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New Mexico Law Books

Because all important matters involving motor vehicle licensing are codified in state law, New Mexico law books are a key resource for understanding the evolution of the state’s license plates.  The New Mexico Transportation History Project has an archive of these books, both in hard copy and in electronic form as searchable PDF files.  We continue to seek additional examples of New Mexico law books that are not currently in our library, especially from the period 1912 through 1969.  If you have any New Mexico law books from these years that you would like to donate or sell to the NMTHP, please contact us.
1903-1905 Laws of the Territory of New Mexico. For many years a story was widely circulated among license plate collectors that the licensing of motor vehicles in New Mexico was first mandated by a law enacted by the Territorial Legislature in 1905. How the yarn originated is unknown, but it was entirely false. Neither the Laws of 1905, illustrated above, nor any of the other Territorial laws contain any reference to motor vehicles, automobiles, horseless carriages, or any other related subject. New Mexico’s first automobile licensing law was enacted shortly after the attainment of statehood during the First Regular Session of the newly formed State Legislature, as illustrated immediately below.
New Mexico’s first automobile licensing law, was passed on June 8, 1912, during the first year of statehood.

Part of the Law Library of the New Mexico Transportation History Project



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