Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In New Mexico

WRITTEN BY: Julia Matseikovich


When caught driving without car insurance in New Mexico, you’ll need to come up with a decent amount of out-of-pocket money to cover your fines. No one likes feeling like they’re wasting money, and driving without insurance can be easily avoidable. By purchasing the minimum liability coverage required in New Mexico, you can avoid hefty charges and possible suspensions or imprisonment. Below we’ll look deeper into New Mexico’s penalties for driving without car insurance.

The average cost of liability coverage in New Mexico is around $560 per year. But if you drive without insurance coverage, you can almost guarantee you’ll pay far more than that annual premium in fines and possible time spent in jail.

What Are The Penalties For Driving Without Insurance In New Mexico?

The penalties for driving without car insurance In New Mexico can be steep. Not only can you face fines and driving infractions, but you could also face suspension and jail time. If you can’t offer proof of car insurance during a traffic stop or at the scene of an accident, you’ll have 30 days to give evidence to the state of New Mexico of your vehicle insurance. 

Failure to do this or if you don’t have insurance during the traffic stop or accident, you could have to pay up to $300 and potentially up to 90 days in jail for your first offense. If you’re found to commit a repeat driving offense without insurance, your consequences increase exponentially. You could face up to $1,000 in fines and up to six months in jail. 

Type of Offense
License and/or Registration Suspended?Jail TimeSR-22 RequirementsMaximum Fines
No Proof of Insurance (Can Prove Coverage)NoneNoneNoneDismissal with proof of insurance
1st Offense With No CoveragePossible registration suspensionUp to 90 days in jailNone$300 or less in fines
Repeat Offense (No Coverage)Possible registration suspensionUp to 6 months in jailNone$1,000 in fines or less

License and/or Registration Suspensions For Type Of Offense

When caught driving without insurance in New Mexico, you can risk losing your privilege to go altogether. If you’re caught without proof of insurance while pulled over but are insured, you can provide proof to the state’s Motor Vehicle Division. You won’t have to worry about suspending your license or registration. If you’re charged with a first-time offense and didn’t have insurance during the traffic violation, you could potentially risk having your vehicle’s registration suspended. And if you’re caught with a second-time offense and don’t have insurance on your car, you could also deal with registration suspension. 

When your registration is suspended, you must park your vehicle until you complete all necessary steps to regain the legality of driving the car. Once your registration is suspended, you’ll have ten days to turn your license plates in to your local MVD. If you fail to do this, your chances of imprisonment and hefty fines drastically increase. 

Jail Time For Each For Type Of Offense

While jail time may not always be the case for every driver who can’t provide insurance proof, it’s certainly possible. If you drive without insurance, and it’s your first offense, you could face jail time, believe it or not. Keep in mind every situation may vary, depending on various criteria.

You likely won’t face imprisonment if you’ve never had a driving infraction and have a clean driving record. However, if you get sentenced to jail time, you could serve up to 3 months for your first offense if you didn’t carry any car insurance at the time of the accident or traffic stop. If you commit a second-time offense, your jail time could increase to up to six months imprisonment. It’s more than worth it to ensure you have decent car insurance. 

SR-22 Requirements

While most states within the country have an SR-22 requirement, New Mexico is one of six states that doesn’t carry a requirement. Just because New Mexico doesn’t require SR-22 insurance doesn’t mean they don’t have their requirements for drinking and driving. If you’re pulled over for drinking and driving in New Mexico, and it’s your first offense, you could potentially face the following consequences:

  • Probation
  • License suspension
  • Jail time up to three months
  • $500 in fines
  • Enrollment into a DWI/DUI school
  • Etc.

If you’re a repeat offender, you could face the above consequences, plus the potential for outpatient or inpatient treatment for alcoholism. 

Fines And Fees For Each Offense Of Driving Without Insurance

When you’re involved in a traffic stop or accident, the first thing the police officers will require is a driver’s license, proof of registration for your vehicle, and proof of auto insurance. If you have the minimum required amount of auto insurance but fail to have a copy in your car, you won’t face any fines, just so long as you can provide proof of car insurance at the time of your accident or traffic stop within 30 days. Your fines will be dismissed, and you’ll be good to go.

However, if you didn’t have adequate insurance coverage at the time of the traffic violation, you’ll be subject to up to $300 in traffic fines for your first offense. After that, if you’re caught again, your fines could increase up to $1,000. The cost of penalties is quite more expensive than purchasing adequate car insurance from the start.

Appealing Fines

The only way to appeal the fines given to you for failure to provide adequate insurance during a traffic violation is to prove that you carried active insurance at the time of the violation. If you didn’t have any insurance at the time of the traffic stop or accident, you’d have to pay any fines received.

New Mexico Auto Insurance Minimum Requirements For Insurance

New Mexico drivers are legally required to carry vehicle insurance on their vehicles. The minimum liability requirements for the state include the following:

  • $10,000 in property damage coverage for an accident.
  • $25,000 in bodily injury or death coverage for one person.
  • $50,000 in bodily injury or death coverage of two or more people.

Scenarios When You Can Still Get Insurance In New Mexico 


Just because you’re a high-risk driver doesn’t mean you won’t have luck finding auto insurance. In most cases, depending on your driving record, you’ll likely pay steep Increases in insurance premiums. Although you may not qualify for traditional car insurance, several major insurance companies will provide high-risk insurance coverage with high insurance rates. 

Driving someone else’s car

While it’s not against the law to drive someone else’s car, it’s a good idea to carry insurance to protect you. There’s an insurance option available that could protect you. Non-owner vehicle insurance is designed to help cover you if you borrow someone else’s car and need to drive regularly. 


How Do I Restate My New Mexico Vehicle’s Registration After Suspension?

When you’re ready to reinstate your vehicle’s registration, you’ll need to pay $25 to reinstate your license plate and $30 to reinstate the registration. You’ll need active car insurance coverage and must ensure all legal fines are paid before reinstatement.  

How Long Do I Have Before I Need To Surrender My License Plate After My Registration Suspension? 

Once the state suspends your vehicle registration, you’ll receive an official Notice of Suspension of Registration from the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. You’ll have a total of 10 days to surrender your plates.

What Is The Minimum Insurance Coverage I Need In New Mexico?

You’ll need to cover minimum liability coverage to continue operating your motor vehicle without issues. New Mexico requires at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage, $25,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for one person, and $50,000 in bodily injury liability coverage for two or more people.

What Happens If I’m In An Accident And Have No Insurance?

You’ll receive fines and potential legal consequences if you’re involved in a car accident and don’t have liability car insurance. If you’re at fault in the accident, you’ll be responsible for all costs, such as property damage and medical expenses. 

Can I Still Drive My Car If My Registration Is Suspended?

When your registration gets suspended in New Mexico, you’re legally required to park your vehicle until you become legal again. You’ll need to surrender your license plates when the registration is suspended. If caught driving the car with a suspended registration, you’ll face many legal fees and possible jail time.

How To Get New Mexico Insurance After You’ve Been Caught Driving Without It

While not all car insurance companies will provide coverage for high-risk drivers, many will. If you’re on the hunt for cheap car insurance, call our team of licensed insurance agents today. We can provide you with the best insurance information and generate car insurance quotes in minutes, both over the phone and through our online rate form. Let us get you back out driving in the blink of an eye!