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MVD clarifies Real ID requirements for active duty military

REAL ID FOR OUR REAL HEROES: Bob Fass says via email “I need someone who can help me get through to the proper person at the Motor Vehicle Division who will answer my questions and help me resolve this problem with New Mexico military active duty personnel who are residents but not currently living in state. This concerns my son and daughter-in-law, who are currently stationed in Florida. They are coming home for Thanksgiving and would like to get their new driver licenses while they are here.”

Real ID licenses and IDs require two proofs of residency, usually bills with name and home address.

After sharing Bob’s concern with MVD, he has this follow-up: “Ms Alicia Ortiz, the acting director of DMV called me (Friday) afternoon and clarified the statute concerning military personnel who are stationed out of state. It is very simple: If their orders list a New Mexico address as their HOR – home of record – they are covered (and) this includes spouses and family. She (told me she) is going to take action to retrain her call center staff.”

AND A TAX BREAK, TOO: Meanwhile, lindalouww emails “I have a Department of Veteran’s Services Tax Exemption Certificate of Eligibility from New Mexico. I use my tax exemption for vehicle registration. Is there a limit on the number of exemptions per year? (I) was told at MVD there was a limit of four per year. Also, there seems to be confusion about what type of vehicles are eligible for exemption – i.e., motorcycles and RVs. No luck searching the MVD website. Please help.”

Ortiz to the rescue again, with an assist from Tax and Revenue spokesman Kevin Kelley:

“I’m sorry for the inaccurate information the reader got from someone at MVD that ‘there was a limit of four per year.’ Here is the statute on which the motor vehicle exemption is based:

“66-6-7 . Exemptions. (1983) A. Every person who, by the terms and provisions of Section 7-37-5 NMSA 1978, is entitled to a veteran exemption and who does not have sufficient real or personal property to claim the full exemption under that section may be eligible to pay motor vehicle registration fees at two-thirds the rates charged on vehicles which the veteran owns. The person claiming a reduced motor vehicle registration fee shall make an affidavit that in any claim of a veteran exemption thereafter during such year, he will set forth the amount of reductions so received which shall reduce the amount of benefits received from the real or personal property tax exemption to that extent. No person shall receive any reductions of registration fees in a greater sum during any one year than an amount equal to the property tax imposed on two thousand dollars ($2,000) of net taxable value of property in the school district in which he resides.”

Ortiz explains “the veteran exemption can be applied to vehicle registration and/or personal property tax. I don’t believe the system calculates the property tax imposed on $2,000 of net taxable value of property in any given school district, so we don’t restrict veterans to that amount; the exemption – 1/3 discount – is granted once and can be applied to any vehicle type.”

And so, for example, if the regular registration is $66, the exemption is 1/3 of $66 or $22, and so the adjusted registration fee is $44.

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.