident
$50,000 bodily injury for all persons per accident
$10,000 minimum uninsured motorist property damage per accident
New Mexico insurers must offer you uninsured/underinsured motorist coverage, but you have the right to reject it by completing a signed form and returning it to your insurance company by mail. New Mexico does not require you to carry additional coverage such as personal liability insurance or Collision and Comprehensive. However, If you own property or other valuable assets, supplementing the minimum requirements can help you protect yourself from monetary loss.
Penalties for Failure to Carry New Mexico Auto Insurance
You are required by law to carry proof of New Mexico car insurance in your car and show it if a law enforcement officer asks to see it. Failure to do so can result in severe penalties. You can be fined up to $300 and your registration can be suspended.
New Mexico Car Insurance Premiums
Vehicle insurance premiums are regulated by the New Mexico Office of the Superintendent of Insurance. Insurance companies are allowed to charge premiums and award discounts based on a number of factors that can include:
The type of car you are insuring
Prior auto insurance coverage
How much you drive
Your driving record
Your marital status
Your geographic location
How long you’ve been driving
Whether or not you use your car for business
New Mexico also allows insurers to consider your credit history to determine your premium.
How to Get the Cheapest New Mexico Car Insurance Policy
You may be able to lower the cost of your premiums in the following ways:
Ask about available discounts for good driving habits, anti-theft devices, multiple cars on one policy, bundling your car insurance with your homeowners or renters policy, automatic or online payments and driving a hybrid or electric car
Compare quotes from a variety of providers on this website
Eliminate unnecessary coverage
Check to see if you qualify for any low-cost auto insurance program your state may offer
New New Mexico Driving Laws
Laws regarding driving and car insurance can change frequently. It is your responsibility to stay current about the legal requirements in New Mexico. The following laws have recently been enacted in New Mexico and may affect your insurance coverage decisions.
There is a ban on texting and all cell phone use (handheld and hands-free) for novice drivers in New Mexico.