All persons driving a motor vehicle on New Mexico highways and roadways are required to be licensed. Beginning November 14, 2016, MVD Express will enact new documentation requirements for issuing driver’s licenses and non-driver identification cards in order to comply with the federal REAL ID Act of 2015. If you have any questions about obtaining your REAL ID card, schedule an appointment at one of our facilities today!

The History of REAL ID

After the devastating effects that 9/11 left on our country, the federal government began to look at new ways to increase the security measures surrounding state identification cards and driver’s licenses. In an attempt to prevent further acts of terrorism and the unlawful entry in and out of the country, the House of Representatives passed a bill called the REAL ID Act in 2005. This new ACT would set specific federal standards upon all driver’s licenses, which are currently regulated by each individual state. Once it was passed into law, the bill was tabled until 2007, where it was announced that the federal enforcement of the act would be postponed for two years. It wasn’t until 2016 that the federal government announced that all states would need to be in compliance with the REAL ID Act by the end of 2017.

How New Mexico IDs Will Be Affected

The REAL ID Act puts new federally mandated requirements for all state driver’s licenses and ID cards into motion, including New Mexico. The Act outlines three different types of documentation needed for the issuance of a compliant driver’s license or state identification card. Let’s take a look at them below:

  • To establish proof of federal identification number (i.e. Social Security Administration number)
  • To establish proof of identity and age
  • To establish proof of New Mexico residency

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has already set the REAL ID requirements in place for most states throughout the country. On each ID, the following information must be present:

  • Full legal name
  • Residential address
  • Gender
  • Birth date
  • Driver’s license/ Identification card number
  • A digital, front-facing photograph
  • A signature

New Mexico driver’s licenses and IDs must now also include a common barcode and security device to prevent any tampering or counterfeiting of the card. They must also display a star in the upper right-hand corner, signifying that your identification has been approved by the TSA and that your identity has been verified. During the application process, all applicants must present the following documents:

  • A photo ID, or non-photo ID that contains your full legal name and birth date
  • A valid birth certificate
  • Your social security number
  • Proof of legal U.S. citizenship, or proof of lawful admittance into the country/ temporary residence within the U.S.

While the REAL ID documentation requirements have been on the books since the beginning of 2016, New Mexico has been granted an extension. This means that the current New Mexico driver’s licenses and state identification cards are still accepted to board commercial flights, gain access to federal buildings, etc. It’s important to note that this extension is set to expire in 2020, after which time a REAL ID-compliant form of identification will be needed.

If you need to obtain your REAL ID, stop by one of our convenient MVD Express locations in Rio Rancho, Albuquerque, Santa Fe or Las Cruces today!

Name Changes

The name on your MVD issued credential must be your legal name, and if your birth certificate or identity document already contains your current legal name, you do not need to provide proof of a name change. If you are providing your Social Security Number (SSN) for proof of identity number, it must match the name on your birth certificate. If it does not match, you must either correct the name on the SSN by contacting the Social Security Administration, or use one of the other forms of accepted documents.

Maiden Name Changes

If your proof of identity document does not contain your current full legal name, you must present the proper documentation for any name change that needs to be made. This may include a marriage certificate, divorce decree, court order, and even adoption records.

REAL ID Documentation Requirements in New Mexico

As New Mexico moves toward full compliance with the REAL ID Act of 2005, it’s critical to ensure your ID or license is up-to-date with the latest federally mandated requirements. In order to obtain your REAL ID, you will need to bring specific documentation to your local DMV. Below is a list of eligible document you may use.

Documents that Establish Proof of Identification Number
One (1) of the following:
  • Social Security Number Card
  • W-2 Form
  • SSA-1099
  • Non-SSA-1099 form
  • Pay stub that displays applicant’s name and Social Security Number
Documents that Establish Proof of Identity and Age
One (1) of the following:
  1. US Passport or US Passport Card
  2. Foreign Passport with I-551 stamp
  3. Original or Certified copy of birth certificate
  4. Consular report of birth abroad issued by the US Dept. of State form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS-545
  5. Permanent resident card (Form I-551) issued by US Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) or Immigration & Naturalization Service (INS)
  6. Certificate of Naturalization issued by DHS (Form N-550 or Form N-570)
  7. Certificate of Citizenship issued by DHS (Form N-560 or Form N-561)
  8. Employment authorization document issued by DHS (Form I-766 or Form I-688B) verified through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements System (SAVE)
  9. Foreign passport with unexpired U.S. Visa affixed, accompanied by the approved I-94 form documenting the applicant’s most recent admittance into the U.S., verified by SAVE
  10. Foreign passport w/visa and I-94
  11. REAL ID act of 2005 driver’s license or ID card
If presented, see below for a list of additional documents required in conjunction with this form of ID.
Documents that Establish Proof of New Mexico Residency
 Two (2) of the following:
  1. Current real property rental or purchase agreement
  2. Local property tax statement or mortgage documents
  3. Insurance bill, card or binder dated within 6 months
  4. A New Mexico medical or public assistance card with address, letter from issuing agency that came with card or profile printout from issuing
  5. Original documents from city, county, state, tribal, or federal government organization or community organization (dated within 60 days) attesting to the fact that the applicant is a New Mexico resident
The following documents must be dated within 60 days:
  1. Utility bill, except cell phone bills
  2. Bank or credit card statement
  3. Employment pay stub containing applicant’s name and address
  4. Documentation from an education institution
Applicants under 18 may also provide:
  1. Documents indicating membership in a NM religious or sports organization
  2. Affidavit of NM Residency (Form MVD-10021)

If the applicant provides a REAL ID Act of 2005 driver’s license or ID card as Proof of Identity and Age from LIST B, the applicant must also present one (1) of the following documents issued by the US Federal Government verified through the Systematic Alien Verification for Entitlements Program (SAVE):

  • Unexpired immigrant or nonimmigrant visa status for admission into the United States
  • Pending or approved application for asylum in the United States
  • Admission into the United States as a refugee
  • Pending or approved application for temporary protected status in the United States
  • Approved deferred action status
  • Pending application for adjustment of status to legal permanent resident or conditional resident
  • Conditional permanent resident alien status
  • Other documents as DHS may designate by notice published in the Federal Register

If you have a question about whether a particular document or form of ID is acceptable for your New Mexico REAL ID-compliant license or state identification card, please contact us!

Schedule An Appointment For Your REAL ID Today!