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New Mexico MVD License Tests & Permit Practice

This New Mexico MVD Sample Test
  Questions on each practice test: 25
  Question pool: 500+
  Type of test: Randomized multiple-choice



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#1. A driver with an instructional permit must complete 50 hours of supervised driving, of which at least 10 hours must be:

The driver must complete not less than 50 hours of practice driving, including not less than 10 hours of nighttime driving. The parent or guardian shall certify that the driver has completed the practice driving part.


#2. When are you required to stop at a railroad crossing?

Remember to obey traffic control devices, crossing gates or barriers or the directions of an enforcement official at the crossing. You must stop when:

  • A train is moving through or blocking the crossing.
  • A train is plainly visible and approaching the crossing within hazardous proximity to the crossing.
  • The sound of a train’s warning signal can be heard.
  • A traffic control device, crossing gate, barrier or light or an enforcement official signals the driver to stop.

#3. If you have been drinking alcohol, what will help you to sober up?

There is no way to sober up quickly. Things like coffee, fresh air, exercise, or cold showers will not help. Sleep will not help either, except to pass the time.

Time is the only thing that will sober you up.

This is a very common question on DMV tests.


#4. You can park your car:

Parking five inches from a sidewalk is allowed.

Parking is not allowed on a crosswalk, bridge, or in front of a driveway.


#5. What does this sign mean?

Do not pass. This sign marks the beginning of a no passing zone.

Passing signs tell you where it is safe to pass another vehicle and where you cannot. Passing areas are based on how far you can see ahead. Where it is permitted to pass, you may do so only if it is safe.


#6. You have a green light at an intersection and a blind pedestrian is preparing to cross. Who must be given the right-of-way?

Pedestrians using a guide dog or carrying a white cane should always be given the right-of-way. Stop, and do not use your horn as it could confuse or frighten a blind pedestrian.


#7. What does this sign mean?

School crossing. The five-sided sign is used to warn of schools and school crossings.


#8. Sharrows are used to mark:

Sharrows are shared lane pavement markings. They are painted on the pavement when a road is too narrow for side-by-side road sharing with slower vehicles. They indicate that bicyclists are encouraged to take the whole travel lane and that motorists shall yield to the bicyclist as needed.


#9. What color are traffic signs that warn a driver of temporary traffic conditions due to highway construction or maintenance work?

Work area signs are construction, maintenance, or emergency operations signs. They are generally diamond or rectangular shaped, orange with black letters or symbols and warn you that people are working on or near the roadway. These warnings include reduced speed, detours, slow moving construction equipment and poor or suddenly changing road surfaces.


#10. What is true about bicycle riders on public streets and highways?

Bicycle drivers on roads have the same rights and responsibilities as drivers of cars.


#11. To avoid glare from high-beam headlights of an approaching car:

You should not look directly into the lights of the cars you are meeting. Instead, try to watch the pavement markings and slow down slightly.

Do not wear dark glasses or tinted contact lenses at night, even if it is to help with glare. The problem is that they shut out too much light, light you need to see clearly.


#12. A traffic signal showing a steady yellow light means:

A steady yellow light means caution. It tells you the light is about to change to red. You must stop if it is safe to do so. If you are in the intersection when the yellow light comes on, do not stop but continue through the intersection.


#13. On a highway with two-way traffic, you may cross a broken yellow center line:

If the dashed line is on your side, you may pass if it is safe to do so.

Remember, broken lines are permissive in character. Solid lines are restrictive in character.


#14. Suppose you are driving on a four-lane highway. From which lane should you make a right turn?

To make a right turn, drive close to the right edge of the road.

You should turn from the lane that is closest to the direction you want to go and turn into the lane closest to the one you came from. This way, you will cross the fewest lanes of traffic.


#15. Emotions affect your driving. If you feel angry or excited, you should:

Emotions can affect safe driving. You may not be able to drive well if you are overly worried, excited, afraid, angry, or depressed.

If you are angry or excited, give yourself time to cool off. If necessary, take a short walk, but stay off the road until you have calmed down.


#16. Exceeding the speed limit with 10 mph when passing another vehicle:

You must comply with speed limits. If you have to speed to pass, you probably do not need to pass.


#17. If your car starts to skid, you should:

Ease off the gas and stay off the brake. Turn the steering wheel in the direction of the skid, which is the same as the direction you want your vehicle to go. As soon as the vehicle begins to straighten out, you might need to turn the steering wheel back the other way. Otherwise, you could start a new skid. Continue to correct your steering, left and right, until the vehicle is again moving down the road under your control.


#18. You see this sign on a vehicle ahead. What does it mean?

A reflective orange triangle on the rear of a vehicle means the vehicle is traveling less than 25 miles per hour. A driver may see this sign on construction equipment or in rural areas on farm vehicles, or on horse drawn wagons or carriages.


#19. What does the basic speed rule mean?

The maximum limit should be driven only in ideal driving conditions and you must reduce your speed when conditions require it. For example, you should reduce your speed when the roadway is slippery, during rain, snow, icy conditions, or when it is foggy and difficult to see clearly down the road. Even if you are driving under the posted speed limit, you can get a ticket for traveling too fast under these conditions. This is known as the basic speed rule.


#20. Instructions given by a flagger in a construction zone:

Obey all instructions provided by flaggers.


#21. If you see animals that have been hit on the road, you should:

Scan the road as you drive. Watch the edges of the highway for wildlife that are about to cross. Watch for animal crossing signs. These signs warn you that vehicles have hit wildlife in this area before. And if you see animals that have been hit or animals standing beside the road, slow down.


#22. When should you use your high-beam headlights?

Use your high beams whenever there are no oncoming vehicles. High beams let you see twice as far as low beams. It is important to use high beams on unfamiliar roads, in construction areas or where there may be people along the side of the road.

Dim your lights when necessary. Do not use high beams in fog or when it is snowing or raining hard.


#23. When changing lanes, it is important to:

Whenever you want to change lanes, you must check that there are no vehicles in the lane you want to enter. This means you must check for traffic to the side and behind your vehicle before you change lanes. Remember your blind spot.


#24. If you are about to be hit from the rear, why should you be ready to apply your brakes?

Be ready to apply your brakes so that you will not be pushed into another vehicle.


#25. What should you do when you are pulling a trailer?

You may need a four second following distance to be safe when you have a heavy load or are pulling a trailer. The extra weight makes it harder to stop.

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Facts about Your New Mexico MVD Knowledge Test

New Mexico Written Knowledge Test for a Permit or Driver License
  Number of questions on exam: 50 questions
  Passing score: 70 percent
  Correct answers to pass: 35
  Allotted time to complete test: No limit
  Wait time before retest: 2nd test same day, but no more than 2 tests in same week

The New Mexico Practice Test

This NM practice test for a driver license or learner’s permit has 25 random multiple-choice questions from a large database (the real exam has 50 questions).

After each question, the instant feedback will tell you if your answer was correct or not. When you miss a question, there is also a short explanation that can help you understand the correct answer. Your final score is shown at the end of the test.

The test is a learning tool and is not inclusive of all questions that can appear on your official MVD exam. But with the large database, the test will cover all important items on the test and will match contents of the New Mexico Driver Manual.

Before you start practicing, you should get the latest version of the New Mexico Driver Manual. You can get it from your driver education course provider, a local MVD office, or download it online from

NM MVD doesn’t update the manual very often, but you should still make sure you have the latest version.

With a passing score of a mere 70% on the real exam, it is probably tempting to stop practicing when you reach the passing score. We recommend that you aim higher than 70% on the practice test. The failure rate on the knowledge test in New Mexico is still high.

You can take this random practice test over and over again, there is no limit. Take as many tests as you need to feel confident with all questions and answers.

The article about risky study tactics can help you avoid some less successful study habits.

We help you pass your New Mexico exam

Who Must Take the Knowledge Exam?

  New drivers.

All persons applying for a first-time New Mexico driver license must pass the knowledge test.

  Drivers with a license expired 5 years or more.

If you let a New Mexico or out-of-state Driver License expire for 5 years or more, you must apply for a new license and take all tests again.

  Drivers with a foreign license.

All applicants that hold a license from a country other than United States and Canada, must pass the written knowledge test and a road skills test before MVD issues a New Mexico Driver License.

  Drivers with a revoked license.

If you had your driver’s license revoked or suspended for more than 5 years, you must take the written knowledge test again. This includes a revocation due to a DWI conviction unless the driving privilege was maintained during the revocation period with an Ignition Interlock License. If a license revocation due to a DWI conviction is less than one year, MVD will not require a new test.

Who are Exempt from Taking the Knowledge Exam?

MVD will not ask you to take the written test if you move to New Mexico and have a valid out-of-state license or a valid license from Canada. Out-of-state licenses include District of Columbia and all U.S. territories.

The Official New Mexico Written Test

The official New Mexico knowledge test now has 50 questions, and you must correctly answer 35 questions (70%).

Test questions are from the New Mexico Driver Manual and administered on computer-based kiosk machines. You have two hours to complete your test. Note: you are typically not allowed to start the test after 3pm. This is to make sure you have enough time to complete the test.

The test is available in the following languages:



You can take the test at a MVD location or as part of your driver education course.

Some driver education schools are licensed and contracted with MVD to also issue learner permits.

If you visit a MVD office for your permit or license, you should know that visits currently are by appointments only: schedule an appointment here

The knowledge test is a closed book test, and you cannot bring your manual, any notes, or use electronic devise during the exam.

What Happens if You Fail the First Time?

Should you fail the test, you can re-take it the same day, but not more than twice during the same week. Which means you can take it twice on a Friday and the again on a Monday.

But if you fail your New Mexico knowledge exam three times, you must wait six months (from the date of the first test attempt) before you can take a new test.

What Happens after You have Passed the Test?

If you are at least 15 years and under 18 years, you must participate in a 3-step Graduated Driver License (GDL) program until you meet the requirements for an unrestricted license. A driver education course approved by the Traffic Safety Bureau is mandatory if you are under 18 years. Such a course includes DWI education and practice driving. When you apply for a license, you must also have a consent form signed by your parent or guardian.

After passing the vision screening and the knowledge test, MVD will issue your first learner’s permit, also known as an instructional permit.

A permit allows you to practice driving while supervised by another driver who is at least 21 years and licensed to drive that type of vehicle. The supervising driver must always sit in a front seat beside you when you drive.

You must hold your instructional permit for at least six months.

Step 2: Provisional License

The minimum age to receive a provisional license is 15 years and 6 months if you have held an instructional permit for 6 months.

MVD will check that you have must completed at least 50 hours of driving, of which 10 hours must be nighttime driving.

You cannot have been convicted of a traffic violation in the 90 days prior to applying for a provisional license.

With a provisional license you can drive without a supervising driver, but not at night. With a few exceptions, there is a night curfew between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m.

Step 3: Unrestricted License

To be eligible for the full and unrestricted license under the GDL program, you must:

  • Have held a provisional license a 12-month period immediately before applying.
  • Not have been convicted of a traffic violation 90 days immediately before applying.
  • Have no traffic violations pending.
  • Not have been adjudicated guilty or have an offense pending involving the use of alcohol or drugs during the provisional period.

If You are 18 Years or Older

If you are 18 years, you are not included in the GDL program. After receiving a permit, you can schedule the road skills test. There is no specific wait time.

A permit is not necessary if you hold a valid license from another country.

All applicants between 18 years and 24 years must, however, enroll and complete a DWl Awareness Program before MVD issues a license.

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