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Will New Mexico Be Required Passport To Fly Domestically?

26 December 2012 | News

Will New Mexico Be Required Passport To Fly Domestically?

It may sound foreign for a resident of the US to be required to have a passport domestically, however, it may very well be the case in the state of New Mexico.  It is becoming a reality for many of their residents that in 2013 this could happen.

In 2005, The Real ID Act was created by Congress to modify US federal law regarding security, authentication, and issuance procedures for state driver’s licenses and ID cards.  The Secretary of Homeland Security defined the official purposes for driver’s licenses and state ID’s is to be used for entry into government buildings, nuclear plants, and also air flights.  Most states have complied with the Real ID Act, but some have not.  States that have not complied, were given extensions until the January 2013 deadline.  New Mexico is one of the rare states that does meet the minimum requirements of the Real ID Act.  The state does not require proof of citizenship to obtain a driver license there.

The reason it is such an issue for New Mexico is because the same driver’s license a person can receive in the state, is all an individual needs to pass through security at the Albuquerque Sunport Airport.  This is current procedure in New Mexico, but it appears it may change.  New Mexicans may in fact have to provide a valid passport, along with their driver’s license to fly reported KOB Eyewitness News, one of the news stations in the state.  To offer clarity to the issue, New Mexico Governor Susan Martinez told KOB that she is not aware of any other additional identification than a passport to get through airport security after the Real ID Act takes effect.

A Sunport airport spokesperson stated in the report, “Neither the Sunport nor local Transportation Security Administration officials have received any guidance from the Department of Homeland Security on how to deal with passengers who do not hold a Real ID compliant driver’s license after the implementation date. Additionally, there is some confusion regarding whether or not the January 15, 2013 deadline mandates that individuals are actually required to hold Real ID compliant licenses or if there is a later deadline for individuals. We are working with the state and local TSA to try and receive a definitive answer from DHS as to the impact this will have on our customers and how we can eliminate or minimize any travel disruptions.”

Many New Mexicans are seeking passports just in case to meet the January 15th deadline.  For expedited passport services, New Mexicans can use Washington Express Visas to assist them with any of their passport needs.  Washington Express Visas provides expedited passport services with same-day pick up and specially trained passport processing agents to deliver your passport applications for processing at the Washington, DC Passport Agency.  With over 30 years of experience, our professional passport specialists hand carry your passport documents to ensure that your documents get the expedited attention they need to meet all of your travel needs and deadlines.  Visit us at www.washingtonexpressvisas.com or call 1-877-675-5571 today!

Reference:  12.7.12, www.kob.com, Jill Galus, Clarity lacking over passport requirement for New Mexicans