If You Live in New Mexico You Have Until May 7, 2025, to Get a REAL ID Driver's License - In Order to Board Planes Then

Mark Hake

New Mexico residents need to get a REAL ID driver's license by May 7, 2025, says the NM Motor Vehicle Division. That is the deadline when the REAL ID Act of 2005 will go into effect.

You won't be able to board planes in the U.S. or enter federal buildings without a REAL ID driver's license. Without it, you will have to show a valid U.S. passport or military ID.

This is the deadline that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) put into effect on Dec. 5, 2022, when they extended the old deadline of May 3, 2023. Passed by Congress in 2005, the REAL ID ACT establishes minimum security standards for state-issued Driver’s Licenses (DL) and Identification (ID) cards that can be used for official federal purposes.

If you are not sure if you have a New Mexico REAL ID-compliant driver's license, here is a sample:

New Mexico REAL ID driver's license.Photo byNM MVD

It shows that there is a gold star in the upper right-hand corner - actually a gold circle with a white star in the middle of it.

This signifies that the holder has submitted documents to the MVD in a live interview in order to pass the REAL ID documentation requirement.

How To Get a New Mexico REAL ID License

Essentially you have to provide three types of documents proving the following:

  • Identity (i.e., a valid, unexpired passport or an original certified birth certificate),
  • Social Security Number (SSN card, or pay stub with the SSN on it), and
  • proof of residence in New Mexico (2 documents required, like a regular driver's license and a utility bill or a bank statement, lease, etc.).

Why Deadline Extension?

The DHS states need more time to get over delays from the Covid-19 pandemic. This was due to the "lingering" effect on the ability of people to go to DMV offices and get a REAL ID.

Critics have pointed out that this might not be the sole reason. The Biden Administration's policies on immigration might have also played into this extension. Strict rules with the REAL ID to prove U.S. citizenship may not be what the Biden Administration wants to go into effect, given their loose policy goals in this regard.

Nevertheless, unless the deadline gets extended again, New Mexico residents should make sure to get a REAL ID driver's license upgrade before it goes into effect. That way they won't have to carry a U.S. passport just to fly around in the U.S.


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Mark R. Hake, CFA, writes articles on national and local news, stocks, and market events at Kiplinger.com, Barchart.com, Medium.com, and Newsbreak.com 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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