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Wait for it: More clarification on Real ID

THOSE NAMES HAVE TO MATCH FOR REAL ID: J. Brent Ricks says in an email that “I am told that my original Social Security card, from 1963, with J. Brent Ricks as my name – (and) my SSA 1099 in the name of J.B. Ricks – is not equal to my passport, which is John Brent Ricks, and thus I need to change one or the other to get this Real ID.

“This is way too much bureaucracy; I’m not trying to defraud anyone; I would just like to renew my driver’s license. Is that possible, DMV?”

Only if your name is the same on all your documents. And it’s this way in every state in the union, courtesy of Congress and Homeland Security.

Benjamin Cloutier, spokesman for the state taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, says “First and second name must match on identity and identity number documents.”

HOSPITAL BIRTH CERTIFICATES DON’T WORK: John Engelhardt emails that “I tried to get my drivers’ license today and I had all my paperwork with me. They refused my birth certificate even though it is stamped and embossed to be official. The back even states ‘TO PROVE CITIZENSHIP.’ ”

John included a copy of his birth certificate, and the issue is it came from the hospital, not the county or state, he was born in.

Cloutier says “the embossed hospital record is not an official record, and birth must be registered by a government agency for Real ID purposes.”

NEITHER DO OLD W-2S: Another reader asks “do the W2s used for ID have to be current? I’m retired so only have some from previous years.”

Yes, they must be current, but you have options.

Again, for Real ID you need one proof of identity number (Social Security card, W-2 or 1099), one proof of identity (original or certified copy of your government birth certificate or valid passport) and two proofs of residency (utility, insurance, property tax or credit card bills or bank statements with name and physical address). A full list of accepted documents is at

DIPPING INTO N.M. 165: Placitas resident J.D. Reynolds emails “N.M. 165 east of Interstate 25 has a major dip that the New Mexico Department of Transportation needs to address.”

JD says “the issue is that DOT installed an inclinometer well over two years ago to determine the rate in which the dip increases in size, or if it does at all. I can assure the DOT that the dip is getting worse and vehicles are regularly crossing the solid yellow line to avoid the dip. Obviously, this increases the chance of a head-on collision.”

Kimberly Gallegos, NMDOT’s District 3 public information officer, says that stretch of N.M. 165 “is currently being evaluated by the NMDOT. An inclinometer is being used to measure the extent of the roadway movement. NMDOT has patched this section of roadway as a temporary solution. Upon evaluation of inclinometer data, the NMDOT will provide an appropriate permanent solution based on the information collected. During the interim, our maintenance patrol staff will continue to monitor the area and provide repairs as needed.”

MORE ON THE ZIPPER MERGE: After last week’s column revisited the benefits of the zipper merge – NMDOT recommends drivers use all lanes up to the actual closure to keep traffic moving, then take turns at the closure like the teeth of a zipper – readers had to weigh in.

On one side there’s Ed P., who says has been driving 30 years. He emails “I really wish that the NMDOT would at least try closing lanes down starting at about 1,500 feet and again at 1,000 feet and then at 500 feet.

“I have seen semi-drivers block the left lanes to prevent other drivers from zipping all the way to the front of the line of traffic just to be able to cut in front of the people that are already in line. (Closing lanes earlier) would allow the traffic to move smoothly through the construction site and not have a bottleneck at the site. This would allow all traffic to use all the open lanes after going through the construction site.

“I also think that this would prevent all the finger waving and fist shaking and a few four-letter phrases.”

On the flip side, Charles Caldwell says in an email “I just returned from Minnesota, and DOT uses signs saying ‘Use Both Lanes Take Turns At Merge.’ It would be great if we had those here!”

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858;; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103.