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Missile Range Changes ID Policy

LaTunya Howard/U.S. Navy
public domain

White Sands Missile Range To Stop Accepting New Mexico IDs - Associated Press

White Sands Missile Range has announced it will no longer accept New Mexico driver's license as a form of identification from visitors.

Range spokesman Erin Dorrance said the base stopped accepting New Mexico IDs on Monday because they aren't in compliance with the federal REAL ID Act.

The move comes after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declined to give New Mexico an extension on complying with tougher rules that require proof of legal U.S. residency in order for state driver's licenses and IDs to be valid for some federal purposes.

REAL ID Act requirements mandate proof of legal U.S. residency for holders who want to use state IDs to access certain areas of federal buildings and, eventually, board commercial flights.

Lawmakers are expected this month to work on revising New Mexico's law.

Editor's Note: For details on what forms of indentification, in addition to a New Mexico driver's license, will get you access to White Sands Missile Range see this article

TSA Won't Enforce New ID Law At Airports For 2 More YearsScott Mayerowitz, Associated Press

Fliers who don't have REAL ID-compliant driver's licenses will have a two-year reprieve before their IDs are rejected at airport security checkpoints.

Many travelers had been worried that the Transportation Security Administration would penalize them because of a federal law requiring the more-stringent IDs at the start of this year.

But late Friday afternoon, the Department of Homeland Security accounted that passengers could continue using non-REAL ID-compliant IDs until Jan. 22, 2018. Some would have until Oct. 1, 2020.

After those dates, passengers without REAL IDs would have to use other federally-approved forms of ID such as a passport.

No REAL ID Agreement From Governor, Lawmakers - Russell Contreras, Associated Press

New Mexico Gov. Susana Martinez and Democrats remain at odds over how to get an extension on REAL ID requirements as Sunday's deadline looms. Here are details on what forms of identification will get you into federal facilities in New Mexico. 

Leaders of the GOP-controlled House and the Democratic-led Senate met this week on crafting a letter to the U.S. Department of Homeland Security but no agreement has been reached.

Federal officials want Martinez and lawmakers to promise they will pass a REAL ID -compliant law during the upcoming session.

If New Mexico doesn't pass a REAL ID-compliant law, holders of state driver's licenses could find they are unable to use them for some federal purposes.

Democratic leaders say they are ready to send a joint letter with Republicans that outlines general principles for a compromise.

GOP leaders said they writing their own version. 

According to the Department of Homeland Security, you DO NOT need REAL ID to:

  • Be licensed to drive
  • Vote or register to vote
  • Apply for or receive federal benefits
  • Access life-saving services or facilities, such as hospitals and law enforcement
  • Get into court
  • Participate in law enforcement proceedings or investigations
  • Enter federal facilities that don’t require REAL ID

Getting into federal facilities in New Mexico 

The Department of Homeland Security says visitors to military bases and nuclear facilities will have to have REAL ID compliant forms of identification. But several federal facilities in New Mexico have said they are not changing their current procedures for visitors. 

Los Alamos National Laboratory

LANL implemented REAL ID requirements in November 2014. Facility access badges require photo ID and proof of citizenship. Visitors who do not have REAL ID-compliant photo ID's can provide one of the follow supplemental forms of identification: 

  • Acceptable birth certificate (state-issued)
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Certificate of Citizenship issued by INS or its successor
  • U.S. passport (current or expired)

Sandia National Laboratories

As of January 11, 2016, visitors to the labs who want to use a New Mexico state ID will have to provide an alternative form of ID in order to get a badge. These are the options:

  • U.S Social Security card (must not be laminated)
  • Original or certified copy of a birth certificate bearing official seal 
  • Certification of birth abroad or Certification of Report of Birth
  • Voter registration card
  • U.S. citizen ID card
  • Native American tribal document

Kirtland Air Force Base

No changes. They are waiting on further guidance from the Department of Defense. 

A non-REAL ID-compliant New Mexico state ID will be sufficient for visitors who are sponsored by base personnel. 

Cannon Air Force Base 

No changes. They are waiting on further guidance from the Department of Defense.

A non-REAL ID-compliant New Mexico state ID is sufficient at Cannon AFB along with one of the following:

  • Social Security card
  • Native American tribal document
  • School ID with a photo
  • U.S. military or draft record
  • Certificate of Birth Abroad
  • U.S. Citizen ID card
  • Resident Citizen ID card

Without a supplemental form of identification, visitors must be escorted at all times on base. 
Holloman Air Force Base

No change. They are waiting for further guidance from the Department of Defense.

They run visitors through the National Crime Information Center before allowing them on base with an escort. Non-REAL ID-compliant New Mexico state ID's are accepted for visitor identification. 

White Sands Missile Range

Officials announced this week that in order to get onto the White Sands Missile Base with a New Mexico driver's license, you'll have to present in addition one of several other forms of ID


Editor's Note: This post has been updated to reflect the change in policy at White Sands Missile Range. 

Other federal buildings in New Mexico

In an email circulated by state Democrats, Chris Adams of the New Mexico Service Center says there will be no changes to identification requirements at the following federal facilities:

  • Dennis Chavez Federal Building, 500 Gold SW, Albuquerque - U.S. Fish and Wildlife, Bankruptcy Court, Veterans Administration and the U.S. Postal Service
  • The Federal Building and Courthouse 421 Gold SW, Albuquerque - U.S. Postal Service
  • Pete V. Domenici Federal Courthouse, 333 Lomas NW, Albuquerque
  • Montoya Federal Building, 120 S. Federal Place, Santa Fe - U.S. Postal Service
  • Santiago Courthouse, 106 S. Federal Place, Santa Fe
  • Gallup Federal Building, 301 W. Hill Ave., Gallup - Department of the Interior
  • Las Cruces Courthouse, 100 N. Church Street, Las Cruces
  • Harold Runnels Federal Building, 200 E. Griggs Street, Las Cruces - U.S. Courthouse
  • Joe Skeen Federal Building, 500 N. Richardson Ave., Roswell - Probation and Parole, Social Security, IRS and the Department of Agriculture
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