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License expiration now based on date of issue

YOU NO LONGER RENEW BY YOUR BIRTHDAY: For as long as most of us can remember, your New Mexico driver’s license has expired a month after your birthday – whether it’s a one-, four- or eight-year license. No more.

Jim Pittman called to report the change after a trip to a Motor Vehicle Division office; he noticed the new expiration date was 364 days from the day he renewed, not 30 days after his birthday.

Charlie Moore, who handles info for MVD’s parent agency, Taxation and Revenue, says, “Senate Bill 278 this year tied the four-year and one-year license expirations to the licenses’ issuance date. Eight-year-licenses were already tied to the issuance date.” Neither the bill or its fiscal impact report explains the change.

“But, keep in mind, this applies going forward from the implementation. In other words, if you renewed your license last year, the expiration date stated on that license is your expiration date. The next time you get a license, it will be under the new rules.”

As for how we are to remember the new expiration dates? Moore says “the expiration date is printed on your license, so all you have to do is look at that to know when it expires.”

CAN WE GET DELINEATORS FOR THE GIRARD CYCLISTS? Reina Owen DeMartino says in an email, “The southbound lane of Girard at Lomas has a bike lane, which is marked but not separated by dividers as is the northbound lane of Girard. This results in cars turning west on Lomas to cut into the bike lane, often without checking to see if a bike is present.

“Can the plastic barriers be put up to protect the bikes and bike lane?”

Johnny Chandler, public information coordinator for the city’s Department of Municipal Development, says, “The bike lanes on Girard near Lomas are what we call ‘buffered’ bike lanes – meaning there is a buffer between traffic and the bicycle lane. We have four delineators up on northbound Girard approaching Lomas. We are unable to install flex post on southbound Girard approaching Lomas because there is a drive pad with access to a local church. If we were to place flex posts at this location we would be restricting access to the church.”

STUCK ON SAN ANTONIO SIGN: David Edgington reports that “ever since it was built, the northbound Interstate 25-to-San Antonio exit sign shows two lanes as exit only, when, in fact, one of them is exit or go straight ahead. I wish someone would correct that.”

Kimberly Gallegos of the New Mexico Department of Transportation’s District 3 Office in Albuquerque, who drives this stretch to NMDOT daily, says, “There are pavement markings on the roadway showing two turn lanes as well as a turn/thru lane on the outside lane. There is also signage showing this same diagram on the barrier wall.”

FAIR WARNING OF CATTLE GUARDS: Leslie Gibson asks via email, “Why there are signs saying ‘cattle guard ahead’ just before a cattle guard? These signs are on 69 and 70 in the Jemez Mountains.”

Gallegos explains, “The ‘cattle guard ahead’ signs are placed as an advanced warning feature to inform drivers of the cattle guard crossing.”

“We place signs such as these for people who may not frequent the area.”

FREE HOLIDAY PARKING: As the holiday shopping season turns frenetic, know that the city of Albuquerque is trying to make it a little less so while encouraging buying local.

The Albuquerque DMD Parking Division is offering a free two hours of parking at meters along Central Avenue this coming Saturday through Tuesday, Dec. 21-24, according to a news release from Chandler.

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

 

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