State laws dictate what age individuals must be to get married, enter contracts, take out student loans, or make other legal decisions. Also known as "minors," those under the "age of majority" are considered incapable of making such decisions in the eyes of the law.
The state of New Mexico recognizes the age of majority as 18. When a minor reaches that age, they are considered an adult. State laws also govern a minor's ability to become emancipated from their parents or legal guardians, give consent for medical treatment, and purchase and consume alcohol.
This article provides a brief overview of the legal age statutes in the state of New Mexico.
New Mexico Age Laws: At a Glance
The following chart lists the laws that apply to minors and the legal age of majority for various activities in New Mexico.
|Age of Majority
|Eligibility for Emancipation
- Under N.M.S.A. § 32A-21-3, automatic emancipation occurs if a minor is married, even if they are subsequently divorced or their marriage is annulled.
- Under the same statute, automatic emancipation of a minor occurs when they become an active duty member in the military.
- Under N.M.S.A. § 32A-21-7, a minor that is at least 16 years of age may petition a court to be emancipated.
|Contracts by Minors
- Under the common law of the state, contracts with minors are voidable. The contract can be canceled at the request of the minor, but it is binding on the adult. However, minors may be required to return items they contracted for (like cars) or pay for necessary items (like food or rent).
- Under N.M.S.A. § 59A-18-7, any minor 15 or older may enter into contracts for insurance or annuities.
|Minors' Ability to Sue
|Minors' Consent to Medical Treatment
- Under N.M.S.A. § 24-7A-6.2, an unemancipated minor, 14 or older, may consent to medical treatments without a parent's or guardian's consent, if they are living apart from their parent(s) or guardian(s) or they are the parent of a child.
- Under N.M.S.A. § 24-2B-3, a minor has the capacity to give informed consent to have HIV testing.
- Under N.M.S.A. § 24-1-13.1, a pregnant minor has the capacity to consent to medical care related to pregnancy.
- Under N.M.S.A. § 32A-6A-15, minors aged 14 or older may consent to psychotherapy, counseling, behavioral therapy, family therapy, and substance abuse treatment without involving a parent or guardian.
- Under the same statute, minors may consent to treatment with psychiatric drugs.
- Under N.M.S.A. § 24-10-6, minors aged 17 or older can donate blood at a blood drive or hospital without parental consent. However, they cannot receive money in exchange for doing so.
|Legal Age for Alcohol, Tobacco, E-cigarette Purchase and/or Consumption
Note: State laws are always subject to change through the passage of new legislation, rulings in the higher courts (including federal decisions), ballot initiatives, and other means. While we strive to provide the most current information available, please consult an attorney or conduct your own legal research.
Research the Law
Consider reviewing the following resources for more information about laws in New Mexico, including those related to age:
- At New Mexico Law, you'll find links to all laws of the state, including those related to age.
- At Official State Codes, you'll find links to the official online statutes (laws) in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
New Mexico Legal Age Laws: Related Resources
Consider reviewing the following, as well, for more information about laws and legal issues related to age:
Next Steps: Speak with a Skilled Lawyer
Whether you are looking to file a lawsuit, get emancipated, or get certain types of healthcare, you'll want to know the law in New Mexico and how it may impact your ability to do any of those things. To learn more about the rights and obligations you have as both a young person and an adult, you should speak with a New Mexico family law attorney.