New Mexico Car Insurance Requirements
The state of New Mexico takes the issue car insurance seriously as demonstrated by 2001 legislation requiring the Motor Vehicle Department (MVD) to develop and operate an electronic insurance database. The result of the directive was a cooperative effort between the MVD and a private contractor to develop New Mexico’s Insurance Information Database (IIDB). With the system now in place, New Mexico officials can keep track of everything related to car insurance and individual drivers.
This means it is difficult for drivers to get away with driving a vehicle on New Mexico highways while uninsured. The law requires every driver to purchase minimum liability insurance as a prerequisite for registering a car. Furthermore, drivers cannot maintain a registration if their insurance is allowed to lapse or is canceled.
Minimum Requirements for Car Insurance
In New Mexico you can certainly purchase a cheap car insurance policy if that’s all you can afford. At minimum, it must be a liability policy which covers you at the following amounts:
- $10,000 property damage – per accident
- $25,000 bodily injury or death (one victim) – per accident
- $50,000 bodily injury or death (multiple victims) – total, per accident
It is incumbent upon your insurance company to notify the IIDB when you purchase a new car insurance policy. However the MVD website strongly encourages you to follow up with your insurance company to make sure they’ve done so.
Letter of Noncompliance
The New Mexico MVD routinely checks the IIDB records against their own registration and license records and sends out letters of noncompliance to drivers who appear to have no insurance. If you receive one of these letters you should contact your insurance company immediately and insist they upload your information to the database. If that’s not done within 30 days of the letter of noncompliance, the state will suspend your registration.
If you’re concerned your car insurance company isn’t doing their job, you can contact the IIDB on your own and provide them with your insurance information. But be aware that providing fraudulent information is a serious crime and is prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law.
Being Caught without Insurance
The New Mexico statute requires drivers to carry an acceptable proof of insurance in their vehicles at all times. Options include a carrier issue insurance ID card, a copy of your current policy, or a letter (on company letterhead) from your insurance company stating you have a policy in force.
If you’re caught driving without insurance, as the result of an accident or a traffic stop, fines start at $300 and go up from there. You may also face misdemeanor charges and a suspension of your registration and/or license.