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Driver’s license bill on its way to governor

SANTA FE — Lawmakers are sending to Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham a proposal to streamline the approval process for applicants who want the less stringent option offered under New Mexico’s two-tiered driver’s license system.

The legislation, Senate Bill 278, picked up bipartisan support in both chambers.

The House signed off on the proposal with a 50-16 vote late Wednesday, and the Senate voted 31-9 in favor of the bill last month.

Supporters say the proposal would reduce confusion and make other improvements to the licensing system for drivers. New Mexico offers one license compliant with the U.S. Real ID Act and a second option not intended for federal purposes.

The second option, now called a driving authorization card, would be renamed the “standard driver’s license” under the bill, but there would be labeling to make clear it isn’t intended for federal purposes.

Jointly sponsoring the measure are Democratic Sens. Gerald Ortiz y Pino and Daniel Ivey-Soto, both of Albuquerque.

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