What are New Mexico Public Traffic Records?
New Mexico traffic records are a repository of a person’s driving and traffic information. This document typically contains information on a person’s traffic tickets (if any), vehicular crimes, citations, convictions, and sentences.
Public traffic records also contain personal identifying information of the motorist, such as date of birth, age, gender, height, etc. A person’s traffic record is often an indicator of whether a motorist is a good road user or a bad one. Government agencies and private individuals can access these records.
Are Traffic Records Public in New Mexico?
Generally, traffic records are recognized as public records in New Mexico because they are generated and held by government agencies. The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) authorizes individuals to inspect and copy any record in possession of a government agency.
Members of the public also have the right to undertake legal action if the responsible agency denies access to those documents. However, there are exceptions where government agencies can legally withhold access to certain public documents. An instance of this is where the record is part of an ongoing criminal investigation, and another is where it relates to a minor.
Even though the public is guaranteed access to public traffic records in New Mexico, the Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA) is in place to protect drivers’ personal information in the state. It prohibits the release and sale of drivers’ personal information, especially to third-party marketers, without the driver’s consent.
This personal information includes Social Security Numbers (SSNs), name and address, telephone numbers, Client Identification Number (CIDs), etc. However, the traffic violations, accidents, and status of a person’s driver’s license remain accessible public information. Individuals requesting such records do not need to present a reason for the request.
What do New Mexico Traffic Records Contain?
Traffic records data in New Mexico drive traffic safety decisions in the state. The New Mexico traffic records system comprises six basic information systems. These are vehicle information, crash records, roadway inventory data, driver information, and injury tracking information. Primary State Information Systems in New Mexico supply traffic information data to federal records systems like the Motor Carrier Management Information Systems (MCMIS).
Does a Citation Go on Your Record in New Mexico?
A citation is a formal name for a traffic ticket that law enforcement officers issue to motorists caught breaking traffic laws. There are citations issued for minor traffic offenses which do not go on a motorist’s record. Still, tickets issued for criminal or more serious traffic violations will go on a person’s driving record.
The State of New Mexico keeps track of traffic convictions and offenses in the state, using a point system that awards demerit points to drivers found wanting. For instance, eight points go on a driver’s record for overspeeding, six for passing a stopped school bus, reckless driving, and racing.
A driver gets four points for refusing to yield to an emergency vehicle, three for careless driving, refusing to obey traffic signals, following too closely, and taking an improper turn. The Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) in New Mexico further takes action against drivers who have accumulated too many points.
Usually, a motorist who has six points in a year will get a warning letter, listing the penalties that will result if there is any further traffic violation. Drivers with seven to twelve points in a year may get a notice of a three-month suspension from the MVD.
Getting twelve points in a year will lead to a one-year license suspension. Penalized motorists have a right of appeal, after which the MVD will hold an administrative hearing concerning the suspension, which would involve a review of the motorist’s record.
New Mexico does not allow for point reductions by motorists taking driver improvement courses. Still, some courts may dismiss a traffic offense if the motorist undertakes and completes an improvement course. However, a motorist may apply for a limited driver’s license during a suspension.
Such a license allows the motorist to drive and go to school only within certain hours of the day and within certain locations. After serving a suspension, the affected motorist must apply for license reinstatement before getting on the road. The application must have the reinstatement fee, a completion certificate from a licensed driver improvement course, and the applicant may have to retake the driver’s license examination.
Types of Traffic Citations in New Mexico
A popular type of traffic citation in New Mexico is the parking ticket, issued for traffic violations and filed with parking agencies. To respond to a parking ticket, a recipient may pay or contest it.
There are also infraction tickets issued for minor violations like speeding and running a red light. Again, the recipient may respond by paying or contesting the ticket.
Misdemeanor tickets are issued for more serious traffic offenses than infractions. These offenses are classified as criminal offenses, and some examples are driving under the influence of alcohol and driving without a license.
New Mexico Traffic Citation Lookup
There are many reasons why a motorist may need to look up traffic citations in New Mexico. One is to stay updated on the motorist’s current traffic violation status, and another is to find lost traffic tickets.
In the case of a missing traffic ticket, the motorist may visit the traffic court handling the case. Magistrate and municipal courts in New Mexico handle traffic citation cases. It is usually the court where the offense was committed and not necessarily the motorist’s county court or home city.
So, an interested person may find the specific court in the area where law enforcement issued the ticket by searching the New Mexico court directory. If the motorist does not remember where the citation was issued, it may be advisable to contact a local court because most citations are issued closer to home.
Another way to look up traffic citations is to use the New Mexico case lookup portal. Individuals may search for traffic citations or tickets using basic information like a full name, driver’s license number, or date of birth, if there is no traffic ticket to input the citation-related information.
How to Lookup my New Mexico Traffic Records
The best way to look up traffic records in New Mexico is to apply for driver history records from the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division. The MVD offers an online service to enable individuals to access driving information, and the website displays driving records of the past three years from the date of the search.
The applicant must provide a date of birth, the last four digits of their social security number, and the nine-digit driver’s license number to access the record. A New Mexico certified driver record is a copy of a person’s driving record with a letter of certification from the Motor Vehicles Division, and it costs $9.99 for a copy.
A non-certified version is cheaper, at $6.63, but most employers and insurance agencies may not accept it. The MVD also offers a subscriber service for businesses and government agencies that have a legitimate need to access the information. The annual subscription cost $70 and allows for ten registered users. To allow more users, the subscriber must pay additional fees.
New Mexico Traffic Violations
A traffic violation in New Mexico is any act that violates the state's traffic laws. These violations can range from minor infractions, such as speeding, to more serious offenses, such as DUI or reckless driving.
Some of the most common traffic violations in New Mexico include:
- Speeding: Speeding is one of the most common traffic violations in New Mexico. The state has a maximum speed limit of 75 miles per hour on highways and 55 miles per hour on other roads. Motorists caught speeding may be subject to a fine and points added to their driver's license.
- Reckless Driving: Reckless driving is a more severe offense than speeding. It involves driving in a way that endangers other people or property.
- Texting while driving: Texting while driving is a relatively new offense in New Mexico. The state has a ban on texting while driving, and persons caught doing it may be subject to a fine.
New Mexico License Plate Lookup
In New Mexico, license plates are issued by the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) of the state Department of Transportation (DOT). The MVD maintains a database of all license plates in the state.
To conduct a New Mexico license plate lookup:
- Visit the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Department website.
- Click on "License Plates" in the menu bar at the top of the page, then select "License Plate Lookup."
- Enter the license plate number and click "Search." The results will show the name and address of the vehicle's owner and the make, model, and year of the car.
To find more information about a particular license plate, such as the registration status or the insurance information, click on "Details" next to the plate number. This will direct the user to a page with more information about the vehicle.
How to View Traffic Case Records for Free in New Mexico
The New Mexico case lookup service is a web application that allows interested persons to view electronic copies of court records of the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, District Court, Municipal and Magistrate Courts for free. There are three ways of searching for case records, name, case number, and DWI search.
By Name: Interested persons may search for case records by a combination of name, date of birth, and driver’s license information. Searchers can limit the search to case numbers by providing the name of the court, the court’s location, and the case category. It is also possible to limit searches to a range of dates by providing a time duration for the web application to search.
By Case Number: To search by case, the searcher must provide the full case number in the format A-123-BC-1234567890
DWI Search: This is the last search option available on the search portal. Interested persons must input a full name and then click ‘search’ to use this option.
How Long do Traffic Offenses Remain on a Public Record in New Mexico
The type of offense generally determines how long it will stay on a person’s record. Under the New Mexico Functional Records Retention and Disposition Schedules (FRRDS), records of traffic offenses and violations must be kept for three years from the date the file was closed. This retention period does not apply to citations issued for DUI offenses.
How to Remove Traffic Records from Public Websites in New Mexico
While the Inspection of Public Records Act allows public records to be published on official government sites, it does not stop third parties from publishing them on different databases and data brokerage sites. This can cause major problems for the record owner, especially regarding privacy and data protection. So, it is desirable to remove these records from public websites to protect a person from harm.
An individual may first file a motion to seal or expunge the particular court record. Once a judge approves the order, the docket will be removed from official sites, and if this is not done, the applicant may request the court websites to update their records; thus, omitting information on the record that has been sealed.
The sealing process is not always straightforward because not every record is sealable. Also, it is advisable to get a qualified attorney, to facilitate the process, especially when it comes to contacting the court’s website. The contact procedure typically involves writing an email or letter asking the website to remove offending information for privacy reasons.
Another way to remove traffic records from public websites is to ask online data brokers to delete the records. Most sites will remove a person’s private information when asked and usually have an opt-out option on their sites. An individual may further hire a content removal agency to handle the process.
Finally, an individual may get a new P.O. Box address and phone number dedicated to government business. This address and phone number may be used only for filling government forms and applications. The individual may then visit the MVD and other relevant government agencies to update the new information.
By doing this, a person can limit how much of their private information is exposed to the public, and it is much harder for third parties to access this information.
Do Motoring Offenses Affect Criminal Records in New Mexico?
Motoring offenses can have a devastating effect on a person’s life and criminal record in New Mexico. A motoring offense typically involves a person breaking driving laws for certain acts like driving without a license, speeding, or driving under the influence.
It is harder for a driver with a record to get a favorable motor vehicle insurance policy. Insurance companies typically weigh a driver’s risk factors before covering the driver. Drivers with demerit points may face higher premiums, and the greater the crime or number of points, the higher the insurance premium. Also, insurance companies may decline to cover the driver altogether.
Another consequence is that the affected driver may find it difficult to get a job. If the driver already has one, a traffic violation conviction can lead to a termination of employment. Traffic convictions show up on public records, background searches, and driving record checks.
Typically, employers would run a check on a job applicant, and a conviction will not help the applicant’s chances. For instance, employers prefer workers with a clean record if the application is for a job that involves driving for commercial purposes, like truck driving or delivery services.
Truck drivers have a special license, and any restriction on the license will make it difficult or impossible for the driver to cross certain state lines, which is bad business for an employer. Also, employers may use an applicant’s record to determine if the person has unstable behavior and if the person will be able to handle the job effectively.
A person’s criminal record is often a test of the person’s character, and the presence of convictions can make an employer lose faith in an employee. Such an employee becomes a liability because of an inability to drive for a certain duration. So, it is advisable to avoid situations that can lead to a traffic violation. If one arises regardless, it is best to sort it out quickly and apply for the record to be sealed, or expunged, where applicable.