By Somos Un pueblo Unido
The New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division this week began issuing its new Standard License, an alternative to the Real ID License and which is easier to obtain.
The Standard Driver’s Licenses were created under legislation sponsored by Sens. Gerald Ortiz y Pino and Daniel Ivey-Soto, both of Albuquerque, and signed into law earlier this year by Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham.
“The Standard License provides New Mexicans a simple, fair option for obtaining a driver’s license. It is also a symbol of the progress that can be made when government agencies, community groups, legislators and customers work together to find solutions for all New Mexicans,” said Taxation and Revenue Secretary Stephanie Schardin Clarke.
“The willingness of this administration to work with community-based organizations has helped New Mexico turn the page on the driver’s license issue. When policymakers recognize the diversity of our state and value inclusivity over alienation, everyone wins,” said Marcela Diaz, Executive Director of Somos Un Pueblo Unido. “New Mexico’s economy and public safety are enhanced by ensuring everyone has access to a driver’s license or an ID. Immigrant families and our allies refused to give up on this issue, and as a result all New Mexicans now have options beyond the REAL ID.”
The documentation required for a Standard License is simpler than in the past. New Mexicans can obtain a Standard License with just one document proving identity and age and two documents proving New Mexico residency. In addition, the MVD has expanded the list of documents acceptable as proof of residency. A complete list is available at mvd.newmexico.gov.
“MVD employees have already begun working hard to make sure our customers have the best experience possible when they apply for a driver’s license,” said MVD Director Alicia Ortiz.
Under the new law, fingerprints are no longer required of any applicants for a Standard License. Likewise, New Mexicans do not have to provide a Social Security number or any other federal identification number, and they do not have to provide proof of lawful immigration status for a Standard License.
New Mexicans who do not drive can apply for a Standard ID card.
The Standard Driver’s Licenses and IDs do not satisfy federal Real ID requirements and after October 1, 2020 will not be valid for boarding commercial airline flights or for entering certain federal facilities. However, under the new law, private establishments and state agencies that accept REAL ID credentials must also accept Standard Licenses and ID cards for identification purposes in New Mexico.
The Standard License is an option for people in a variety of circumstances. Some people have difficulty obtaining a Real ID because they do not have a birth certificate, their names do not match exactly across all their documentation, because they cannot find all the necessary documents or because of their immigration status. The requirements for a Real ID license are determined by federal law and remain the same.
Some people may choose the simpler Standard License process because they already have other Real ID credentials, such as a passport, U.S. military ID, a recognized tribal ID or a Permanent Residency card. A complete list of Real ID credentials is available at TSA.gov.
The Motor Vehicle Division will have special Saturday office hours at eight offices for three weekends in October as part of the Standard License rollout. The following offices will be open from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. on October 5, 12 and 19, 2019.