The Security Laws in New Mexico: Everything You Need to Know

Sharing is caring!

New Mexico, with its rich history, stunning landscapes, and unique blend of cultures, also shares concerns about property safety and security like many other states. Familiarizing yourself with the security camera laws in New Mexico is important for those planning to install surveillance systems in your home or business.

1. What are the Security Camera Laws in New Mexico?

New Mexico does not have laws directly referring to security cameras. However, the use and installation of these cameras may come under the purview of the state’s privacy regulations and laws.

New Mexico Wiretapping Laws: Single-Party Consent

In New Mexico, the key statute to be aware of when it comes to surveillance is the Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act (NMSA 1978, §§ 30-12-1 to 30-12-3). In a nutshell, it makes it unlawful to record or eavesdrop on any conversation without the consent of at least one party involved in that conversation.

New Mexico operates under the single-party consent rule regarding recordings. In New Mexico, a conversation can be legally recorded if the person recording is a party to the discussion or has gotten consent from at least one participating party. Thus, to record audio with security cameras, permission from at least one individual in the recording is required.

If your camera captures audio, you should always notify those being recorded. Most security pros will recommend you stick to video-only surveillance or ensure clear signage indicating audio recording in progress. Remember, consent matters!

Video Surveillance and Expectation of Privacy

While video recording is generally legal, there’s a catch: you can’t film areas where there’s a reasonable expectation of privacy. This means no cameras pointing towards your neighbor’s windows, bathrooms, or private backyards!

Always position your cameras to only capture your property and public areas. When in doubt, imagine you’re on the receiving end. Would you appreciate a camera peering into your personal space?

Business vs. Residential Surveillance

For business owners, using cameras in public spaces like store aisles or the exterior of a building is generally allowed. However, it’s essential to steer clear of private areas such as restrooms, changing rooms, or personal offices.

Pro Tip: Visible signage indicating surveillance in progress is a best practice. It’s not just polite; it acts as a deterrent to would-be wrongdoers.

security camera laws in New Mexico

2. Other New Mexico Laws Related to Security Cameras

Here’s a list of some other relevant New Mexico laws and how they could potentially affect installing your security cameras:

  • Peeping Tom Laws (NMSA 1978, Section 30-9-20): Prohibits voyeurism or watching someone without their knowledge in areas where they have an expectation of privacy. Cameras cannot be set up to intentionally record areas like bedrooms, bathrooms, or other private spaces of neighbors or passersby.
  • Trespass Laws (NMSA 1978, Section 30-14-1): Prohibits individuals from unlawfully entering someone else’s property. If you’re installing cameras on someone else’s property or shared spaces within a community, you need their permission. Unauthorized installations can be seen as trespassing.
  • Harassment or Stalking Laws (NMSA 1978, Section 30-3A-3): Protects individuals from being stalked or harassed. Using cameras to intentionally monitor a specific individual without their knowledge or for malicious purposes could fall under these laws.

While these are some of the primary statutes that relate to the use of security cameras in New Mexico, it’s always recommended to consult local regulations or a knowledgeable attorney when planning your security setup.

3. Penalties for Violating the Security Camera Laws in New Mexico

Breaching the security camera regulations in New Mexico can have dire outcomes. Recognizing and adhering to New Mexico’s security camera laws is paramount to prevent infringements and subsequent repercussions.

  • Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act (NMSA 1978, §§ 30-12-1 to 30-12-3): Violation of this act can result in a fourth-degree felony. Those found guilty may face imprisonment for up to 18 months, fines, or both.
  • Peeping Tom Laws (NMSA 1978, Section 30-9-20): Conviction under this statute is a misdemeanor. Offenders can face imprisonment in a county jail for up to 364 days, a fine up to $1,000, or both.
  • Trespass Laws (NMSA 1978, Section 30-14-1): Penalties can vary based on the specifics of the trespass. Generally, it is classified as a petty misdemeanor, which can result in imprisonment in a county jail for up to six months, a fine up to $500, or both. However, if there’s evidence of intent to commit any felony or theft, it elevates to a fourth-degree felony with potential imprisonment for up to 18 months.
  • Harassment or Stalking Laws (NMSA 1978, Section 30-3A-3): Stalking is classified as a misdemeanor for a first offense, which can result in up to one year of imprisonment, a fine up to $1,000, or both. If the offense is committed against a household member or violates any order of protection, it can be classified as a fourth-degree felony with a potential penalty of 18 months of imprisonment.

install bullet security camera

4. Can I Install a Security Camera in My New Mexico Home?

Yes, security-minded homeowners in New Mexico can confidently equip their homes with cameras to ensure the safety of their loved ones and belongings. But before you mount that sleek piece of technology, here’s a cheat sheet on some dos and don’ts:

Dos and Don’ts for Home Security Cameras in New Mexico:

  • Do:
    • Review and follow state regulations on surveillance, especially regarding audio recording. Remember the single-party consent rule: If your camera captures audio, at least one person being recorded should know about it.
    • Adjust your camera’s field of vision to monitor only your property.
  • Don’t:
    • Use cameras for any illicit or nefarious activities.
    • Point your cameras at your neighbor’s property, windows, or any other private areas.

If you live in shared housing like apartments, condos, or places governed by a Homeowners’ Association (HOA), here’s your game plan:

Location Action Step
Apartments/Condos Review your lease or rental agreement. Seek permission from your landlord or management if necessary.
HOA Communities Check the community guidelines or by-laws. Some HOAs have specific rules about camera placements or visible equipment.

Tip: Always be neighborly. Before setting up, maybe have a quick chat with those living around you. It fosters trust and avoids potential misunderstandings!

5. Can I Install a Security Camera in My New Mexico Business?

Absolutely. As a business owner, not only can you enhance security, but strategically placed cameras can also provide insights into foot traffic, peak business hours, and areas that might need more attention.

However, to maintain a transparent and trustful business environment, follow these golden rules:

Guidelines for Business Security Cameras:

  • Visibility: Make sure the cameras are in plain sight. Hidden cameras can be a big no-no, especially in areas like changing rooms or restrooms.
  • Signage: Post clear signs at entrances and prominent locations, letting people know they’re under surveillance. This isn’t just about compliance—it can deter potential wrongdoers.
  • Privacy: Respect areas where employees or patrons expect privacy. For instance:
    • Yes: Entrances, aisles, cash registers.
    • No: Restrooms, personal offices, changing rooms.
  • Inform: Keep your employees in the loop. Whether it’s during onboarding or a staff meeting, letting them know about the cameras can foster a sense of security.

Bonus: Using video analytics, you can glean actionable business insights. Study customer movements, optimize store layouts, and potentially boost sales!

hoa camera installation

6. How to File a Complaint in New Mexico

If you suspect someone is violating New Mexico’s security camera laws, report the matter to local law enforcement agencies. Supply as many details as possible, encompassing camera descriptions and any other pertinent evidence.

Law enforcement will undertake investigations, and if required, they may sanction penalties or press charges against the violator. That said, a complaint doesn’t assure any legal action. However, it can dissuade others from potential violations.

Engaging an attorney might be beneficial if considering legal recourse. Their expertise can clarify New Mexico’s laws and guide subsequent actions.

When submitting a complaint, provide all relevant information like:

  • Suspected violator’s name and address
  • Incident date(s) and time(s)
  • Incident location
  • Detailed account of the occurrence
  • Any supporting evidence (photos, videos)
  • Witness details
  • Any other relevant data


While surveillance cameras can amplify security measures for homes and commercial entities in New Mexico, awareness of state regulations is vital. Adherence to these laws ensures the rights and privacy of all citizens are respected. Non-compliance can lead to significant legal consequences.

Security Camera Laws in Other States


Do I need a permit for security cameras in my New Mexico business?

No, you don’t need a specific permit to install security cameras in your New Mexico business. However, it’s essential to adhere to privacy regulations and ensure you’re not recording in areas where individuals expect privacy, like restrooms.

Can you video-record someone without their consent in New Mexico?

Yes, you can video-record someone without their consent in New Mexico as long as it’s in a public place or where there’s no expectation of privacy. However, audio recording requires at least one party’s consent involved in the conversation, under New Mexico’s Wiretapping and Electronic Surveillance Act.

Are concealed cameras illegal in New Mexico?

Concealed cameras are not inherently illegal in New Mexico. However, their use becomes unlawful if they invade someone’s privacy or are placed in locations where individuals have a reasonable expectation of privacy, such as restrooms or private bedrooms.

security camera laws in New Jersey

The Security Camera Laws in New Jersey: Everything You Need to Know

security camera laws in North Carolina

The Security Camera Laws in North Carolina