Moving to New Mexico?
From arrowheads to space age missiles, the southwestern state of New Mexico has witnessed it all and has embraced Indian, Spanish, and Anglican cultures with totality. The name of the state is an anglicized version of “Nuevo Mexico,” a Spanish word which means “place of Mexitli,” one of the Aztec gods.
The state is known by the official nickname “The Land of Enchantment,” because of breathtaking landscapes and a rich cultural history. It is also known as the “Cactus State” due to the abundance of cacti grown in the region. “The Spanish State” is another nickname used to describe the state's historical background and the large proportion of Spanish-speaking population.
New Mexico is famous the world over for two things: the annual hot air balloon event at Albuquerque during early October, and space tourism for ordinary citizens by Virgin Galactic, a company which is headquartered at Spaceport America in Upham, New Mexico.
If you’re moving to New Mexico, there are a lot of things you’re going to need to know. Luckily, you’ve come to the right place.
Things to Know When Moving to New Mexico
New Mexico Climate
The New Mexico climate varies according to the topography of the state. Generally semi-arid and arid conditions prevail with an alpine and a continental climate at high altitudes. The warmest temperatures occur in June. July and August are characterized by afternoon convective storms that tend to decrease the temperature. Southern valleys have a longer freeze-free season of 200 days while northern mountains have 80 days of being freeze-free. Summer rains are quite brief, while winter precipitation is due to the frontal activity of Pacific Ocean storms that move across the country from west to east. Floods and hurricanes are rare phenomena and tornadoes occur in the months of May through August during the afternoon and early evening. Thunderstorms occur frequently during the summer with the northeast region of New Mexico reporting the second-greatest thunderstorm frequency in the nation.
Registering your Car
You have 60 days to register your car after establishing residency in the state. Students and military personnel are exempt from registering their vehicle. You need to get your VIN inspected by a Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) agent or at an MVD office. You are also required to have your vehicle clear the emission test if you intend to live in Bernalillo County or drive there for more than 60 days per year.
Obtaining a New Mexico Driver’s License
Upon establishing residency in the state, you need to surrender your out-of-state license and apply for a New Mexico driver's license. An eye test is mandatory. Written and road tests are waived if you hold a valid out-of-state driver's license. If your license was suspended, revoked, or denied by any other state, then a New Mexico driver's license is not issued until the suspension or revocation is resolved.
As of 2011, New Mexico was ranked 45th out of 50 states in violent crime, with a total of less than 50 violent crimes for every 100,000 people in the state.
The major revenue generating sectors in the economy of New Mexico are agriculture, mining, energy, government and military, tourism, and films and television. Agricultural produce includes: cattle, dairy products, crops like hay, pecans, chile peppers, onions, and potatoes. The state produces uranium ore, manganese ore, potash, copper ore, and tin concentrates. New Mexico is one of the leading producers of fossil fuels and natural gas. It also contains coal deposits and recently has been exploiting renewable energy resources like solar energy. Three-fourths of the state jobs in New Mexico are generated by the federal government. There are three Air Force bases in the state. Tourism also generates billions of dollars in revenue. The film industry is encouraged to shoot movies in the state with financial incentives and infrastructure facilities. Some of the prominent films that were shot in New Mexico are City Slickers, Transformers, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen, and Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull.
As of early 2012, the state of New Mexico had an unemployment rate of 7.2 percent, which is lower than the national average of 8.2 percent.
The median household income in the state of New Mexico is $43,820, while the average per capita income for the state is $22,966.
Moving and Storage
If you are looking for a moving company or storage facility to help you with anything, you should check to make sure the company is registered with the United States Department of Transportation or with the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration.
The average listing price for homes in New Mexico is $330,592, while the median sales price is just over $127,503. The New Mexico Association of Realtors is the official real estate resource for the state of New Mexico.
Major landmarks and attractions
International UFO; Gila Cliff Dwellings National Monument; Chaco Canyon National Historic Park; White Sands National Monument; Slaughter Canyon Cave; New Mexico Museum of Space History; Christ in the Desert Monastery.
Largest Cities: Albuquerque, Sante Fe, Las Cruces, Roswell, Rio Rancho
The state's primary and secondary school education is managed and administered by the New Mexico Public Education Department. Common Core State Standards that were adapted by the state will come into full effect by 2015. These standards present a distinct approach to learning, teaching, and testing and equip the students to be competitive and college-ready, both at the national and international level. The New Mexico Higher Education Department oversees laws, rules, and finances of various higher education institutions. The presence of numerous research facilities in the state has resulted in the highest concentration of PhD holders than in any state. Some notable higher educational institutions include: New Mexico Highlands University, Carrington College, New Mexico State University, and Santa Fe University of Art and Design.
Aztec Ruins National Monument
Bandelier National Monument
Capulin Volcano National Monument
Carlsbad Caverns National Park
Chaco Culture National Historical Park
El Malpais National Monument
El Morro National Monument
Fort Union National Monument
Pecos National Historical Park
State park System
The New Mexico Energy Minerals and Natural Resources Department, with its New Mexico State Parks Division, manages and administers 35 state parks. The State Parks Division is entrusted with protecting the natural and cultural resources, promoting public safety, and providing up-to-date recreational and educational facilities. You can indulge in a range of activities such as boating, swimming, kayaking, water skiing, picnicking, horseback riding, golfing, and fishing.
Albuquerque International Sunport
Four Corners Regional Airport
Roswell International Air Center