N.M. to issue new drivers’ licenses

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By Kelly LeVan

Things will go a little differently next time you go to obtain or renew a driver license.

In an effort to improve security for New Mexico’s 1.7 million holders of driver’s licenses and state-issued IDs, the Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) is completely overhauling its system. Licenses now offer 12 security features where they used to have four. And every license in the state will be created in one, centralized location.

While this means a few changes for customers, it also means a far smaller risk of identity theft.

“Since the license has become the core identification tool, it’s become a real target for criminals to obtain fake licenses to use for less than honorable purposes, said Rick Homans, cabinet secretary for the state’s Taxation & Revenue Department. “It’s a huge issue.”

He said five of the terrorists involved with the 9/11 attacks had fraudulently obtained driver’s licenses. This and cases of identity theft around the country have prompted a number of states – New Mexico makes 28 – to make driver’s licenses harder to get and harder to fake.

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