NMPolitics.net has a policy requiring that we correct inaccuracies. In accordance with that policy, here’s a detailed correction to the article, “What you need to know about NM’s newest fight over driver’s licenses.”
This article originally reported that if state political leaders didn’t agree to a compromise by Sunday, New Mexico licenses would not get people into nuclear power plants, military bases, and other federal facilities that require identification. That’s apparently not accurate. What’s accurate is that New Mexico licenses may or may not get people into federal facilities if the state’s licenses are deemed not complaint with REAL ID.
There’s been a lot of confusion on this point. News organizations have reported conflicting information. As of Thursday, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security still states on its website that “Residents from a noncompliant state without extensions will need to show an alternative form of ID when visiting federal facilities, nuclear power plants and military bases.”
But that’s not accurate — and, in a state with several military installations and national laboratories, this point matters. Some facilities — including military bases — are setting their own rules. At least some plan to continue accepting New Mexico driver’s licenses as valid forms of ID regardless of REAL ID compliance, at least for now.
For example, White Sands Missile Range plans continue to accept New Mexico licenses to get visitors on base, even if they’re deemed out of compliance with the REAL ID Act, because the facility also conducts background checks on all visitors, Erin Dorrance, WSMR spokeswoman, said Thursday. Dorrance cautioned that the decision to accept New Mexico licenses, which comes from the U.S. Army, could change.
There doesn’t appear to be a comprehensive list indicating which federal facilities plan to continue to accept New Mexico licenses if they’re not REAL ID compliant and which plan to require alternate forms of ID, such as passports.
This article has been updated to include accurate information.