Driver Education: Students & Parents

The State of New Mexico recognizes two types of driver education programs for students under the age of 18 obtaining their driver’s license for the first time:

30 hours of classroom instruction combined with 7 hours of behind-the-wheel training


56 hours of classroom instruction with 0 hours of behind-the-wheel training 

For a list of Driver Education Providers, please click HERE.

After receiving a minimum of nine (9) hours of classroom instruction, the student may obtain a referral card from the instructor allowing them to go to the MVD and obtain their learner’s permit. THIS PERMIT IS NOT A PROVISIONAL LICENSE AND ONE OF THE ABOVE PROGRAMS MUST BE COMPLETED PRIOR TO RECEIVING A CERTIFICATE OF COMPLETION FOR A PROVISIONAL LICENSE.

Regardless of the program you choose, it must be conducted by a certified instructor licensed by the State of New Mexico, Transportation Safety Division. Each program must include a minimum of six (6) hours of classroom instruction devoted to DWI prevention and education and information about organ donation regarding the Jonathan Spradling Revised Uniform Anatomical Gifts Act [Sections 24-6B-1 et seq.NMSA 1978].

Public High Schools in New Mexico are required to offer driver education to students. These programs usually conduct the 56 hour program in which behind-the-wheel training is not required.

In instances where the student is unable to attend a private driver education school or a public high school program, driver education be taken through a licensed correspondence course. Please be advised that only students who meet specific criteria are eligible for correspondence school driver education. For more information about Correspondence School Driver Education, please click HERE.

Students wishing to transfer from one Driver Education School in New Mexico to another, please use this Transfer FORM.

Upon completion of a licensed driver education program, students are welcome to apply for a provisional license at the MVD. All drivers under the age of 18 must go through New Mexico’s Graduated Licensing Program. 

First-time drivers 18 and over are not required to attend a driver education school and may complete the “None for the Road” program instead. Should adult students wish to take driver education from an approved provider, they may do so under the following conditions:

1.       Individuals 18 and over who enroll in a private driver education school and receive a certificate of completion from that school ARE REQUIRED TO COMPLETE all components of the course; 30 hours classroom/7 hours behind-the-wheel.

2.       This also means that individuals 18 and over who are enrolled in a private driver education course should also receive a referral card and must have a learners permit prior to engaging in any behind-the-wheel activity.

According to MVD, any adults over the age of 18 completing a driver education course and receiving a Certificate of completion will bypass the provisional license requirement of MVD. This is the only difference between an 18 and over student vs. a younger student.