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
As of May 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. 
Use this helpful guide to steer you through everything you need to know about getting a REAL ID-compliant New Mexico driver’s license.

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, Congress passed the
REAL ID Act
.
The act put into place new regulations for documents related to identification, including driver’s licenses. In May 2023, the act went into effect. 

Who needs a REAL ID?

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—domestic or international 
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. But if you plan to use your
New Mexico
license to get beyond TSA and onto domestic flights, you’ll need to make the switch to a REAL ID-compliant license. 
Need to know: 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
TSA

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 MVD 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.
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It depends. Visit the website of the
Department of Homeland Security
to determine if you are required to get a REAL ID. One thing is for sure, if you want to get on domestic flights using your driver’s license after the 3rd of May in 2023, you must have a license that is REAL ID-compliant.
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