DL renewals; EV charging sites; updated paving for I-25 - Albuquerque Journal

DL renewals; EV charging sites; updated paving for I-25

The New Mexico Tourism Department has an online map of over 120 electric-vehicle charging stations across the state, complete with hours of availability and access codes. (Robert Browman/Albuquerque Journal)

WHERE ARE THE EV CHARGERS? If you have ever wondered that, the New Mexico Tourism department has your answer in a handy color map with more than 120 electric-vehicle charging stations complete with hours of availability, if they are open to everyone, and who to see for the access code, if applicable.

Sites are in and around Albuquerque, Farmington, Las Cruces, Santa Fe, Taos, on Interstate 25 between Albuquerque and Las Cruces, and at seven sites across southern New Mexico from Portales on the east to Rodeo on the west. And more are on the way: Tourism’s news release says “New Mexico has designated multiple Alternative Fuel Corridors along I-25, I-10, U.S. 70 and U.S. 285. These corridor designations identify near-term and long-term EV charging needs and locations at strategic locations along major national highways.”

You can check out the map at www.newmexico.org/plan/charging-stations/.

WHY DID THE DL RENEWAL DATE CHANGE?

Bill Cella emails “why did New Mexico stop giving drivers a month to renew their driver’s license?

“Before 2019, the expiration date was the day of your birthday in the following month regardless of the date you renewed the license. Beginning in 2019 the expiration date is one day ahead of your last renewal date. This ultimately reduces the driver’s license to less than a full year from your birth date for those of us who, because of age, must renew every year, especially if you renew a few days ahead of the expiration date. My last expiration date was on my birthday, so I renewed a few days ahead and now my expiration date is in the month before my birthday. This seems to be unjustified nickel-and-diming the public.”

We go straight to one of the state lawmakers who sponsored the change in 2019.

Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto, D-Albuquerque, says “the reason we changed to renewal date is because under the federal Real ID Act a driver’s license can be good for no more than eight years from the date it is issued. If we had stuck with birthdate, then most people renewing before their birthday would have received a seven-and-a-half-year license instead of an eight year license in order to stay compliant with federal law. This seemed like the path of lesser resistance and was recommended by MVD.”

FYI, the federal government delayed Real ID implementation until May 3, 2023 – though New Mexico’s MVD has been supplying them for years and gives drivers the option of a Real ID (needed to fly commercial or enter certain federal buildings) or a standard driver’s license. For more information, go to realid.mvd.newmexico.gov.

Meanwhile, driver’s license renewals over age 79 are free at state-run Motor Vehicle Division offices.

MORE I-25 REPAVING ON WAY: Mary Kennedy called to report a bad crack on the new paving on northbound Interstate 25 between Comanche and Jefferson.

Except that’s not new paving.

Kimberly Gallegos, spokeswoman of the New Mexico Department of Transportation District 3 Office, says “this portion has not been repaved on I-25 between Comanche and just north of Jefferson. Comanche to just north of Montgomery (to the canal) will be redone under the Montgomery/I-25 project slated for mid-2023. From the canal to just north of Jefferson is under consideration for a pavement preservation project within the next fiscal year.”

WHAT’S UP ON I-25 AT ALGODONES AND LA BAJADA? While we’re on I-25, Gary Cordova asks in his email what the purpose of the Algodones project is, and “when will La Bajada be resurfaced?”

Gallegos says the Algodones work “is a roadway stabilization project and will have daily lane closures from 6:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. through March.”

And Jim Murray, NMDOT’s public information officer for District 5, says “there are no plans at present to repave La Bajada.”

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, NM, 87109.

 

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