DHS agrees to delay REAL ID enforcement if New Mexico ensures compliance this year


ALBUQUERQUE (KRQE) — The Department of Homeland Security’s Deputy Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas pledged to congressional leaders that DHS would delay enforcement of the READ ID Act if New Mexico takes steps before Jan. 10 to prove the governor and legislators are committed to complying with the law this year.

In a news release Wednesday, U.S. Senators Tom Udall and Martin Heinrich and Representatives Ben Ray Luján and Michelle Lujan Grisham announced that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has informed them that the state of New Mexico can still get an extension of the deadline for REAL ID enforcement if Gov. Susana Martinez and the leadership of the N.M. House and Senate can verify to DHS that they agree on legislation that ensures REAL ID compliance.

As of Jan. 10, 2016, New Mexico drivers’ licenses will no longer be considered valid forms of identification to enter federal facilities because New Mexico state’s drivers’ licenses do not comply with the the REAL ID Act of 2005.

DHS clearly stated that residents traveling by air from any state, including New Mexico, will still be allowed to use a driver’s license, or any of the various other forms of identification accepted by the Transportation Security Administration. The agency also pledged to provide clear guidance about when REAL ID enforcement will be implemented for boarding commercial aircraft, with a minimum of 120 days notice before enforcement begins.

Mayorkas also agreed to contact the Department of Defense (DoD) immediately to ensure that DoD provides the proper guidance to the state’s military installations about what form of identification will be needed for entry once REAL ID goes into effect.

The DHS has granted extensions to other states — including New Hampshire — based on anticipated actions in upcoming legislative sessions.

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