What you need to know now that REAL ID is for real

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HB99 was passed through the legislature this year and is a big win for New Mexicans. Now, it’s officially become law.

Despite five years of extreme rhetoric from Governor Martinez and Republicans in the Roundhouse, the compromise bill HB99 passed the House and Senate during this year’s 30-day session. Today, Gov. Martinez signed it into law.

Groups like Somos un Pueblo Unido continued to keep pressure on lawmakers over the years by pointing out the unsafe and discriminatory nature of limiting everyone to REAL ID standard licenses. In the end, groups like Somos and the immigrant communities they represent throughout New Mexico were victorious while Gov. Martinez was forced to compromise away long-held (and discriminatory) policy points she had held on to for years.

HB99 will bring drivers in New Mexico into compliance with the federal REAL ID program by allowing citizens of the state to submit the various forms of identification to receive a REAL ID compliant driver’s license.

However, anyone may choose to keep or apply for a basic license, now called a “driver’s authorization card.” And this was the big win for everyone. Not everybody needs a fancy REAL ID, in fact most people don’t.

Here’s the run down on the new law (hat tip to Somos un Pueblo Unido for the graphic):

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With REAL ID finally a done deal, hopefully lawmakers and the governor can start working on some other “real” issues. Like REAL jobs for working families in New Mexico that pay REAL wages. Or maybe REAL educational reforms to help students and teachers alike.

Hopefully these issues don’t take another five years to accomplish…