In 2005, Congress passed the REAL ID Act, which resulted in the creation of REAL IDs as a replacement of traditional driver’s licenses and ID cards. The REAL ID makes it more difficult for others to steal your identity, as well as provides government officials with more information when you board airplanes or enter federal facilities. That being said, REAL IDs are not required by law, and as a resident of New Mexico, you may be wondering whether or not the REAL ID is for you.

If you are questioning whether or not to obtain a REAL ID, then MVD Express is here to help. In addition to offering all of the MVD services you need to legally drive your vehicle, we also offer REAL ID and New Mexico driver’s licenses. Our friendly staff is more than happy to answer your questions, and we also offer minimal wait times if you decide that the REAL ID is right for you! Browse our website to learn more, or stop by one of our many locations throughout New Mexico.

You Should Obtain a REAL ID If…

When deciding whether or not to get a REAL ID, there are a few factors that you should take into consideration. A REAL ID is necessary if:

  • You plan to or frequently visit federal facilities, including military bases — The REAL ID is a more secure version of a typical driver’s license or ID card. In addition to containing more information on the actual card, you will also have to provide more proofs of identity and residency at the time you obtain your REAL ID.
  • You do not have a passport — A passport can be used in addition to a typical ID card to prove your identity. If you do not have a passport, you will need to obtain a REAL ID.
  • You frequently fly domestically — In order to board a domestic flight in the United States, you will need a form of identification. As of May 3rd, 2023, TSA will no longer accept ID cards that are not REAL ID.

A REAL ID Is Not Necessary If…

Obtaining a REAL ID is not required, and the factors listed above are the main reasons one might decide to trade in their traditional New Mexico driver’s license for a REAL ID. However, it’s important to note that a REAL ID is not necessary if:

  • You have a passport or another compliant form of identification — If you have a traditional driver’s license, you can still fly domestically and access federal facilities as long as you have a compliant form of identification such as a United States passport.
  • You do not plan to fly domestically — If you don’t have future or current plans to fly domestically, then you don’t have to worry about using your REAL ID to board an airplane.
  • You do not regularly visit secure facilities — Very few people visit secure federal facilities, and if you are not one of those people, then a REAL ID may not be necessary.

Buying Firearms

Many people are concerned about how the REAL ID Act affects the sale of firearms, as you need a form of identification at the time of purchase. Luckily, a REAL ID is not required if you plan to buy a firearm. However, you may still be required to show an additional form of identification at the time of purchase.

Visit MVD Express!

If you are still unsure about whether or not the REAL ID is for you, then MVD Express is happy to help! Our New Mexico MVD offers all of the services you need to get back on the road, as well as friendly customer service and minimal wait times. Browse our website to learn more about our MVD services, or stop by one of our locations in New Mexico to get your REAL ID today!