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Wednesday, March 09, 2011

Amended Language for HB 78, Immigrant Driver's Licenses

Click for the text of the amended language (pdf) to HB 78 on driver's licenses for foreign nationals that was introduced by Sen. Peter Wirth (D-Santa Fe) and passed last night by the Senate Judiciary Committee (SJC). 

The SJC approved the amended language on a mostly party-line vote of 6-5, with only one Democrat, Sen. Tim Eichenberg (D-Albuquerque), voting no. The bill itself then passed "without recommendation" by a margin of 9-2, and will head to the Senate floor for a debate and vote. The word is the Senate will take up the bill sometime between 7-8:00 PM tonight. You can watch or listen to Senate floor proceedings at the New Mexico Legislature website.

Document Requirements
Here's the new subsection on the tightened identification requirements for getting a driver's license without supplying a Social Security number:

"C. For a foreign national applicant who does not provide a social security number or proof of authorized presence in the United States, the secretary shall accept:

(1) an individual tax identification number, or a document that the secretary has authorized as an acceptable substitute for an individual tax identification number;

(2) one proof of identity, the requirement of which shall be satisfied by:

(a) a birth certificate, either an original or a certified copy, including a foreign birth certificate with a notarized English translation, if necessary; or

(b) a form of photo identification, the requirement of which shall be satisfied by a passport from the applicant's country of citizenship or an identification card, issued by the Mexican consulate in Albuquerque, New Mexico, or El Paso, Texas, or such other foreign consulate with which the department has established a reliable method of verifying the authenticity of the identification card;

(3) two independent forms of proof of the applicant's residency in New Mexico for the last three consecutive months, the requirement of which shall be satisfied by any two of the following:

(a) utility bills;

(b) bank statements;

(c) receipts for a mortgage or real estate contract;

(d) rental agreements;

(e) New Mexico school records; or

(f) other documents authorized by the secretary that show the applicant's address; and

(4) a signed and notarized declaration made by the applicant that all documents provided by the applicant with the application are genuine and accurate."

Duration and Fees
Licenses issued to foreign nationals with Social Security numbers shall not be valid for more than two years. The fee will be $5.00 for the two-year license and $6.50 for duplicates.

Additional Penalties
The amended language provides for additional fourth-degree felony penalties for:

(5) knowingly provide a signed declaration that all documents provided by the applicant are genuine and accurate as required by Subsection A of Section 66-5-9 NMSA 1978 when any document provided by the applicant is not genuine or accurate;

(6) receive an instruction permit, driver's license or provisional license and then transfer the instruction permit, driver's license or provisional license to another person; or

(7) induce or solicit another person, or conspire with an applicant, to violate Paragraph (5) or (6) of this subsection.

Mandatory Cancellation and Reinstatement
This new section requires written notification to all holders of driver's licenses who didn't provide a Social Security number that their licenses will be cancelled if they fail to provide a Social Security number or submit a new application with the new, required identification documentation. The notification is required to be sent out 30 days prior to cancellation. The language then lays out the procedures and timelines that will be used to cancel the licenses and issue new ones, if the proper procedures are followed.

March 9, 2011 at 04:18 PM in Border Issues, Hispanic Issues, Immigration, NM Legislature 2011 | Permalink


KUNM just had a good forum on this subject. I was really impressed with Sen. Griego. He was not allowing the hyteria from the Republicans to prevail. He pointed out the human dimensions of the problem.

It sounds like the conference committee might come up with a way to adjust the final product so it can go to the governor, but she apparently has vowed to veto it.

That means that, after all the huge amount of effort that went into this for so many, the law will stand as is with no changes.

It was pointed out that the changes that have gotten into the bill could have been instituted administratively.

The Governor was most unwise in wasting so much political capital on tilting at windmills.

Diane Denish called in. She pointed out that this all has taken away from time on task that is very much more needed to figure out solutions to the long term and the short term of the economic picture.

Hearing her on the radio was a reminder of what could have been. If only the swing voters had been in a more rational mood. It is clearer than ever that the voters were simply acting on nothing but the impulse to hurt somebody.

Unfortunately, in politics, that somebody usually is us.

Posted by: Stuart Heady | Mar 10, 2011 9:36:16 AM

Stuart wrote

...the voters were simply acting on nothing but the impulse to hurt somebody.

Unfortunately, that also describes Oh Susana to a T.

Posted by: Proud Democrat | Mar 10, 2011 9:31:11 PM