All registered vehicles in New Mexico are required to be covered by liability insurance, or “financial responsibility.” The minimum financial responsibility requirements for New Mexico drivers are as follows:
A minimum of $25,000 for injury or death, per person; this means that you’ll need to carry a total minimum of $50,000 for the lowest possible number of people involved in an accident (the two drivers).
A minimum $10,000 for property damage liability
This means that the total minimum amount of financial responsibility you will need is $60,000 to cover injury or death, and property damage liability.
- New Mexico law also requires that your insurance policy includes uninsured or under-insured motorist coverage, which protects you in the event you are in an accident with a driver who does not carry the legally required liability insurance. You do have the ability to refuse this insurance in writing if you choose.
New Mexico Motor Vehicle Insurance Plan
New Mexico maintains a state program called the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Insurance Plan that helps ensure high-risk drivers obtain the legally required auto insurance. If insurers have turned down a driver, the driver can apply under this program to obtain car insurance.
Proof of insurance
When you register your vehicle with the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department, you will need to present proof of insurance. Acceptable proof of insurance documents include:
A current insurance card issued by an authorized insurance provider
A copy of a current insurance policy
A letter from the insurance provider, on company letterhead, verifying your insurance policy
Electronic verification system
New Mexico uses an electronic verification database to monitor the insurance status of all vehicles registered in the state. Your insurance carrier is required to report changes to your insurance policy.
If the database does not prove that you have the required legal insurance, you will be given a specific timeline to get your information updated in the system. If you cannot get your information updated within the system, your registration will be suspended.
If your vehicle registration has been suspended due to an insurance violation, you must obtain valid insurance, and have the insurance provider update the information within the electronic database. You will also have to pay a $30 reinstatement fee.
Canceling your insurance
If you need to cancel your insurance while your vehicle is being stored or worked on, you can submit a signed Affidavit of Non-Use to the New Mexico Insurance Identification Database. This means that you won’t incur any penalties or suspension as long as you do not drive on the New Mexico roadways with this vehicle. In order to maintain the registration without insurance, you must complete the affidavit annually.
If you cancel your insurance because you have sold the vehicle, you must first send a Verification of Mandatory Automobile Insurance letter to the Motor Vehicle Department Financial Responsibility Section.
For more information, or to register a vehicle or renew your vehicle’s registration, contact the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department through their website.
This article originally appeared on YourMechanic.com as Insurance Requirements for Car Registration in New Mexico and was authored by Valerie Johnston.