What Changes Are Being Made to NM Driver’s Licenses/IDs?
In November 2016 New Mexico began issuing two types of DL/IDs: Real ID-compliant and non-Real ID compliant. The term Driving Authorization Card (DAC) has been commonly used to refer to both a non-compliant DL and ID. New Mexicans were given the choice of which DL/ID type best suits their needs.
In 2019, Senate Bill 278 (SB278) was passed by the Legislature and signed into law by Governor Michelle Lujan-Grisham. SB278 makes several changes.
The name of the non-compliant DL and ID will change to Standard Driver’s License and Standard ID. In addition to the name change, other physical features of the cards will be apparent:
- The face of the Standard DLs/IDs will look more like the face of the Real ID DLs/IDs. Specifically, the holder’s photo and “ghost image” will be located in the same location on the face of each card.
- The language on the card will change from “NOT FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES” to “NOT INTENDED FOR FEDERAL PURPOSES” and will be located in the upper right-hand corner of the card where REAL ID compliant cards will have a gold star.
How Can the Standard DL/ID Be Used?
Like the DAC, a Standard DL can be used as a driver’s license and form of identification. A Standard ID can be used as a form of identification. But neither can be used for federal purposes – to board a domestic flight, enter some federal buildings and access nuclear facilities – after October 1, 2020.
Under New Mexico law, Standard Licenses and Identification Cards must be accepted for all other identification purposes in New Mexico on the same terms as a Real ID credential. This includes transactions like cashing a check or obtaining state and local government services.
Will There Be Any Changes to the REAL ID-Compliant DLs/IDs?
No. The application process for and card layout of REAL ID-compliant cards are unchanged.
After October 1, 2020 a REAL ID-compliant DL/ID will be required for federal purposes. Other types of identification, such as a valid passport, military identification and tribal identification, among others, will also be acceptable for federal purposes.
When Will the SB278 DL/ID Changes Go Into Effect?
Changes will go into effect on Monday, September 30, 2019.
Who Can I Call If I Have Any Questions?
Any questions you have can be directed to the MVD Director’s Office at 505.827.2296 or the MVD Call Center at 505.827.4636.
STANDARD DRIVER’S LICENSE REAL ID DRIVER”S LICENSE