State Veteran Benefits

State Benefits

Disabled Veteran Property Tax Exemption

The property of a disabled veteran, including joint or community property of the veteran and the veteran’s spouse, may be exempt from property taxation if it is occupied by the disabled veteran as the veteran’s principal place of residence.   For purposes here, a disabled veteran is a veteran who has been determined by federal law to have a 100% permanent and total service-connected disability.  Certain discharges may render a veteran ineligible for this benefit.

Property Tax Exemption Form

Standard Veteran Property Tax Exemption

Up to $4,000 of the taxable value of property, including the community or joint property of husband and wife, subject to the tax is exempt from the imposition of the tax if the property is owned by a veteran or the veteran’s unmarried surviving spouse if the veteran or surviving spouse is a New Mexico resident.   Certain discharges may render a veteran ineligible for this benefit.

Property Tax Exemption Form

Reduced Registration Fees

Every person who is entitled to a veteran exemption and who does not have sufficient real or personal property to claim the full property tax exemption may be eligible to pay motor vehicle registration fees at two-thirds the rates charged on vehicles the veteran owns.

Property Tax Exemption Form

Exemption from Excise Taxes on Vehicle Purchases

A person is exempt from the Motor Vehicle Excise Tax if the person is a resident of New Mexico who served in the armed forces of the United States and who suffered, while serving in the Armed Forces or from a service-connected cause, the loss or complete and total loss of use of: (1) one or both legs at or above the ankle or (2) one or both arms at or above the wrist.

Vietnam Veteran Scholarship

The Vietnam Veteran Scholarship will pay tuition at any state funded post-secondary school.  Reimbursement is available for books and fees.  For any non-state institution, tuition reimbursement will not exceed an amount higher than the highest resident tuition charged at a state institution, and the fees and costs of books shall not exceed financial aid guidelines.  All billing is directed to the New Mexico Higher Education Department.   Any person who has been honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States, who was a resident of New Mexico at original time of entry into the Armed Forces or who has lived in New Mexico for ten years or more and who has been awarded a Vietnam Campaign Medal for services in the armed forces of this country in Vietnam during the period of August 5, 1964 to the official termination of the Vietnam conflict as designated by executive order of the president of the United States, is eligible for certification.

More information on the Vietnam Veteran Scholarship

Vietnam Veterans Scholarship Application

Wartime Veteran Scholarship Fund
This scholarship applies to tuition costs and required student fees directly associated with undergraduate, master’s, or doctoral degree work.  Reimbursement is available for books and supplies.    However, the amount of tuition to be covered by the scholarship shall not exceed the highest full time undergraduate tuition charged at an educational institution.   All billing is directed to the New Mexico Higher Education Department.  A veteran may be eligible if:  (1) the veteran was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces of the United States; (2) the veteran was a resident of New Mexico at the original time of entry into the Armed Forces or has lived in New Mexico for ten years or more; (3) the veteran has been awarded a Southwest Asia Service Medal, Global War on Terror Service Medal, Iraq Campaign Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal or any other medal issued for service in the armed forces of the United States in support of any United States military campaign or armed conflict as defined by Congress or presidential executive order or any other campaign medal issued for service after August 1, 1990 in the armed forces of the United States during periods of armed conflict as defined by congress or by executive order.

More Information on the Wartime Scholarship Fund

Wartime Veterans Scholarship Application

Children of Deceased Veterans

This scholarship applies to matricular fees, board and room rent, and books and supplies for the use and benefit of the children, not under sixteen and not over twenty-six years of age, of:  (1) those persons who were residents of New Mexico at the time of entry into military service and who entered the military service of the United States during World War I or II, or during any action in which the military forces of the United States are engaged in armed conflict, and who were killed in action or died of another cause during the conflict or as a result of such military service;  (2) deceased members of the New Mexico national guard who were killed while on active duty in the service of the state after having been called to active duty by the governor; and (3) deceased members of the New Mexico state police who were  killed while on active duty in the service of the state.

Eligible children may be admitted to state educational institutions free of tuition.  Not more than $300 shall be paid, in addition to the free tuition, for any child for one year.

Children of Deceased Veterans Scholarship Application

High School Diploma for WWII, Korean & Vietnam Veterans

Any veteran who left a New Mexico high school before graduating to serve in World War II, the Korean War, or the Vietnam conflict may be awarded a valid high school diploma issued from the high school they were attending.

High School Diploma Application

In-State Tuition

Veterans, their spouses, and their children no longer have to wait to establish “in-state” residency status when applying for college. Those who wish to use their G.I. Education Benefit Bill can now immediately take advantage of less-expensive “resident” in-state tuition rates at any state funded college, university, vocational school or vocational training program.

Military Children School Enrollment Priority

Priority enrollment status is automatically assigned to incoming students or the New Mexico schools system whose active-duty, National Guard, or Reservist parent is transferred to a New Mexico military facility.  

Veteran License Plates
Any honorably discharged veteran of the Armed Forces is eligible for the following New Mexico veterans’ license plates, provided they can show proof of service and eligibility.

The following license plates are available for a one-time $17.00 fee. Recipients are then responsible for any annual vehicle license fee which may apply:

The following license plates are available free of charge for any qualified veteran who can provide proof of eligibility:

Military Plate Application

Gold Star Family License Plate

The Gold Star Family License Plate is available for any family which has had a son, daughter, stepson, stepdaughter, parent or step-parent killed in combat. There is a four-plate limit per family. The first plate is free and all fees will be waived over the lifetime of the recipient. The remaining three plates are also free, but these recipients are responsible for an annual $17.00 plate registration fee.

Veteran’s Gold Star License Plate Application

Patriot License Plate

The Patriot License Plate can be purchased by any licensed New Mexico driver who wants to recognize the contribution and sacrifice of the men and women who are serving or have served in the Armed Forces. The fee is $27.00.

Patriot License Plate Application

Free and Reduced-Fee Recreational Benefits
State Parks Use-Pass and Camping Passes:  a New Mexico veteran rated 50% or higher service-connected disabled may obtain an annual free day-use pass and three, one-day camping passes.

Disabled Veteran State Parks Pass Application

Free State Monuments and Museums Pass:  a New Mexico veteran rated 50% or higher service-connected disabled may obtain a free State Monument and Museum Pass for personal use only. 

Monuments and Museums Pass Application

Veterans’ Day Recreation and Museum Privileges every Veterans’ Day, any New Mexico resident who was honorably discharged from the Armed Forces or is currently on active duty, along with their spouses and children, is entitled to free use of any New Mexico state park.  Admission fees will also be waived for campsites, the Museum of New Mexico, the New Mexico Museum of Natural History, and the New Mexico Museum of Space History.  

Hunting and Fishing
Reduced Fee Hunting and Fishing License:  New Mexico’s service-connected disabled veterans may apply for a reduced fee $10.00 small-game & fishing license–no matter what percentage their disability.   Veterans may obtain this benefit by showing proof of disability to the Department of Game & Fish when applying for their hunting and fishing license.


Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License for Disabled Veterans:  Any New Mexico veteran rated 100% service-connected disabled is eligible for a free lifetime New Mexico small-game hunting and fishing license.  

Lifetime Hunting and Fishing License Appliaction

Temporary Hunting and Fishing License for Active-Duty Any active-duty military personnel, National Guard, or Reserve member who is legally domiciled resident of New Mexico can apply for a temporary active duty fishing or small game hunting license.  Applicants must show proof of residency and not claim residency elsewhere.  Applicants may also apply if they are on active duty outside the state but are currently on leave here in New Mexico for not more than 30 days.  


Hunting Fee Discount for Non-Resident Veteran Undergoing Rehabilitation Hunting licenses for deer, antelope, elk, javelina, and turkey may be sold to non-resident disabled military members or veterans at resident license-fee rates if the applicant is undergoing a rehabilitation program utilizing hunting activities supported by the U.S. Department of Veterans’ Affairs or an authorized nonprofit organization.


Other State Benefits

Special MacArthur Service Medal

The Special MacArthur Service Medal is issued members of the 200th/51th Coast Artillery Units who were residents of New Mexico at their original time of entry into the U.S. Military and served under General Douglas MacArthur in the Philippine Islands during World War II. The medal is also available to surviving family members of the 200th/515th units.

Service Member Child Custody Protection

Child custody arrangements cannot be modified while a parent is deployed for military service. All child custody issues involving a deployed parent must wait to be resolved until the deployed parent returns to New Mexico.

New Mexico Personnel Office Veterans Hiring Preference

All veterans honorably discharged from the U.S. Armed Forces or anyone currently serving in the National Guard shall have five (5) points added to their final passing numerical scores on screening examinations performed by the State Personnel Office. Veterans honorably discharged with a service-connected disability will have ten (10) points added to their final passing numerical score.

Business Tax Credit for Hiring Recently Returned Veterans

Any business in the state of New Mexico can qualify for up to a $1,000 business tax credit for each hire of a recently-returned veteran. Please contact the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department for additional information at (505) 827-0700 or

Additional 5% Procurement Advantage for Veteran-Owned Businesses or Contractors

The state of New Mexico shall set aside an additional 5% hiring preference for
veteran-owned businesses or contractors over the existing 5% preference currently established for locally-owned businesses during the bidding process for state contracts and jobs.

Military Discharge Papers Protection

Military discharge papers filed with County Clerks in the State of New Mexico shall be available only to the veteran who filed them, the veteran’s next of kin, or a person holding the veteran’s general power of attorney.

To contact your county clerk, please click here.