The Eastern New Mexico News - Serving Clovis, Portales and the Surrounding Communities

License regulations revised


December 12, 2018

SANTA FE — A more fair shot at an ID: that’s one takeaway from a class action lawsuit settled in August as the state’s Taxation and Revenue Department (TRD) follows through on an agreed-upon public information campaign.

On Friday TRD “announced revised regulations that make it easier for all New Mexicans to access New Mexico’s non-REAL ID license, the Driving Authorization Card (DAC), and non-federally compliant ID card,” according to a news release from one of the plaintiff groups in the civil suit filed early this year in Santa Fe’s First Judicial District Court.

The second-tier credentials allow a person to work, rent a hotel room or open a bank account, but are not considered a federally compliant ID card.

Recent changes to the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) ensuing from the suit “are an important step forward to ensuing citizens and non-citizens alike have a more efficient process to obtaining a non-REAL ID driver’s license as legislators originally intended,” said the release from human rights organization “Somos Un Pueblo Unido.”

Somos was among several plaintiffs, including the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness and the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty, that challenged regulations on the issuance of second-tier driver’s licenses or ID cards in a suit against MVD and TRD.

This summer, the parties in that suit reached an “agreed-upon road map” for the case’s resolution, according to court records. Among those agreements are that MVD would adopt regulations requiring it to issue DACs and “Identification Card(s) not intended for federal purposes” to those applicants that provide proof of New Mexico residency, identity and age, records show. The suit filed in January alleged applicants were illegally asked to provide Social Security numbers and other records for those second-tier credentials, and that they were not adequately offered due process when denied.

The agreement from the suit also stipulates that MVD contact New Mexicans previously denied along with information on how to appeal that decision.

The agreement also mandates a public information campaign regarding those changes, which is “one of the final steps” in the agreement from this summer.


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