How to Register a Car in New Mexico: A Step-by-Step Guide
Registering your car in New Mexico is an essential step to legally operate your vehicle within the state. Whether you are a new resident or have purchased a new or used vehicle, the registration process can seem overwhelming. This comprehensive guide will walk you through the necessary steps to register your car in New Mexico, ensuring you stay compliant with state regulations.
Step 1: Gather the Required Documents
Before beginning the registration process, make sure you have the following documents handy:
1. Proof of identity: A valid driver’s license or identification card.
2. Proof of residency: A utility bill, mortgage statement, or rental agreement.
3. Proof of car insurance: Provide an insurance card or policy.
4. Vehicle title: If you recently purchased the vehicle, ensure you have the title signed by the previous owner.
5. Emission test certificate: If your vehicle is newer than 2013, it must undergo an emissions test.
Step 2: Complete an Application for Vehicle Title and Registration
Visit your local New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office and fill out the Application for Vehicle Title and Registration (Form MVD10002). Alternatively, you can download the form from the MVD website and complete it at home before visiting the office.
Step 3: Pay the Required Fees
When registering your car in New Mexico, you will need to pay certain fees, including:
1. Registration fee: This fee varies based on your vehicle’s weight and model year.
2. Plate transfer fee: If you are transferring license plates from another vehicle.
3. Excise tax: The tax amount is based on your vehicle’s purchase price and age.
4. Title fee: A fee for issuing a new title.
5. Emission fee: If your vehicle requires an emissions test, you will need to pay a fee.
Step 4: Get Your Car Inspected
Depending on the county you reside in, your vehicle may require an inspection. Contact your local county clerk’s office or MVD for specific requirements. If an inspection is necessary, ensure your car is in proper working condition and meets safety standards.
Step 5: Complete the Vehicle Registration Process
After paying the necessary fees and passing any required inspections, submit your completed application, along with the required documents, to your local MVD office. Ensure that you have proof of insurance, as it is a legal requirement in New Mexico.
1. How long do I have to register my vehicle after moving to New Mexico?
New residents have 60 days to register their vehicles in New Mexico.
2. Can I register my car online in New Mexico?
No, vehicle registration must be done in person at a local MVD office.
3. Can I transfer license plates from another state to New Mexico?
Yes, you can transfer your license plates from another state. However, you will need to surrender the out-of-state plates and pay the necessary transfer fee.
4. Do I need a VIN inspection to register my vehicle in New Mexico?
It depends on the county you reside in. Some counties require a VIN inspection, while others do not. Contact your local county clerk’s office to confirm the requirements.
5. What happens if I fail the emissions test?
If your vehicle fails the emissions test, you will need to have it repaired and retested within 90 days. Once your vehicle passes the test, you can proceed with the registration process.
6. Can I register a car in New Mexico without a driver’s license?
No, a valid driver’s license or identification card is required to register a vehicle in New Mexico.
7. How much will it cost to register my vehicle?
Registration fees vary depending on the weight and model year of your vehicle. Additionally, excise tax, title fees, and emission fees may apply. Contact your local MVD office for an accurate cost estimate.
By following these steps and ensuring you have all the necessary documents, registering your car in New Mexico can be a straightforward process. Remember to comply with all state regulations and contact your local MVD office for any specific inquiries or concerns. Safe travels!