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License expired? You’ve got a year to get a Real ID

SOME REAL FRESH INFO ON REAL ID: Good news for drivers with recently expired licenses who have yet to get their Real ID.

You have a year to renew.


An expired driver’s license, it turns out, only becomes an issue that requires fingerprinting when you are renewing without proof of lawful presence. Those are drivers who do not have/choose not to provide an original birth certificate or valid passport.

Charlie Moore, public information officer for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, says: “The Real ID-compliant credentials don’t ever require fingerprinting” and MVD “will accept as proof of identity a DL/ID from N.M. or any other jurisdiction so long as it has been expired for one year or less.”

(Remember, for a Real ID, which allows you to get on a commercial flight after October 2020, it’s original birth certificate or valid passport PLUS Social Security card or 1099 or W2 with full SS number PLUS two utility or bank or credit card statements with full name and street address. A full list is at Your name must match on all documents, but middle names vs. middle initials are no longer a sticking point. If you have changed your name between documents, you have to have the official government linking paperwork that shows how/why – marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption paperwork, court order.)

Moore adds, “Applications for a DAC (Driver Authorization Card) or non-Real ID compliant ID require fingerprinting if the applicant does not have a valid DL/ID – (it’s) expired, suspended or revoked – or cannot prove lawful presence. Once we roll out the new licenses under Senate Bill 278, the fingerprinting goes away altogether.”

SB 278, passed by the Legislature and signed into law this year, also includes a “name change – from DAC to Standard License/ID.”

MVD is “still working on associated regulations,” so stay tuned.

ROUNDABOUT WRAPS UP NEXT MONTH: Patti Watson of CWA Strategic Communications says we are in Phase 3 of the five-phase roundabout construction at Rio Grande and Candelaria.

Through the end of the month, according to a news release:

1) Traffic on Rio Grande will continue to be shifted to the west from north of Candelaria to south of Camino De Los Artesanos, with one lane of traffic open in each direction.

2) Traffic on Candelaria will continue to be shifted to the north from east of the Rio Grande/Candelaria intersection to west of Camino Cepillo, with one lane of traffic open in each direction (east and west).

There will continue to be access to all residences on the east side of Rio Grande and the south side of Candelaria, as well as for pedestrians and bicyclists.

Watson says that after Phase 3 is complete, crews will move on to Phases 4A, 4B and 5. “Construction on the roundabout is on track to be completed in September 2019.

PNM HAS HALF THE LED STREETLIGHTS IN: That, per a news release Friday from the electric company.

PNM owns 11,182 streetlights around town (the city, by comparison, is responsible for 21,000) and broke the conversion to LED project into nine phases.

And “as of Thursday, Aug. 8, over 6,000 of the 11,000-plus PNM-owned streetlights in Albuquerque have been converted to LED. Bixby Electric, the contractor hired to do the conversion, has been averaging 1,600 streetlight conversions per month since the project began on April 15,” the news release says.

Crews are currently in northwest areas of Albuquerque and will then move to the final phases located in the Northeast Heights. If you have any questions on the project, or see a light out, PNM says call 888-DIAL-PNM. You can also log on to – be ready to provide detailed location information.

Editorial page editor D’Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858;; or 7777 Jefferson NE, Albuquerque, N.M., 87109.