ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — Now that the long-running legislative fight over New Mexico driver’s licenses is finally in the rearview mirror, some drivers would say it is time to talk about what is likely to change in a visit to the MVD in the not-so-distant future.
On March 8, Gov. Susana Martinez signed the law that puts the state into compliance with the federal Real ID Act of 2005, passed by Congress in the wake of the 9/11 terror attacks. It includes more stringent rules for issuing licenses that can be used for federal purposes such as boarding a commercial flight or entering a secure government facility.
Martinez signed HB 99 with much fanfare at the Albuquerque International Sunport, with Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla, who oversees the Motor Vehicle Division, as well as bill co-sponsor Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, at her side. It was years in the making, and a big deal in a state that has become a magnet for driver’s licence fraudsters – and a state that butters much of its economic bread via secure federal military and research installations.
Right about now, many readers are going, “Oh, blah, blah, blah – that’s all politics. What the heck does Real ID mean to me?”
Let’s let Padilla lay it out for you: