New Mexico REAL ID: What You Need to Know

After May 3, 2023, your New Mexico driver’s license must be REAL ID-compliant if you want to use it to board domestic flights.
Written by John Pickhaver
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Mar 23, 2023
Beginning May 3, 2023, you’ll only be allowed to present your New Mexico driver’s license to board domestic flights if it’s compliant with the standards set by the 2005 REAL ID Act. 
A driver’s license not only makes it legal for you to drive, but if you’re like most people, it’s likely your main form of identification. But in 2023, if you want to continue using your driver’s license to board domestic flights, you’ll need to make the change to a REAL ID-compliant form of identification.
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What is REAL ID?

After the September 11 attacks, there were many changes to national security laws in the U.S. Not long after the release of the 9/11 Commission Report, the
was passed by Congress. The act put into place new regulations for documents related to identification, including driver’s licenses. In May of 2023, the act will finally go into effect. 

Who needs a REAL ID?

Beginning May 3rd, 2023, you will need a REAL ID if you want to:
  • Enter a variety of federal buildings
  • Enter a nuclear power plant
  • Board an airplane for a commercial flight whether it is domestic or international 
Now, if you aren’t employed by the government or don’t care to check out a nuclear power plant, you can ignore two of those three. However, if you plan to use your New Mexico driver’s license to get beyond TSA and onto domestic flights, you’ll need to make the switch to a REAL ID-compliant license by 2023. 
Understand that you will still be permitted to utilize additional types of identification to get on a flight, like a passport, even if you opt not to upgrade to a REAL ID-compliant license. To view the complete list, visit the website of the
Key Takeaway The REAL ID Act established new rules for what you can use as valid forms of ID, and it will finally be enforced in 2023. 
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How to get a New Mexico REAL ID

If you want to obtain  a REAL ID in New Mexico, refer to the bullets below: 
  • ​​Visit a New Mexico
    office for your next license renewal.
  • Use the New Mexico MVD
    document checklist
    to track down all the necessary documents you will need which includes ID and proof of residency
The price for a REAL-ID-complaint New Mexico license is the same as for a standard ID or license:
  • 4-year license: $18
  • 4-year non-driver ID: $10
  • 8-year license: $34
  • 8-year non-driver ID: $18
Pro Tip Licenses and IDs for residents over 79 years old expire every year and are free to renew.

How to save money on car insurance in New Mexico

A REAL ID-compliant New Mexico license may get you on domestic flights after May 2023, but your car can get you just about anywhere else provided you have good insurance.
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