New Mexico Residents Need a NM REAL ID To Board a Plane Starting May 3, 2023 - Without a Passport

Mark Hake

New Mexico's Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) says that starting May 3, 2023, NM residents will need to have a REAL ID driver's license or ID credential to board a plane in the U.S.

Their website shows that the deadline is in 5 months and 29 days. The REAL ID driver's license sample from New Mexico looks like this:

It shows that there is a gold circle white star in the upper right-hand corner. That signifies that the D.L. is REAL ID-compliant.

Effective May 3, 2023, you must present a REAL ID-compliant DL/ID when boarding a plane or entering a federal building, military base or nuclear plant facility, or another acceptable form of identification for official federal purposes.

  • If a DL/ID Expires Before May 3, 2023 — It's okay to renew it upon expiration
  • If a DL/ID Expires After May 3, 2023 — Renew any time before May 3, 2023; MVD encourages you to renew sooner than later

You must come into an MVD office for your next license renewal. You can see MVD Office Maps & Locations.

What Documents Are Needed for a REAL ID in New Mexico

To obtain a REAL ID DL/ID, provide your local MVD office with proof of the following:

  • Lawful Identity and Age
  • Identification Number
  • New Mexico Residency

Here are the documents that are most commonly used to show proof of the three items above:

  • U.S. Passport or Card
  • Foreign Passport + specified Department of Homeland Security Issued Forms
  • U.S. Birth Certificate
  • Affidavit of Birth (issued by any Tribal Nation's Vital Records)
  • Certificate of Birth Abroad
  • Certain Department of Homeland Security Issued Forms
  • Certain U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services Issued Documents
  • Social Security Number (SSN) Card
  • Income Tax Forms:
    • W-2
    • 1099 (SSA or Non-SSA)
  • Pay Stub (with Current Legal Name and full SSN)
  • Foreign Passport - with Visa & I-94
Documents Dated within 60 Days:
  • Utility bill, i.e. water, electricity, gas, phone but not cell phone bills
  • Bank or Credit Card Statement
  • Pay Stub
  • Education Institution Document - Transcript, Report Card, or Enrollment

New Mexico has a separate page that shows the full list of documents you can bring.

Don't Procrastinate - Don't Wait Until May 3, 2023 Approaches

Given that after the start of the year people will likely start focusing on this requirement, there could be long lines at the MVD. That is especially the case when people start booking their spring vacation and start to realize they will need to get a REAL ID driver's license if they don't already have a gold star license.

That makes now a good time to book an appointment with the MVD and bring the documents necessary to upgrade to a REAL ID. Keep in mind that you are not required to do this. But without it, after May 3, 2023, you will need to carry around a passport or passport card just to get on a plane.


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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at,,, and as well as TalkMarkets.

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Mark Hake is a financial analyst, investor, and Chartered Financial Analyst (CFA). He writes about US and foreign stocks as well as cryptos, hedge funds, and private equity. He previously ran his own hedge fund, investment research firm, and acted as CFO for a fintech startup. He focuses on finding value, arbitrage, and hidden asset opportunities.

Phoenix, AZ

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