Share the road with motorcycles.

Motorcyclists have the same road rights as other motorists. The New Mexico Department of Transportation supports motorcycle safety and proper training. Resources are listed below.

Motorcycle Safety Details

Other Program Contacts

Motorcycle Safety Foundation: New Mexico Representative
Dan Orchowski, MSF Program Manager
505-814-4703
Dan07619@live.com

NMDOT Traffic Safety Division / Office of Safety Programs
Cora Lee Anaya, Motorcycle Safety Program Manager
505-490-1183
CoraL.Anaya@state.nm.us

Location:
1120 Cerrillos Rd, (SB1S)
P.O. Box 1149
Santa Fe, NM  87504-1149

The New Mexico Department of Transportation supports motorcyclists and strongly encourages training. Training gives you a thorough understanding of handling and safety and earns a completion card which when presented to the NM MVD will receive a motorcycle endorsement test waiver of the state-required written and riding skills tests.

Did you know? You must have a motorcycle endorsement

The motorcycle training program is statutorily mandated §66-7-506 as provided in Section §66-10-10 to institute and administer a statewide motorcycle training program. The New Mexico Department of Transportation, Traffic Safety Division provides a quality, statewide motorcycle safety rider training program designed to provide an introduction to skilled, responsible motorcycling to prevent crashes and reduce the incidence of DWI in New Mexico.

All money in the motorcycle training fund is appropriated to the bureau for the purpose of instituting the motorcycle training program.  NMDOT Traffic Safety Division provides funds for a contract and is partially funded by a $2 motorcycle registration fee.  In addition, student training fees provide additional funding for the training program.

Motorcycle riders are required by NM statute to obtain an endorsement. Learn more below.

  • Motorcycle Endorsement §66-5-2 – Motorcycle riders are required by NM statute to obtain an endorsement.  In order to operate a motorcycle on a New Mexico highway a driver must have a valid license with a motorcycle (W, Y or Z) endorsement.  An endorsement is a credential that is added to an existing license stating that motorcyclist is now legally allowed to ride a motorcycle on public roads. All applicants for a motorcycle endorsement that are under the age of 18 years are required by NM State law to attend and complete the Basic Rider Course.

MVD link for current endorsement information:

Endorsement  Authorizes licensee to operate
W any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of 100 or more cubic centimeters piston displacement
Y any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of at least 50 but less than 100 cubic centimeters piston displacement
Z any two- or three-wheeled motorcycle with an engine of less than 50 cubic centimeters piston displacement

Moped exception (§66-3-1101(B)).  A moped is a 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.

Anyone with a valid driver’s license or permit of any class may operate a moped. A motorcycle endorsement is not required.

How do I sign up for motorcycle training?

The following is the link for enrolling or accessing the New Mexico Motorcycle Training Program:

What type of training do I need and what are the training costs?

The Basic eCourse

  • The Basic eCourse is an information online course required as part of the hands-on BRC (included when enrolled in either BRC or BRC2-LW).

The Basic RiderCourse (BRC)

  • This training is available for those who have never ridden a motorcycle before or for those individuals who may have ridden before but wish to receive basic refresher training. The BRC is designed for novice riders and assumes that the student knows little or nothing about riding a motorcycle.
    • Current Training Costs
      • Under 18 years of age = $100;
      • Over 18 years of age = $200

The Basic Rider Course 2 License Waiver (BRC2 – LW)

  • This class is for riders who already have basic skills but are not yet licensed. This course is like the BRC except speeds are higher and you should be on your own motorcycle. An excellent refresher course for practicing and renewing riding skills. Includes an informal classroom component for discussing safety concepts based on past riding experiences and current knowledge. If you do not need the license waiver component (no classroom activities and no knowledge or skill test), there is a “Skills Practice” offering.
    • Current Training Costs – BRC2 = $75

The Basic Rider Course 3 Wheel (3W-BRC)

  • This is a basic entry-level, learn-to-ride, 3-Wheel motorcycle training and education course providing fundamental skills during 8 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of range riding exercises or hands-on drills. Classes are dependent on enrollment. The trike class requires you to use your own 3-wheeled vehicle.
    • Current Training Costs – 3W-BRC = $99

What do I bring?

All students must provide and wear the following personal items for all on-motorcycle instruction:

  • Over-the-ankle footwear. (not cloth, canvas, etc.)
  • Long non-flare denim pants or material of equivalent or better durability.
  • Long-sleeved shirt or jacket.
  • Full-fingered gloves, preferably leather.

7 Training Sites

Albuquerque, Alamogordo, Gallup, Farmington, Roswell, Santa Fe, and Las Cruces.  The program areas provide sufficient sites statewide with sufficient frequency for training.

Motorcycle Safety Foundation Curricula

The New Mexico Motorcycle Training program uses only nationally recognized Motorcycle Safety Foundation curriculum in the training programs. The formal program of instruction includes training in crash avoidance and other safety-oriented skills to motorcyclists, both in-class and on the motorcycle.

Quality Assurance

The contract requires quality assurance standards to ensure instruction provided in New Mexico meets or exceeds Motorcycle Safety Foundation standards.  Every required training site receives a visit, and extensive report annually.  Where there are areas of improvement, evaluators provide training to ensure instructors and facilities meet the highest standards. We have provided complimentary Quality Assurance Visit to motorcycle dealerships on their programs which has resulted in significant improvements.

Helmets required for drivers and passengers under age 18 (§66-7-356)

No person under the age of 18 shall operate a motorcycle unless he is wearing a safety helmet that is securely fastened on his head in a normal manner, and that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Nor shall any person carry a motorcycle passenger under the age of 18 unless the passenger is wearing a securely fastened safety helmet that meets federal standards.

Wearing a DOT-compliant helmet is imperative to the safety of motorcycle riders. Using a DOT-compliant helmet can drastically increase survival rates in the event of a vehicle crash.

Learn how to identify a safe, DOT-compliant helmet by visiting this site.

Training Courses & Costs

The Basic ECourse.

The Basic eCourse is an information online course required as part of the hands-on BRC (included when enrolled in either BRC or BRC2-LW).

This online course is a key component of the full hands-on Basic RiderCourse but can also be completed as a stand-alone program without enrolling in a hands-on course. Graphics and videos illustrate the lessons to help you understand principles of motorcycling and determine whether motorcycling is right for you. The Basic eCourse alone is NOT accepted as a license waiver by any state’s MVD, or as a motorcycle license or learner’s permit. With Spanish language option.

The Basic RiderCourse (BRC).

Current Training Costs – BRCU <18 = $100; >18 = $200

  1. Motorcycles and helmets (if needed) are provided for your use in training courses.
  2. All students must provide and wear the following personal items for all on-motorcycle instruction:
    • Over-the-ankle footwear. (not cloth, canvas, etc.)
    • Long non-flare denim pants or material of equivalent or better durability.
    • Long-sleeved shirt or jacket.
    • Full-fingered gloves, preferably leather.

This training is available for those who have never ridden a motorcycle before or for those individuals who may have ridden before but wish to receive basic refresher training. The BRC is designed for novice riders and assumes that the student knows little or nothing about riding a motorcycle.

The Basic RiderCourse is conducted at a pace that results in successful completion for most novice riders. The RiderCoaches will help you learn to the best of your ability. If you have significant difficulty or become a risk to yourself or others, as determined by you or your RiderCoaches, you will not be permitted to continue to ride (other options may be available for developing your riding skills).

The training covers the basics of operating a motorcycle and safety-oriented mental strategies. Motorcycles and helmets are provided for your use. Successful completion of this course, consisting of a three-hour eCourse and five hours of formal classroom activities and ten hours of riding instruction conducted over two or three sessions, plus its knowledge and skill tests, may waive the license test in your state. The course may also earn you an insurance discount.

To successfully complete the course, you must: 1) attend all sessions, and 2) achieve a minimum score on a knowledge test covering course materials, and 3) achieve a passing score on a riding-skill evaluation. The riding-skill evaluation consists of four exercises that assess limited-space maneuvering skills as well as braking, cornering, and swerving competencies.

Successfully completing the Basic RiderCourse is not a guarantee that you will be safe on the road. Only you can choose the level of safety you wish to maintain. The course will provide you with the opportunities and experiences to acquire the basic knowledge and skill that enable you to continue to practice and develop your safe riding habits. Safe riding is also a matter of attitude, and only you can provide that.

The Basic Rider Course 2 License Waiver (BRC2 – LW).

Current Training Costs – BRC2 = $75

The BRC2-LW is available for those who already own a motorcycle and wish to practice basic and advanced skills on their motorcycle in a controlled environment.  This course is intended for riders who have over a thousand miles experience but are riding without an endorsement.  The result is a safer more accountable riding population.

This class is for riders who already have basic skills but are not yet licensed. This course is like the BRC except speeds are higher and you should be on your own motorcycle. An excellent refresher course for practicing and renewing riding skills. Includes an informal classroom component for discussing safety concepts based on past riding experiences and current knowledge. If you do not need the license waiver component (no classroom activities and no knowledge or skill test), there is a “Skills Practice” offering.

The Basic Rider Course 3 Wheel (3W-BRC).

Current Training Costs – 3W-BRC = $99

This is a basic entry-level, learn-to-ride, 3-Wheel motorcycle training and education course providing fundamental skills during 8 hours of classroom instruction and 8 hours of range riding exercises or hands-on drills. Classes are dependent on enrollment. The trike class requires you to use your own 3-wheeled vehicle.

The 3W-BRC is designed for riders of 3-wheel motorcycles, whether the two wheels are in the back or the front. Successful completion of this course, consisting of eight hours of classroom activities and ten hours of on-cycle riding exercises, plus knowledge and skill tests, may waive the license test in your state. The course may also earn you an insurance discount.

Completion Card

This is a card that is issued to students who successfully complete the BRC, the BRC2-LW or the 3W-BRC training.  Currently, the completion card when presented to the NM MVD will receive a motorcycle endorsement test waiver of the state-required written and riding skills tests.

Partnerships/Stakeholders

  • New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division:  New Mexico partners with the Motor Vehicle Division in several aspects of the motorcycle program to include quality assurance control and ensuring that current testing standards are met and standardized throughout statewide MVD offices.  The NMMSP provides support to MVD so that MVD endorsement testers who administer the motorcycle riding test for licensure are consistent with the NMMSP. This partnership focuses on supporting the people of New Mexico to streamline licensure, while maintaining high standards for training and evaluation.
  • The New Mexico Motorcycle Advisory Committee:  The council is made up of representatives from government, business, riding groups, rights groups, legal experts, MSF, law enforcement etc. who meet annually to work on motorcycle initiatives.  The group is action oriented, and an agent for change.
    • Annual Motorcycle Data Presentations can be located online here.
  • Motorcycle Dealerships:  The NMMSP works with New Mexico motorcycle dealerships who volunteer to host a “Safety Days and in other outreach efforts.
  • Safer New Mexico Now:  The NMDOT Traffic Safety Division funds a contract to provide clearinghouse services statewide, including distributing traffic safety materials directly related to supporting planned strategies and projects. The Clearinghouse contracted agency, Safer New Mexico Now, staff prepares, prints, and distributes traffic safety materials, reports and newsletters used for public information and education, or promotion of program activities. It also provides funds for Injury Prevention Resource Center (IPRC) promotional materials for NMDOT/TSD programs including Motorcycle Safety.
    • Media messaging material is targeted not solely to the motorcyclist, but to all the driving public and is focused on looking out for motorcyclists and sharing the road. Communication and outreach strategies increase motorcyclist safety and awareness for both motorcyclists and other drivers on the roadways.

 

Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month

Annually, New Mexico participates in the National Highway Transportation Safety Administration (NHTSA) supported Motorcycle Safety Awareness Month which focuses on mutual responsibility for the safety of motorcyclists. The New Mexico Department of Transportation (NMDOT) reminds motorists to be aware of motorcyclists through ‘Share the Road’ media and roadway messaging utilized primarily during the summer months and during safety event periods.

Tips for Motorists

Because vehicle drivers control a much larger machine, it is imperative they keep close watch for motorcyclist and follow these tips to prevent a fatal crash with a motorcycle:

  • Though a motorcycle is a small vehicle, its operator still has the same rights of the road as any other motorist. Always allow the motorcycle the full width of a lane.
  • Always use a turn signal when changing lanes or merging with traffic.
  • If you see a motorcycle with a signal on, be careful: motorcycle signals are often non-canceling, and the motorcyclist could have forgotten to turn it off. Always ensure the motorcycle is turning before proceeding.
  • Check all mirrors and blind spots for motorcycles before changing lanes or merging with traffic, especially at intersections.
  • Always allow three to four seconds of follow distance behind a motorcycle. This gives them more time to maneuver or stop in an emergency.
  • Never drive distracted or impaired.

At the same time, motorcyclists must take extra precautions to guard against drivers who may not see them. Motorcyclists may follow these tips to prevent a fatal crash with a vehicle:

  • Wear a DOT-compliant helmet and other protective gear.
  • Obey all traffic laws and be properly licensed.
  • Use hand and turn signals at every lane change or turn.
  • Wear brightly colored clothes and reflective tape to increase visibility.
  • Ride in the middle of the lane where you will be more visible to drivers.
  • Never ride distracted or impaired.

For more information on motorcycle safety, visit www.nhtsa.gov/road-safety/motorcycles.

Helmets required for drivers and passengers under age 18 (§66-7-356)

No person under the age of 18 shall operate a motorcycle unless he is wearing a safety helmet that is securely fastened on his head in a normal manner, and that meets federal motor vehicle safety standards.

Nor shall any person carry a motorcycle passenger under the age of 18 unless the passenger is wearing a securely fastened safety helmet that meets federal standards.

Wearing a DOT-compliant helmet is imperative to the safety of motorcycle riders. Using a DOT-compliant helmet can drastically increase survival rates in the event of a vehicle crash.

Learn how to identify a safe, DOT-compliant helmet by visiting: https://www.nhtsa.gov/motorcycle-safety/choose-right-motorcycle-helmet.