Today: Public Affairs Committee holds hearing on streamlining process for obtaining a standard driver’s license

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Today: Public Affairs Committee holds hearing on streamlining process for obtaining a standard driver’s license

SANTA FE, NM–On Friday, February 8th, the Senate Public Affairs Committee will hold the first hearing of a proposal that would help streamline the process of applying for and obtaining New Mexico’s standard driver’s license and identification card (or non-REAL ID driver’s license and identification card.)

In 2016, the New Mexico Legislature overwhelmingly voted to give New Mexicans a choice when it came to selecting a drivers’ license and an identification card. However, the previous administration did not implement the new law as the Legislature intended. 

A settlement agreement with Somos Un Pueblo Unido, the ACLU of New Mexico and others that resulted from a 2017 lawsuit brought many necessary changes to ensure that the 2016 law was followed. Yet there are still statutory changes needed to reduce unnecessary barriers for many New Mexicans, including those experiencing homelessness, the elderly, Native Americans and those living in rural communities.

SB 278, sponsored by Sen. Gerald Ortiz y Pino (D-Albuquerque) and Sen. Daniel Ivey-Soto (D-Albuquerque), would implement a series of changes aimed at removing some of those barriers by eliminating the fingerprinting requirement for first time applicants, extending non-REAL ID holders the ability to renew every four or eight years, ensuring the non-REAL ID license is accepted on par with the REAL ID within our state and changing the name of the DAC to “New Mexico Driver’s License,” among other proposed changes.

WHAT: Hearing on SB 278 in the Senate Public Affairs Committee

WHEN: Today, February 8th at 1:30 PM.

WHERE: Room 326 at the Roundhouse, 490 Old Santa Fe Trail, Santa Fe, N.M.