Rep. Javier Martínez Stands Behind Effort to Fix Disastrous REAL ID Alternative
Santa Fe, N.M. – Today, Representative Javier Martínez (D-Albuquerque) stood behind lead organizations’ lawsuit calling for a fix to the disastrous non-REAL ID, known as a Driver’s Authorization Card, which was meant to be an alternative to the REAL ID license. The administration’s implementation of the alternative ID has made it extremely difficult for senior citizens, the homeless, Native Americans, immigrants, and rural New Mexicans to attain identification.
Rep. Javier Martínez highlighted the concerns his constituents have brought to his attention stating, “New Mexicans are frustrated and so are we. Numerous constituents have contacted me about the difficulties they’ve encountered getting a simple driver’s license—this needs to be fixed. The onerous documentation requirements have prevented countless New Mexicans from getting a basic necessity that allows them to drive, apply for a job, get car insurance, or even open a bank account. We’ve done our job by voting to ensure New Mexicans have a fair shot at a real alternative to the REAL ID, now it’s time for the Governor’s administration to do theirs and properly enforce the two-tiered driver’s license law.”
After an extended, six-year battle on driver’s licenses, the New Mexico Legislature voted to create a real alternative to the REAL ID Act for all New Mexicans, not just immigrants, who would have a hard time meeting the onerous requirements. The non-Real ID license, known as a Driver’s Authorization Card, and the non-Real ID identification cards were meant to be that alternative, but unfortunately, the implementation failed to honor the spirit of the bipartisan fix. As result, countless New Mexicans and vulnerable minorities are left without access to a driver’s license or an ID card.
Today, civil rights groups and homeless advocates filed a class action lawsuit against the New Mexico Taxation and Revenue Department and the Motor Vehicle Division on behalf of New Mexicans who were denied Diver’s Authorization Cards. The lawsuit charges that the state failed to fully and correctly implement the two-tiered license law passed by the New Mexico legislature.