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If you’ll need a Real ID, clock is ticking toward Oct. 1, 2020

NFORCEMENT LESS THAN A YEAR AWAY: That’s right, as a guest column in the Sunday Journal advised, the Real ID Act of 2005 goes into effect Oct. 1, 2020.

And while much can change between now and then, the current conventional wisdom is you will need a Real ID after that day for federal purposes, including boarding a commercial flight.

Of course, if all you want to do is drive and be able to show your ID at the bank, you don’t need a Real ID; instead, you can get a standard license that requires fewer documents.

And if you have a passport, you can use that to fly. The Transportation Security Administration has a list of other acceptable ID, including tribal photo, permanent resident, border crossing and Department of Defense IDs. A full list is at

WHAT YOU NEED: Here’s a quick rundown of what you need for a Real ID and for a standard license. These are the most common documents; a full list and more information is at

Real ID: One proof of identification number (Social Security card, W-2, 1099); one proof of identity (original or certified copy of birth certificate or valid passport); two proofs of residency (current bank or credit card statements, utility bills except for cellphone, rental agreement, all with name and physical address).

Standard License (formerly the Driver Authorization Card): One proof of identity and age (your current driver’s license) and two proofs of residency (see above).

An important note: Your name must be the same on all documents. Your middle name can be an initial on one and spelled out on another, but there can be no discrepancies. If your name on the documents you are using does not match because it changed through marriage, divorce or adoption, you must take the linking document that shows the change (marriage license, divorce decree, etc.) If your name is in one language on some documents and another on others, you need to substitute a document that matches if possible (use your passport instead of your birth certificate, for example) or get your document updated (an amended birth certificate, 1099 or utility bill, etc.). If your bills or statements are in your spouse’s name, you can take your marriage license and those will be accepted as proof of residency.

MORE THAN A MILLION DOWN: Charlie Moore, public information officer for the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department, which oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, got with MVD Director Alicia Ortiz and says since going live with Real ID in November 2016, MVD has issued 1,188,483 credentials:

• 1,108,209 Real IDs – 177,130 first-time New Mexico credentials and 931,079 renewals from the old licenses/IDs.

• 80,274 standard licenses/IDs – 9,799 first-time New Mexico credentials and 70,475 renewals from the old licenses/IDs.

So far, Ortiz says, that works out to 93.2% with a Real ID and 6.8% with a standard license/ID.

MORE THAN 600K TO GO: “Th ere remain approximately 682,242 credentials not yet converted to Real ID or Standard,” Ortiz says. “Of those:

• 340,945 can simply be renewed at time of expiration, as they will expire prior to the Real ID implementation date of Oct. 1, 2020.

• 341,297 will expire after the Real ID implementation date of Oct. 1, 2020. These are the MVD customers who will need to come to renew their DL/IDs early if they want it to be valid for federal purposes after Oct. 1, 2020.”

But as stated above, if you don’t plan to fly or you have another form of federal ID, you don’t need to convert to a Real ID. “Those 341,297 driver’s license/IDs will remain valid as driver’s licenses and identification cards after Oct. 1, 2020, just not for federal purposes,” Ortiz says.

AVOID THE SEPTEMBER RUSH: As for those with credentials that expire after Oct. 1, 2020, who want a Real ID and need to renew early, Moore says,”W e’d just like to emphasize that people don’t need to wait for their current non-Real ID license to expire to come in and apply for a Real ID. We do expect there will be a crunch as we get closer to the federal deadline.”

“Again, the key is for customers to be informed and prepared prior to coming to MVD.”

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, New Mexico 87109.


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