NH Motor Vehicle Laws

Listening to Officers

When approached by an officer while driving or in charge of a vehicle, no person shall:

  1. Refuse to give the name, address, date of birth, and/or name/address of vehicle owner.
  2. Falsify any information given to the officer.
  3. Purposely neglect to stop when ordered to by an officer.
  4. Refuse to sign one’s name in the presence of an officer.
  5. Refuse to produce license or registration while pulled over.

Anyone who commits one of the 5 above infractions is guilty of a Class “A” misdemeanor and subject to a fine of $500 or more.

General Information

Complying with Sobriety Checkpoints is mandatory. Sobriety Checkpoints can only be set up under order from the Superior Court of the State. The State will always take action to notify driver’s in advance of Sobriety Checkpoint setups.

Every driver must follow the lawful direction of any police officer with authority to direct, control, or regulate traffic. The fine for not following police directions on the road is $100. This also goes for following traffic direction from Flagpersons and Crossing Guards.

People riding animals or animal-drawn vehicles are to be treated as any other driver on the road.

One must give right-of-way to any highway construction or maintenance personnel vehicles or employees.

It is illegal to interfere or tamper with any traffic devices, signs, or signals.

Any operator must drive on the right side of the road.

Pedestrians have right-of-way for the full duration they are in a crosswalk.

It is the responsibility of the driver to exercise due care when driving to avoid pedestrians, and understand the directions given by signals and signs.

Drivers are also expected to do everything they can to avoid creating lane blockages or “gridlock.”

Pedestrians are not allowed to solicit rides or business on the side of the road (hitch hiking).

Operators cannot pass a school bus while on a single lane road. While the school bus has its lights flashing, it is the responsibility of the driver to stay 25 feet behind the school bus.

Electronic Devices

While operating a motor vehicle, the driver must be 100% hands free effective July 1, 2015.

This means cell phones cannot be used, even at red lights and stop signs. The only time the driver is allowed to use a phone and drive is in an instance where the driver is connected to 911 for emergency service.

“Bluetooth” and other hand-free devices and services are allowed provided they do not take the driver’s attention off of the road. Drivers under 18 are not allowed to use hands-free devices.

Distracted driving is a $100 fine for a first offense, and then increases to $250 and $500 for subsequent offenses. Drivers under 18 face license suspension for violations of this rule.


While on the road, it is the driver’s sole responsibility to drive the proper speed. There will always be signs on the side of the road which indicate what the speed limit of the road are. While the following penalties are for driving too fast, it is also the responsibility of the driver to drive a safe and responsible speed.

If there is no sign indicating the proper speed for the road, here are the general rules:

  1. 10 miles below the last posted speed limit in a school zone 45 minutes before and after school hours.
  2. 30 MPH in any business or residential district.
  3. 35 MPH in any rural residence district.
  4. A maximum of 45 MPH in any construction zone.*
  5. 55 MPH on general parkways and highways.
  6. 65 MPH on the interstate system, the Central NH Turnpike, and the Eastern NH Turnpike.
  7. 70 MPH from mile marker 45 on I-93 to the Vermont border.

*All fines are and penalties accrued can be doubled in a construction zone.

Vehicles without proper headlights such as many ATV’s and Mopeds cannot be driven more then 45 MPH.

Speeding Penalties

Penalties according to miles per hour above the speed limit:

  • 1-10 $50
  • 11-15 $75
  • 16-20 $100
  • 21-25 $200
  • 26+ Minimum $350 and must appear in court.

Penalties escalate in severity when violations occur in a 65 MPH zone:

  • 1-5 $65
  • 6-10 $100
  • 11-15 $150
  • 16-20 $250
  • 21-25 $350
  • 26+ >$350 and must appear in court.


Any type of vehicle racing on public roads such streets or highways is completely prohibited. This goes for any type of vehicle, including mopeds and bicycles. Organized time trials are also not allowed. Getting caught Road Racing carries a minimum of a reckless driving charge, with the following penalties:

  • First offense: $500 minimum fine, 60 day minimum license suspension.
  • Second offense: $750 minimum fine, license suspension between 60 days and 12 months.

The Negligent Driving charge also carries the same penalties as the reckless driving charge.


Cars cannot be stopped, stood, or parked in the following 15 places:

  • In an intersection
  • On a sidewalk
  • On any railroad tracks
  • Wherever signs forbid parking
  • On any curved parts of a curb
  • In any type of disabled parking without proper documentation
  • On a bridge
  • In any construction zone
  • In front of a driveway
  • Within 15 feet of a fire hydrant
  • Within 20 feet of a crosswalk
  • Within 30 feet of a flashing signal
  • Within 50 feet of a railroad crossing
  • Wherever signs prohibit parking
  • Wherever a police officer has cordoned off

Vehicles cannot be left unattended without the ignition being off and the car being locked.