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New Mexico Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

New Mexico Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

New Mexico is located in the Southwestern region of the United States. It is considered by many as being included among the “mountain states.” It is one of the largest states in terms of area, but is one of the least densely populated. This state was initially inhabited by indigenous tribes and Hispanics because it used to be owned by Spain as well as Mexico. Of all states, New Mexico has the highest percentage of individuals with Hispanic heritage.

The state’s flag is red and gold to symbolize the colors of Spain’s flag and has an ancient sun symbol of the Zia, an indigenous tribe. The state’s nickname is “Land of Enchantment” because of the beautiful natural scenery as well as its rich history. The economy of New Mexico is geared towards production of oil and gas. It is one of the only states in which 20% of the population speaks Spanish and 5% speak Navajo. It is also one of the only states that has implemented a bilingual government.

New Mexico Motorcycle Insurance Requirements

Do you have a motorcycle that you plan on driving throughout this beautiful state? If you live in New Mexico and are going to operate a motorcycle, you must meet various requirements set by the state. In this particular state, you must first establish financial responsibility before driving. Financial responsibility just means that you are prepared (with necessary finances) to pay off any damages that you could potentially cause while driving.

How to Establish Financial Responsibility in NM

There are a few ways to establish financial responsibility in this state. You have the option of taking out a liability insurance policy. There are also a couple of alternatives that you have if you’d rather not get insurance. These options are utilized to reimburse other drivers in the event that you hit them and it results in injury and/or property damage.

  • Liability Insurance – Purchase a liability insurance policy from a state-licensed provider.
  • Cash Deposit – Make a cash deposit of $60,000 with the New Mexico State Treasurer’s Office.
  • Surety Bond – You can also obtain a surety bond and go through the State Treasurer’s Office.

Note: Most people choose to get liability protection, but the other methods are also acceptable.

Motorcycles / Two-Wheeled Vehicles Defined

Before you drive your 2-wheeled vehicle, it is important to know how it is classified in the state of New Mexico. There are many different types of two-wheeled vehicles, so the requirements may be slightly confusing for some people. The main three that you should keep in mind are: motorcycles, mopeds, and scooters. Below are various definitions that you can check out.

Motorcycle: Any motor vehicle with a seat or saddle for the driver that travels on no more than 3 wheels in contact with the road. These are required to be titled, registered, and insured before you drive.

Moped: A two-wheeled or three-wheeled motor vehicle with an automatic transmission. Motor piston displacement must be less than 50 cc and maximum speed must not exceed 30 mph on a flat surface. These do NOT require insurance or registration.

Scooter: Most definitions of scooters are different from that of a moped. Mopeds typically have pedals and scooters have a foot-rest without pedals. These are basically smaller versions of motorcycles. For classification purposes, these have the same definition as mopeds even if they lack pedals. They must not exceed 30 mph or 50 cc engine displacement. These do NOT require registration or insurance.

Note: If you are unsure about whether your vehicle is classified as a motorcycle or can be legally driven on state roads, you should contact the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) at the following number: (888)-683-4636. An expert will help you figure out what steps need to be taken for your particular vehicle.

New Mexico Minimum Insurance Requirements for Motorcycles

Below are the state’s minimum requirements that you are legally obligated to fill as a driver. While looking for an insurance policy, keep these amounts in mind for reference. Most insurers will encourage you to get more than the bare minimums listed below.

Liability Insurance:

  • $25,000 bodily injury per person

  • $50,000 bodily injury per accident

  • $10,000 property damage per accident

Understand that the above amounts are the minimums for insurance coverage that you will need if you plan on driving. If you do not think that the above amounts are enough protection, you can work with your insurer to increase coverage limits. You may also want to consider getting uninsured motorist insurance and collision coverage if you ride your motorcycle on a consistent basis.

New Mexico Laws: Safety & Licensing Requirements

There are laws concerning the usage of helmets, eye protection, and licensing that you must comply with before driving. It is very important for your personal safety to follow these state-imposed regulations for motorcyclists.

  • Helmets: All individuals that are under the age of 18 must wear a helmet while on a motorcycle. Your helmet must be in compliance with the FMVSS 218 standard and must have reflective properties.
  • Eye Protection: All individuals are required to wear eye protection. The only exception to the rule is if your motorcycle has a windshield that is large enough to protect your eyes.
  • Headlights: You are NOT required to use headlights during the daytime, but it is recommended for added visibility.
  • Licensing: All riders must first obtain an official Motorcycle M license before driving. This will require you to pass both a written and road examination. Once you pass the testing, you will be eligible to legally drive.

Proof of Insurance / Financial Responsibility in NM

There are really only a couple of scenarios in which proof of insurance is required. The first involves getting pulled over by a police officer. If they pull you over and ask to see proof of insurance, you need to show them. The other scenario in which you will need insurance is if you get into an accident.

  • Insurance ID: Your insurance carrier will issue you an identification card upon purchase of a policy. Keep it with you at all times while driving.
  • Certification: If you decided to make a cash deposit or got a surety bond, you will be issued a certificate that must be kept with you while driving.

Note: The New Mexico Insurance Identification Database (NM IID) should be notified once you have purchased an insurance policy. Your insurance company will send them information about your policy.

Penalty for Lack of Insurance / Financial Responsibility in NM

Many individuals in this particular state try to get away with driving without insurance. It has the highest percentage of drivers without insurance of any state. If you think you can get away with driving without insurance, the law will eventually catch up with you. All it takes is getting pulled over once or a single accident for you to get into serious legal trouble.

  • Criminal Penalties: You may be charged as a criminal if you are caught without insurance and/or are a repeat offender.
  • Fines: Depending on the severity of the situation, you may be issued a citation for driving without adequate insurance.
  • Suspended Registration: Your registration will be suspended and you will receive a letter or notice of suspension within 10 days of the offense. Once the suspension period ends, you must get insurance in order to get your registration reinstated.

Note: These penalties can be easily avoided by purchasing liability insurance and maintaining coverage upon policy expiration.

New Mexico Motorcycle Insurance Companies

There are many companies trying to get your business for an insurance policy. As a consumer, you should take your time to find a policy that fits your personal coverage needs. You also want to make sure you are being offered a rate that you can afford. To help you with your search, use the search below by entering your Zip Code.

Upon entering your Zip, you will notice that the system generates a list of top providers based on your specific location. It is up to you to gather free quotes and compare prices from each company. If you are not sure whether you can trust a certain company, be sure to read reviews written on this website to help with your decision. Once you get a policy, you can cruise through the Land of Enchantment!

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