Driver Education & Safety

Leann Adams, Staff Manager

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**)