The state Senate Public Affairs Committee is scheduled at 2 p.m. today to hear a bill sponsored by Sen. Stuart Ingle, R-Portales, that would require more identity verification for driver’s license applicants.
SB 521 would require, as of July 1, a Social Security number from eligible applicants for certain driver’s licenses, allow licenses to be accepted by federal agencies and limit the duration of licenses for foreign nationals.
Under the bill, two separate and distinctly designed driver’s licenses would be created, one meeting the requirements to be accepted by federal agencies and one not intended for use by federal agencies.
A license issued to a foreign national without a Social Security number or proof of authorized presence in the U. S. would not be valid identification outside of New Mexico.
The committee also is expected to hear a similar bill, sponsored by Sen. Pete Campos, D-Las Vegas.
Rep. Paul Pacheco, R-Albuquerque, has introduced a bill similar to Ingle’s in the state House of Representatives. Earlier in the legislative session, a House committee tabled a bill sponsored by Pacheco that would have repealed the provision in New Mexico law that allows undocumented immigrants to receive driver’s licenses.
The Public Affairs Committee meeting will be available for online viewing live on the Legislature’s website, nmlegis.gov/lcs/.