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What it takes for the new licenses, & a fiesta cleanup

WHAT THOSE NEW STANDARD LICENSES REQUIRE: You might have heard that New Mexico has updated its non-Real ID driver’s license and ID card requirements to make things easier.

So what does that mean when it comes to a trip to the MVD?

For a Real ID, good for federal identification purposes including boarding a commercial plane come October 2020, the rules are the same: one proof of Social Security number (usually your SS card, a 1099 or W-2), one proof of identity (usually your original or a certified copy of your birth certificate or your valid passport), and two proofs of residency (usually bills or statements with your physical address and name that matches those other documents).

For a Standard Driver’s License/ID (formerly known as a Driver Authorization Card or DAC) you need one document that proves your identity and age (the easiest is a driver’s license that is not expired more than a year).

If you don’t have that, the state will accept any of 33 other documents listed at You just need one as long as it has your name and birth date, otherwise you need to present two.

Charlie Moore, public information officer for the state Taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, says other updates include:

• Social Security numbers are not required.

• Fingerprints are not required. Under the old statute, fingerprints were required of DAC applicants who didn’t provide proof of lawful status and who didn’t already have a valid N.M. license or ID.

• Standard licenses can be obtained for either four or eight years – unless the applicant is going to turn 79 during the last four years, or 21 years at any point in the licensing period.

The DACs were good for no more than four years.

• The Standard License must be accepted by state and local government agencies and businesses that serve the public on the same terms as a Real ID license.

YOU CALL THIS A CLEANUP? After last week’s column on city and state crews ramping up maintenance patrols in advance of the Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta that runs through next weekend, Steven Hochmann was a little incredulous.

He emails, “I work at Presbyterian Healthcare Services Cooper Center, right at the north end of San Mateo and overlooking the Balloon Fiesta Park, and my response … would have to be, “Um, not so much!”

He included several photos of cracked, uneven, bumpy pavement and areas that flood every time it rains because there’s no storm drain, and says the area looks much the same as when he started working in the area in 2015.

He wraps up with: “You would think, given how much money the Balloon Fiesta brings into the local economy and tax coffers – and how many people work in this area in recent years – that an equitable amount of road-construction/maintenance attention/dollars would be put into this area!”

Johnny Chandler, public information coordinator for Albuquerque’s Department of Municipal Development, explains, “This part of Balloon Fiesta Parkway is growing as this part of the city continues to develop. Developers and the city work together on roadway infrastructure when new growth comes to an area. Some of the infrastructure is completed by the city and some is completed by the developer. It is very common for the roadway infrastructure such as curbs, gutters, sidewalks and storm drains to be done by the builders. This is the case on this section of Balloon Fiesta Parkway as well as the intersection of San Mateo and Balloon Fiesta Parkway.”

OVERPASSES NEED A TOUCH-UP: And while we’re on sprucing up the area for Balloon Fiesta visitors, Phil K. called to ask why no one at the New Mexico Department of Transportation has bothered to touch up the aging paint on the Paseo del Norte overpasses at Second and at Coors.

He says they have looked shabby for years, and while residents might be used to it, visitors sure aren’t and he would “buy the paint” to get it done.

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.

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