Let's Talk Driver's Licenses

Oct 8, 2019

  Let's Talk New Mexico 10/3 8a: The state tax and revenue department recently announced a new Standard Driver's License to replace the Driver's Authorization Card for folks who can't or don't want to provide all the documents required for a Real ID compliant license. How is it different from a Real ID or from an authorization card? What documentation do you need? How should you decide which form of identification is right for you? Email your questions to letstalk@kunm.org, tweet with #LetsTalkNM, or call in live during the show.

Courtesy of the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division

Driver’s licenses have been a political football in New Mexico going on a decade now. And for the last couple of years, the state was instead issuing driver authorization cards to people in the country without legal permission—or to other folks who didn’t want a federally compliant Real ID. Tuesday, Oct. 1, marked a rollback of that policy, and anyone who isn’t seeking a Real ID can once again get a standard state driver’s license.

Cpl Rose A. Muth / U.S. Marine Corps/public domain

Eligible New Mexicans would be automatically registered to vote at Department of Motor Vehicles offices under a bill that lawmakers advanced Monday. 

Holloman Air Force Base via CC

New Mexico’s struggled for years with how to handle Real ID and created a two-tiered system where people have an option for an alternative license or identification card. A legal settlement announced on Tuesday, Aug. 21, will force the Motor Vehicle Division to accept more types of documentation for people who opt out of Real ID.