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New Mexico

Eva K. Blazejewski

Eva K. Blazejewski

https://roadrunnerlaw.com/

Roadrunner Law Firm
2501 Rio Grande Blvd NW, Suite B,
Albuquerque NM 87104

Telephone number 1-505-444-4321

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Motorcycle Law FAQ in New Mexico

The Most Commonly Asked Questions from Riders Like You.

Do I need a special motorcycle license to ride in New Mexico?

What do I need to register my motorcycle in New Mexico?

How much insurance do I need for my motorcycle in New Mexico?

Do I need to wear a helmet to ride my motorcycle in New Mexico?

Can I ride my motorcycle with a passenger in New Mexico?

If I was partially at fault for a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, can I still be compensated?

Can I ride my off-road bike in New Mexico?

Do I need a motorcycle license for my Moped in New Mexico?

When do I need to use my lights on my motorcycle in New Mexico?

Can I have custom handlebars on my motorcycle in New Mexico?


In order to legally ride your motorcycle in the State of New Mexico, you must have a driver’s license with an appropriate endorsement based on the size of the engine of the motorcycle. There are three types of motorcycle endorsements, broken down based on the power of the engine.

  • W - Motorcycles with an engine with a piston displacement of 100 or more cubic centimeters
  • Y - Motorcycles with an engine with a piston displacement greater than 50 but less than 100 centimeters
  • Z - Motorcycles with an engine with a piston displacement less than 50 cubic centimeters

For riders under the age of 18, you must complete New Mexico’s motorcycle driver safety program, the Basic RiderCourse (BRC), when first applying for a motorcycle license endorsement. Riders above the age of 18 may choose to either complete the Basic RiderCourse or to pass a road test on a motorcycle with an engine size appropriate to the endorsement they are trying to receive.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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All motorcycles must be registered in the State of New Mexico. In order to register your motorcycle, you will first need to gather a few things.

  • Fees for Registration and Title
  • Original Manufacturer’s Certificate of Origin (MCO) or Title
  • Purchase Agreement or Dealer’s Invoice - Original or certified copy.
  • Odometer Statement
  • Proof of insurance

If your motorcycle has been brought in from out of state, it will need to go through a VIN inspection before it can be registered. If your motorcycle is from a state without titles, you can register your motorcycle in that state before transferring the registration to New Mexico.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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In order to legally ride your motorcycle in the State of New Mexico, there are certain minimum requirements you must meet for liability insurance. These minimums are referred to was 25-50-10, or

  • $25,000 liability insurance to cover the injuries or death of a single individual
  • $50,000 liability insurance to cover the injuries or deaths of multiple individuals in an accident
  • $10,000 liability insurance to cover property damage caused by an accident.

While these are the legal minimums required, with only these levels of insurance, you will not receive payment for your damages from an accident unless the other party is found to be at fault. Additional types of insurance coverage, such as Uninsured Motorist Insurance, Collision Insurance, or Comprehensive Coverage, may also be considered and can be discussed with an expert to help meet your needs.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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Motorcycle helmets are required for riders under the age of 18, and for passengers under the age of 18. In the State of New Mexico, failure to wear a helmet is not considered to be contributory negligence, though a fine may be issued if an underaged rider is found to be riding without a helmet.

Riders over the age of 18 are not legally required to wear a motorcycle helmet while riding, though it is still generally a good idea. Motorcycle helmets have been proven to reduce the risk of serious head injuries and deaths stemming from motorcycle accidents.

Motorcycle Helmets must meet the U.S. Department of Transportation standards; in the case of New Mexico, only motorcycle helmets that meet the Federal Motor Safety Standard #218 are considered to meet the helmet requirements.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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One of the greatest joys of riding can sometimes be the chance to share that experience with your friends and loved ones. In order to take a passenger with you on your motorcycle in New Mexico, there are a few basic requirements. In order to legally ride with a passenger, your bike will need to have certain basic accommodations for them:

  • Their own built-in footrests
  • Their own, safely secured seat OR
  • A secured seat designed for more than one person

Additionally, if your passenger is below the age of 18 they will need to wear a Department of Transportation approved motorcycle helmet.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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The State of New Mexico follows a set of laws referred to as “Pure Comparative Negligence.”

What this means is that even if you are found to be partially at fault for an accident, you can still receive compensation relative to the amount of fault you are found to have for the accident. For example, if your damages came to $50,000 and you were found to be 30% at fault, you could still receive 70% of your damages in compensation, or up to $35,000.

Unlike States that follow Pure Contributory Negligence, where any degree of fault bars you from compensation, or Modified Comparative Negligence, where if your fault for an accident is considered to be 50% or greater you can be barred from compensation, with Pure Comparative Negligence it is possible to receive some degree of compensation for your damages even if you are found to have a high degree of fault in the accident.

An experienced Motorcycle Accident Attorney will help you to prove if the other party was at fault for your injuries and help you to fight for the compensation you deserve.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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The answer to this question varies a little depending on the Title for your off-road motorcycle, but in most cases, the answer is no, at least on public property. You are allowed to ride your off-road motorcycle on private property, provided that you either own that property or have permission.

 If your motorcycle’s Title has an MC or Motorcycle classification, it can be possible to register it as a street-legal vehicle. This is not possible if your motorcycle has an OH (Off-Highway) type title.

It is illegal to ride off-road motorcycles and trail bikes on public roads, highways, and limited access interstates that are off-limit to off-road vehicles.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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A valid driver’s license is required to drive a Moped in the State of New Mexico. Additional endorsements are not required as of the time of this writing.

According to the laws of the State of New Mexico, a Moped is defined as “two-wheeled or three-wheeled vehicle with an automatic transmission and a motor having a piston displacement of less than 50 cubic centimeters, which is capable of propelling the vehicle at a maximum speed of not more than 30 miles per hour on level ground at sea level.”

Vehicles with a greater output are likely to be considered a motorcycle for the purposes of the law, though it is a good idea to ask a professional and make sure that you are properly licensed before riding.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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The rules for lights on your motorcycle are slightly more specific than most States in New Mexico, so those from out of State occasionally encounter a little confusion. Still, the requirements are relatively simple, so it should be easy for most riders to adapt without any trouble.

Motorcycles in New Mexico are required to have

  • Right and left signal lights
  • A red or amber taillight that illuminates a distance of at least 200 feet
  • At least 1, but no more than 2 headlights, between 20 and 54 inches above ground level, that illuminate a distance of at least 150 feet.

Headlights and taillights are required to be active at night, or at times where visibility is less than 500 feet - about the size of one and a half football fields. Signal lights are also required when turning or changing between lanes.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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Luckily for those of us who enjoy customizing their ride, there are no arbitrary restrictions on the height or shape of handlebars in New Mexico. However, there is one important requirement for any handlebars on a motorcycle in the State of New Mexico.

Your motorcycle must be able to make a 90 degree turn within a circle having a radius of 14 feet. This is mostly a basic safety precaution to make sure that your bike is capable of handling safely and performing the turns it will be required to make on the road.

As long as your bike is capable of driving safely and making the appropriate turns, you are generally allowed the freedom to be creative with your handlebars.

- Eva K. Blazejewski Top New Mexico Motorcycle Accident Attorney

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