Immigrant license applications could hit record

REAL ID

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) – The number of immigrants seeking driver’s licenses in New Mexico remains on pace to reach a four-year high amid a deadline to adopt a new law.

Data obtained by The Associated Press through a records request showed 3,886 licenses were issued to foreign nationals from January to October.

That’s just shy of the 4,026 licenses granted to foreign nationals for all of 2015.

Officials said they believe the spike came because immigrants in the country illegally wanted to get New Mexico driver’s licenses before the state adopts a new law before a Nov. 18 deadline.

Applicants aren’t required to submit information on immigration status, so officials do not know how many licenses went to such immigrants.

In March, Gov. Susana Martinez signed a law that allows immigrants living in the U.S. illegally to only obtain driver’s authorization cards.

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