New Mexico has quite a few traffic schools available where you can take a course to improve your driving and your knowledge of the state's traffic laws. Most people choose to take these type of courses to reduce the number of points on their driving record, to fulfill the requirements of a court order or to get a lower rate on their auto insurance. Traffic schools in New Mexico are more commonly known as defensive driving courses, but some are called point reduction courses for their effect on your driving record.
New Mexico is similar to most other states in that it has both classroom and online defensive driving courses available.
Classroom courses typically take place either on the weekend or at night so people can take a course without interfering with their work schedules. Most of the time, you'll complete the entire course within one day. With online courses, you complete the entire course on your computer, making these the more convenient option. You'll be able to access the course any place and any time. Should you run into any issues, online courses usually have technical support available to help.
Which option you choose comes down to your schedule and the setting that you prefer. Online courses are undoubtedly more flexible, but some drivers find that they learn better in a classroom environment with a teacher there to help and answer questions. Keep in mind that even with an online course, there will most likely be a required time frame for you to complete it. For example, you may have 3 or 5 days after starting the course to finish it. If you don't complete it within this time, you won't pass and you won't get a refund.
You're able to sign up for a defensive driving course voluntarily at any time, but if you're taking it for a ticket, points on your driving record, or for insurance purposes, it's important to check your eligibility first. Also look into USAA vs Geico military car insurance if you are a veteran.
For tickets and points on your record, general eligibility requirements include that you possess a valid New Mexico driver's license, that you weren't operating a commercial vehicle, and that you haven't already taken a defensive driving course in the previous 12 to 18 months, although this time frame can vary.
To have a traffic ticket dismissed by taking a defensive driving course, contact the traffic court that's handling the ticket and ask them about your eligibility. They may also notify you by mail if you're eligible for traffic school.
New Mexico uses a point system for driving records, with moving violations adding a certain number of points to your record depending upon the severity of the violation. If you receive between 7 and 10 points within a 12-month time period, the MVD will suspend your license for 30 days. If you receive 12 points or more within a 12-month time period, the MVD will suspend your license for 12 months.
Points come off your driving record 12 months after the violation, but you may also be able to reduce the number of points on your record by completing a defensive driving course. Contact the MVD first to see if you're eligible for point reduction. You can reach the MVD by phone at 888-683-4636.
To obtain a discount on your insurance, call or email your insurance company and ask if they offer a discount for completing a defensive driving course. Many insurance companies offer this as a safe driver discount. Ask your insurance company if you can get cheap SR22 insurance in NM if you have a DUI.
Defensive driving courses in New Mexico usually last approximately 4 hours, but there are courses that can run up to 8 hours. Expect your defensive driving course to cover techniques that will help you drive safer, New Mexico's traffic laws, drug and alcohol-related offenses, and how to build responsible driving habits.
At the end of your course, there will be a final exam that you must pass to complete the course. The final exam will cover the course materials you just learned, so you should be able to pass it fairly easily as long as you paid attention during the course. There isn't a set length for defensive driving course final exams, but the county you were in when you got your ticket determines how long your final exam is. The court also determines whether you get a chance to retake your exam if you fail it the first time around.
You should get a certificate of completion after you finish your defensive driving course. While the course provider may report to the court automatically, it's good to follow up with the court and provide them with your certificate if necessary.