New Mexico CDL License Requirements

To begin a career as a truck driver in New Mexico, you must first obtain a New Mexico commercial driver's license (CDL). The State of New Mexico uses the following criteria to determine whether or not a CDL is required to drive a commercial vehicle.

  • Class A: Combination vehicles weighing over 26,001 lbs. with trailers weighing over 10,000 lbs.
  • Class B: Vehicles weighing over 26,001 lbs. with trailers less than 10,000 lbs.
  • Class C: Vehicles under 26,001 lbs. carrying sixteen or more occupants (including the driver) or trucks transporting hazardous materials

To qualify for a CDL in New Mexico, you must be at least 18 years old, have a valid New Mexico driver's license and obtain a medical certificate. Transportation of cargo across state lines is regulated by the federal government and the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT). USDOT requires all drivers who transport materials across state lines to be at least 21 years old. CDL applicants must then pass a written knowledge exam and a three part skills test, which includes a pre-trip vehicle inspection, a basic control skills test and an on-road driving exam. The State of New Mexico requires that you test in a vehicle that matches the class of CDL you are trying to obtain--for example, you must test in a Class A vehicle if you wish to obtain a Class A CDL.

Additional knowledge and skills tests may be required depending on the endorsements you need. For example, endorsements are needed to drive a truck with air brakes, a tanker or a school bus. They are also needed to transport passengers or to haul hazardous materials. A background check by the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) is required to transport hazardous materials (also referred to as a Hazmat endorsement). Truck driving schools will provide the training and education needed to pass the CDL requirements in New Mexico.

Resources for New Mexico CDL Requirements

Visit the State of New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Motor Vehicle Division website for more information.

Learn more about New Mexico trucking schools.

Truck Driver Salary in New Mexico

Location 25th Percentile 75th Percentile Annual Salary
United States $31,270 $48,330 $38,700
New Mexico $31,060 $47,370 $37,820
Albuquerque, NM $31,620 $45,850 $37,900
Farmington, NM $32,340 $45,870 $38,280
Las Cruces, NM $23,960 $30,870 $27,460
Santa Fe, NM $22,240 $30,850 $24,870

Table data taken from 2015 BLS (http://www.bls.gov/oes/current/oes533032.htm)