Do You Have To Wear A Motorcycle Helmet In New Mexico?

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Motorcycle helmets are important for safety. They protect riders’ heads and necks, reducing the risk of death or serious injury in the event of a crash.

This is why countries and states all around the globe have laws that mandate the use of helmets. These laws do differ, but they always exist to some extent.

One question that is often asked is, do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in New Mexico? Well, yes, the state does indeed require people to wear helmets but only those that are under the age of 18. So, if you are over 18, you can technically not wear a helmet, although it is not recommended.

The law may seem simple enough, but there is a lot more to know than what can be explained by a few lines. This is what this article is about.

I would advise that you stick around to read some more so you don’t get into trouble with the New Mexican authorities.

Motorcycle Helmet Laws And Rules In New Mexico

Do you need a helmet in New Mexico? Let's find out

In New Mexico, only people under 18 must wear a helmet while riding a motorcycle. However, that was not always the case. In fact, until 1977, all riders were required to wear helmets.

The state had a universal law requiring all riders to wear a helmet. But in 1977, this law was replaced with one that only applied to those under 18.

If you are over 18 and don’t want to wear a helmet, that’s fine—but if you don’t have a windshield on your motorcycle, you’ll need to wear protective eyewear while riding.

There is no exception to the rule. Your age or experience does not count. You can get a windshield for your motorcycle or protective glasses, so your eyes are not exposed to the elements at high speed.

Motorcycle Helmet Requirements In NM

New Mexico requires a DOT-approved helmet for anyone under 18 years old. This applies to all types of two-wheelers, including motorcycles and mopeds.

If you are riding on your own or with someone else, you must wear a helmet. The law is in place to ensure the safety of everyone involved in an accident.

For those who don’t know, DOT is the Department of Transportation. They test helmets before they are released for consumer use.

Everything is tested, from impact tests to overall durability, to ensure that the helmet is safe for daily use.

Penalties/Legal Consequences

If you’re caught riding without a helmet in New Mexico, you’ll be fined—but it’s not likely much the first time.

The penalties are tied to how often you’ve been caught not wearing a helmet. So, if this is your first offense, the penalty will likely be minimal.

But if you keep getting caught not wearing a helmet and ignoring the law, expect the fines to increase.

If things get bad enough and they decide that they need to take more drastic measures to protect your life and others’ lives, they might even suspend your license!

So, instead of paying fines, again and again, I would recommend investing in a helmet. A DOT-approved one costs significantly cheaper than the cost of the fines combined.

Motorcycle Insurance Coverage Requirements In New Mexico

New Mexico requires all motorcycle operators to carry a minimum of $25,000 in liability coverage, which covers death and bodily injury to a single person.

If more than one person is injured or killed, the minimum required amount is $50,000. The state also requires that you carry at least $10,000 in property damage liability coverage.

Insurance will cover certain things—like damages caused by an accident, which is already obvious—and others.

For example: if someone hits your motorcycle while they’re driving and they don’t have insurance or if they do but it doesn’t cover the damage on your bike, then your insurance company will pay for the repairs or replacement costs.

However, if someone steals your bike from outside a shop or from your residence, then the insurance will pay you some of the lost amount.

All in all, there is no drawback to getting insurance. Yes, you have to pay them but that is certainly beneficial, for when or if something goes wrong on the road.

Get In Touch With Experienced Motorcycle Attorneys In New Mexico

If you have been injured in a motorcycle accident, hiring an attorney is the last thing you’re thinking about.

But if you don’t have an experienced motorcycle attorney on your side, it may be very difficult to recover the compensation that you deserve after an accident.

You should look at this list of top firms in New Mexico below:

1. Parnall Law Firm, LLC

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident in New Mexico, you may be wondering how to proceed.

You need a good New Mexico motorcycle accident attorney who will stand up for your rights and ensure you get the compensation you deserve.

Parnall Law Firm, LLC, is one of the best firms you can go to. They have decades’ worth of experience and expertise in personal injury claims.

They have recovered millions of dollars for their clients over the past 20 years and would love to help you get back on the road.

You should contact them, as they will help you get the compensation you deserve.

Phone Number: (505) 433-7813

2. Roadrunner Law

Roadrunner Law is a firm that has been in business for over 20 years, and they have a high rate of success when it comes to cases involving motorcycle injuries.

They deal with all sorts of accidents—from drunk driving to car crashes. Their expert attorneys are ready to take on your case and fight for you if you’ve been injured in an accident on a motorcycle.

If you’re looking for a firm that can handle all types of motorcycle accidents, Roadrunner Law is the place to go.

Moreover, they have been praised on Google and have received a solid 5-star rating from all who have left a review. Now, that is impressive.

Phone Number: 505-444-4321

3. Caruso Law Offices

If you’ve been injured in a motorcycle accident, the last thing you need is to deal with the insurance company. Caruso Law Offices is here to help; they’ve got years of experience fighting for clients like you.

Caruso Law Offices is another excellent firm on this list. They have people that worked for insurance companies but devoted their lives to helping the affected, so they know exactly how to deal with insurance claims.

They’ve won millions of dollars for their clients over the years and offer a free case evaluation. You will certainly not be disappointed if you choose them to represent you.

Phone Number: 505-273-2978

Frequently Asked Questions

Q1. Is It Ok To Wear An Open Face Helmet In New Mexico?

The state of New Mexico only requires that helmets be DOT approved. So, if you can find an open-face helmet that meets these requirements, you should not have any issues with the authorities while wearing one. Make sure to check for the DOT stamp on the back of the helmet.

Q2. How Much Is The Fine For Not Wearing A Motorcycle Helmet In New Mexico?

There is no set fine for not wearing a motorcycle helmet in New Mexico, but it can increase with multiple offenses.

If you are pulled over and found to be without a helmet, additional penalties will be added to your ticket. If this happens more than once, the fines can add a lot.

Q3. When Did Motorcycle Helmet Become Law In New Mexico?

In 1977, the state of New Mexico made it a law that all motorcycle riders under 18 years old must wear helmets.

This was a change from the previous requirement that all motorcycle riders wear helmets, which had been in place before then. I think the older law was better, as it meant more riders would remain safe.

Q4. Should Passengers Wear A Helmet In New Mexico?

Yes, passengers should wear a helmet in New Mexico, if you are under 18 and are not driving, you should still wear a DOT-approved helmet. In layman’s terms, the same law designed for riders has also been implemented for passengers.

Q5. Are Moped Drivers Required To Wear A Helmet In New Mexico?

Yes, moped drivers are required to wear a helmet in New Mexico. If your age is less than 18, you should always wear a helmet when riding your moped in New Mexico.

For those who don’t know, mopeds are two-wheelers that have a capacity of 50cc or less and cannot reach high speeds.

You may also be interested in my article: How To Get A Motorcycle License In New Mexico


So, there you have it, a detailed look into the question: do you have to wear a motorcycle helmet in New Mexico? The short answer is no, but only for people over 18 years old.

If you’re under 18 or riding with someone who is, the answer is simple: Yes! You must wear a motorcycle helmet in New Mexico at all times.

Although you can ride without a helmet, it is highly recommended that you wear one, regardless of age. The cost of a helmet is far smaller than what you would have to pay for a motorcycle injury.

So, make a smart decision and wear one at all times!

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