New Mexico Lawmakers are forced to face the Driver’s Licence REAL ID issue. Finally!
Published: Journal staff and wire reports Wednesday, January 20th, 2016
SANTA FE — The U.S. Department of Defense says it will no longer accept New Mexico driver’s licenses at its installations nationwide.
Defense Department officials announced Wednesday that driver’s licenses from New Mexico — along with those from Minnesota, Illinois, Missouri and Washington state — can’t be used as proof of identity to enter its bases.
The move comes after the U.S. Department of Homeland Security declined to give New Mexico an extension on complying with tougher rules under the federal REAL ID Act. Those rules require proof of legal U.S. residency in order for state driver’s licenses and IDs to be valid for some federal purposes.
Some U.S. Air Force bases previously had said New Mexico licenses still would be accepted, but this new announcement makes it clear all U.S. military bases must stop accepting that form of identification.
Sandia Labs, a Department of Energy installation, as well as DOD sites White Sands Missile Range and Fort Bliss also said this month it would stop accepting New Mexico IDs.
New Mexico lawmakers are set to begin debate Thursday on a REAL ID fix.