Driver Education & Safety

Leann Adams, Staff Manager

Pierrot Bendegue, Program Coordinator

Driver Education Schools

New Mexico statute requires that persons under the age of 18, applying for their first New Mexico driver’s license, must successfully complete a driver education course that includes a DWI prevention and education program approved by the Traffic Safety Division (TSD) or offered by a public school.  Driver schools and public schools providing such education must be licensed by the TSD. New Mexico has maintained a graduated driver licensing (GDL) system since the State’s GDL law was enacted in 2000. State-approved driver education schools start the GDL three-stage process.  These courses build a solid foundation for developing safe driving skills, attitudes and behaviors.

Correspondence courses are also offered to students where training is not available through a local public school or through a for-profit program or if the student is home-schooled.

Driving Safety Schools

The Traffic Safety Division is responsible for certifying and approving Driving Safety/ Defensive Driving Schools. The curriculum is geared toward changing behaviors among problem drivers.

The State of New Mexico recognizes two types of driving safety programs for licensed drivers:

  • 6-hours of Defensive Driving classes


  • 8-hours of Suspended License classes (**This course is required only for students whose driver’s license has been suspended by the Motor Vehicle Division of the Taxation and Revenue Department based on the point system**)