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Driver’s License vs. REAL ID
New Mexico ID Cards
Renew your Driver’s License
Stolen Driver’s Licenses
Reinstate Your Driver’s License

Your driver’s license may be one of the most important things you keep in your wallet. While the main purpose of this card is to prove that you can safely operate a vehicle on your own, it also acts as an identification card that allows you to board planes, buy drinks at bars, and so much more. Even if you can’t operate a vehicle, it’s a good idea to have some form of ID, such as a New Mexico identification card, with you at all times in case of an emergency,.

Whether you want to obtain a New Mexico driver’s license, REAL ID, or an identification card, you can find the help you need at MVD Express! We offer a variety of services to help you stay safe on the road, from driver’s licences and renewals to titling services and VIN inspections. At MVD Express, we strive to be your one-stop-shop for all your MVD needs, and our friendly staff members are here to help you in any way that we can. Explore our extensive list of services on our website, and check out live wait times for the MVD Express near you. Don’t want to wait in line? No problem! Schedule an appointment at a convenient time that works with your schedule and skip the line. We look forward to seeing you!

Driver’s Licenses vs. REAL ID

By now, you’ve probably heard about the REAL ID. The REAL ID was put into place in 2005 in order to comply with the federal Real ID Act, which was created following the 9/11 terrorist attacks. This new type of identification is meant to be more secure than a standard driver’s license in an effort to better protect your identity and to make it harder to create fake IDs. In 2016, the state of New Mexico changed their documentation requirements to fit the REAL ID. Originally, it was going to be required that all United States citizens would need to obtain the REAL ID by October, 2020. However, due to COVID-19, those deadlines have been pushed back to October of 2021.

Once the new deadline has been established, U.S. citizens will need to obtain their REAL ID. That being said, the standard New Mexico driver’s license will still be available, but it will have some restrictions that we will discuss further below.

Is REAL ID Necessary?

In order to obtain your REAL ID, you will need to provide the MVD with a variety of documents that prove your identity, identification number (SSN), and New Mexico residency. The documentation requirements are more extensive than they were with the standard driver’s license due to the fact that the goal of the REAL ID is to make it more difficult for someone to steal your identity.

Because of the added security measures, the government has placed restrictions on standard driver’s licenses and where they are accepted. You can still use a standard driver’s license to get into bars, get a library card, and other local places where a form of identification is necessary. However, you will no longer be allowed to fly domestically or enter federal buildings, military bases, or nuclear facilities without a REAL ID.

If you’ve been debating about whether or not to obtain a REAL ID or keep your standard driver’s license, it’s a good idea to ask yourself how you plan to use your license. Those who only use their licenses to operate vehicles and do not plan on flying domestically or entering federal facilities may choose to keep their standard driver’s license. That being said, if you plan to fly domestically within the timeframe of when your license is valid, it is in your best interest to obtain the REAL ID.

How to Obtain Your New Mexico REAL ID

As we mentioned earlier, the REAL ID is designed to protect your identity, and to ensure that you are who you say you are, it is necessary that you provide more documentation than was required for a standard New Mexico driver’s license. To obtain the REAL ID, you will need to provide your local MVD with:

One document proving your identification number

One document proving your identity and age

Two documents proving New Mexico residency

At MVD Express, we recommend that you gather all the necessary documents prior to your visit. If you have questions regarding which documents are accepted, feel free to give us a call. You can also visit our REAL ID requirements page to view a full list of all the documents we accept. If you have any further questions, check out our REAL ID FAQ page to learn more!

Obtaining a New Mexico ID Card

It’s important to carry some form of identification on your person at all times, but not everyone has the option of carrying a REAL ID or New Mexico driver’s license. Another option is to have your passport with you at all times, but a passport is a very important document, and you may not want to risk losing it or having it stolen. For this reason, many people choose to obtain a New Mexico state ID card. This card looks very similar to a New Mexico driver’s license, but it does not give you the ability to operate a vehicle.

Reasons to Obtain a State ID

One of the most common reasons people obtain a state ID is because they aren’t old enough to obtain a driver’s license. However, there are many reasons why an individual may choose to acquire a state ID. You may choose to obtain a state ID if:

If you want a state ID or REAL ID, MVD Express can help! Visit our New Mexico state ID page to learn more about the requirements, and if you have any questions about accepted forms or you would like to schedule an appointment, don’t hesitate to give us a call! We look forward to hearing from you.

How to Renew Your Driver’s License

As much as you may wish it is, your driver’s license isn’t valid forever. In the state of New Mexico, residents are required to renew their licenses every four or eight years if you are over the age of 18 and you are not enrolled in the Graduated Driver’s License program. Drivers who are 79 years or older are required to renew their New Mexico driver’s licenses on a yearly basis, but they do not have to pay renewal fees.

When it comes time to renew your driver’s license, MVD Express makes it easy! If you already have the REAL ID, or you have a standard driver’s license and do not wish to upgrade to the REAL ID, you will need to provide the MVD with:

Your expiring driver’s license or your driver’s license number

Your date of birth

Your last name

The last four digits of your SSN

Cash or a credit card to pay the renewal fee and the MVD Express convenience fee

Once you provide the necessary information, a member of our friendly staff will renew your license and you will be ready to hit the road. However, if you plan to upgrade a standard license to the REAL ID, you will need to provide the documents listed on our REAL ID requirements page.

What to Do if Your Driver's License Is Expired

It’s important to make sure you renew your driver’s license by the date printed on the card. In the state of New Mexico, you have the option to renew your license as early as 90 days prior to the printed date. Unfortunately, if you fail to renew your New Mexico driver’s license, it could result in fines if you’re pulled over while driving a vehicle, as well as additional fees when you do finally renew your license.

At MVD Express, we understand that sometimes life gets in the way, and visiting your local MVD may not be at the top of your priority list. If the date when your driver’s license is set to expire comes and goes, our friendly staff members can help you renew your expired license with the least amount of stress possible. If you visit MVD Express looking to renew and expired driver’s license, you will need to bring:

A state-issued birth certificate or valid passport

The expired driver’s license

Original social security card

Two documents proving your current address

Cash or a credit card to pay the renewal fee and the MVD Express convenience fee

If your license has been expired for five years or more, you will be required to take a written driver’s test and pass with a score of 70% or more. To learn more about how to renew your expired license, visit our Expire Driver’s License page!

What to Do If You Lose Your Driver’s License

In an ideal situation, your driver’s license would stay safe and secure in your wallet at all times. However, that may not always be the case. Perhaps you moved your driver’s license from one wallet to another or took your driver’s license out of your wallet because you only needed your license and a credit card for an event. As a result of moving your driver’s license around, you may have misplaced it or left it in a public place, or worst case scenario, maybe your entire wallet was stolen.

Regardless of how you lost your driver’s license, MVD Express is here to help you get a new one! In order to obtain a new driver’s license, you will need to visit MVD Express and bring the necessary documents to receive your new license. These documents include:

One document proving your identification number

One document proving your identity and age

Two documents proving residency in New Mexico

If your license was stolen, or you lost your license and you want your replacement driver’s license to have a different license number, then you will first need to file a report with your local police. Once you have filed the report, bring a copy of the police report to MVD Express along with the documents listed above. Reporting your stolen license may seem like an unnecessary step, but doing so will alert the police to potential identity theft in your area. Learn more about replacing your New Mexico driver’s license when you visit our Driver’s License Replacement page!

How to Reinstate Your Driver’s License

Your New Mexico driver’s license may be suspended for a variety of reasons, including alcohol-related incidents, driving offenses, or criminal convictions. However, if your driver’s license was suspended and it is now eligible for reinstatement, MVD Express is here to help!

In order to reinstate your driver’s license, you will need to complete certain requirements based on your offense. For example, if your license was suspended as a result of an alcohol- or drug-related incident and you are 25 years of age or older, you will be required to complete the bureau-approved DWI Prevention and Education program, also known as the “None for the Road” program.

Once you’ve completed the requirements based on your offense, you will be able to reinstate your driver’s license at MVD Express. At MVD Express, you will be required to complete a vision test and a written driver’s exam. Once you have successfully passed both, you will need to provide proof of your completed program requirements, as well as payment for the reinstatement fee and the MVD Express convenience fee. Visit our License Reinstatement page for more information, or call your local MVD Express to speak to a friendly member of our staff.

Find All the Help You Need at MVD Express

At MVD Express, we are proud to be your one-stop-shop for all your MVD needs. In addition to offering our many driver’s license services, we can also help you with vehicle titling, VIN inspections, vehicle registration, and so much more. If you have a question regarding one of our services, don’t hesitate to give us a call! When you’re ready to tackle all of your MVD needs, visit one of our many locations throughout New Mexico or schedule an appointment in advance at a time that is convenient for you.

MVD Express is proud to be a part of your community, and we look forward to seeing you!

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