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Proof of legal status dictates length of DAC license

MY DAC ONLY LASTS TWO YEARS? Dave Schaack emails, “I recently renewed my driver’s license. Since I don’t want a ‘Real ID,’ I opted for a driver’s authorization card (DAC). I was surprised when they would renew it for only two years. When I questioned that, I was told that ‘in 2020, everyone has to get a Real ID, so we’re only renewing these until then.’

“I searched the internet for information on this, and could find nothing. The law, as far as I can find, says nothing about discontinuation of DACs or everyone having to get a Real ID, and I could find no announcement of any sort regarding this policy. Could you find out what is going on here?”

Yes.

Kevin Kelley, who handles information for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, explains that it all comes down to whether you present proof of legal status (usually a valid passport or original birth certificate) in the United States.

And he cites House Bill 99, now codified in state statute as 66-5-21:

F. A driving authorization card issued to an applicant who provides proof of lawful status shall expire on the earliest of:

(1) thirty days after the applicant’s twenty-first birthday, if issued prior to the applicant’s twenty-first birthday;

(2) thirty days after the applicant’s seventy-ninth birthday; or

(3) thirty days after the applicant’s birthday in the fourth year after the effective date of the license.

G. A driving authorization card issued to an applicant who does not provide proof of lawful status shall expire on the earliest of:

(1) thirty days after the applicant’s twenty-first birthday, if issued prior to the applicant’s twenty-first birthday;

(2) thirty days after the applicant’s seventy-ninth birthday; or

(3) two years after the effective date of the driving authorization card.

H. A driving authorization card that is valid for two years issued pursuant to Subsection G of this section shall, upon renewal and for subsequent renewals, be valid for four years.

That all means, Kelley says, that “without a legal-presence document a DAC driver’s license is valid for two years upon initial issuance and four years upon subsequent renewal cycles. If a legal presence document is provided upon initial issuance you can receive a four-year credential on first-time issuance.”

CRACKING UP ON MCMAHON, BLACK ARROYO: A reader emails, “There are cracks on McMahon west of Unser that are getting bigger and deeper and more jolting – but the city doesn’t seem to care. I’ve contacted my City Council person – (Dan) Lewis and now (Cynthia) Borrego – but can’t get an answer. The same problem exists on Black Arroyo. Had to get rid of my wife’s car, (a Toyota) Avalon, because those ruts would cause problems to the computer and knock out the alignment, causing me to spend a lot of time and money at the Toyota dealer. Any help would be appreciated. Thank you.”

Thank the city. Chandler says it “is not currently scheduled to crack seal or overlay this section of McMahon. DMD will go out and evaluate the condition of the road and prioritize it for maintenance based on its condition.

“Portions of Black Arroyo were crack sealed last spring. We will evaluate that road again when we look at McMahon.”

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

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