Federal law prompts spike in New Mexico name change requests


SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) – Since New Mexico began complying with tougher federal identification requirements, hundreds of state residents have legally changed their names or amended their birth certificates to prove their identities.

New Mexico started issuing new licenses last year that meet federal REAL ID Act requirements. The state also offers driving authorization cards to residents who don’t have the identity documents needed for a new license, including immigrants in the country illegally.

Residents have been petitioning to get their name changed because the spelling of their name or the name they go by is not consistent on all documents required to obtain a license.

The Santa Fe New Mexican reports about 1,400 state residents filed name-change requests between Jan. 1 and April 11. That compares to about 1,700 people for all of 2016.

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