New Mexico auto insurance laws are designed to encourage all drivers to keep their vehicles properly covered in order to minimize the amount each driver must pay in the event of an accident. This is to ensure protection of all road users and also serves to keep insurance premiums down by promoting safe driving.
New Mexico auto insurance requirements include a proviso that you must provide proof of insurance or other financial responsibility at the time you register your car. Driving without proof of insurance or financial responsibility is considered a serious offense and can result in severe penalties.
Because New Mexico is a tort state, a driver must be found at fault in every accident. For this reason, New Mexico auto insurance laws require minimum liability coverage to ensure all drivers are covered. The minimum coverage required is $25,000 for injury or death of one person, $50,000 for injury or death of more than one person and $10,000 for property damage.
Because the minimum liability coverage only provides for injury or damage to other drivers, you can instead opt to give a $60,000 cash deposit or security bond to the state’s treasury department to establish financial responsibility. This will cover all injuries or damage to you as well as other drivers in an accident. If your cash deposit or bond is depleted, you will be responsible for replenishing it and you will also have to pay out-of-pocket for any expenses above and beyond the $60,000.
Another important New Mexico auto insurance requirement is the need for drivers to carry proof of insurance or financial responsibility. This proof must be shown at the time drivers register their vehicles and any time a police officer requests it. Proof can be in the form of a standard insurance card or, if you opted to self-insure, a certificate of financial responsibility provided by the state.
Failure to provide proof of insurance or financial responsibility is considered a misdemeanor and a first offense will result in a $300 fine and attachment of the charge to your driving record. It can also result in the suspension of your registration or your driver’s license. Continuing to drive without proper insurance is a more severe offense and could result in a felony charge and possibly serving time in jail.
Under New Mexico auto insurance laws, the state also monitors insurance using the Insurance Identification Database. This will automatically alert the state any time your insurance expires. This service was established in order to crack down on uninsured drivers as this can present a safety issue for everyone on the road.
New Mexico may be the Land of Enchantment but for drivers who fail to comply with its auto insurance laws, it is anything but. Keep the roads safe for yourself, your passengers and other drivers by following the law and making sure your car is properly covered. It can help make the sunny Southwest a pleasant place for everyone to drive.