ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) – The Real ID deadline is looming and that means no flying or going into federal buildings without one.
KRQE News 13 learned hundreds of thousands of New Mexicans still haven’t gotten in on the act.
The countdown is on and by October 1, if you don’t have a passport you’ll need a Real ID to go into a federal facility or get through airport security.
“We won’t go back home unless we have our real ids with us so that’s why we’re getting ours,” says Judith O’Reilly.
According to the U.S. Travel Association, only about three in ten Americans have a Real ID.
“Why would someone not want a Real ID, well maybe they don’t fly a lot and they just don’t need something to get them on to aircraft,” says Gerasimos Razatos, MVD Deputy Director.
New Mexicans, however, are ahead of national numbers, “We’re on track we do like the numbers that we’re seeing obviously it would be great to say that we are 100 percent converted but I think we’re right on track and we’re happy with the pace they’re going,” Razatos says.
Since November 2016, the MVD has distributed 1,189,000 Real IDs and only 109,000 second-tier licenses, the non-secure licenses that any New Mexico resident can get.
“I agree with what they’re doing, nowadays you need the real id to prove who we are,” says Michael Lucero.
MVD officials say there are still 450,000 people with old-style drivers licenses that haven’t converted them yet.
“I just haven’t had time just waiting and I don’t really know what the paperwork process is,” says Robin Garcia.
“My license doesn’t expire until September of this year, so I was just going to do it when it was time to renew,” O’Reilly said.
Officials are encouraging people to come in sooner rather than later. They’re prepared for a last-minute rush.
“We are looking at ways that we can help as we get closer to October we’re obviously are going to see more and more people in our offices so we’re also looking at extending their hours and helping individuals get that Real ID,” Razatos says.
The TSA does not require children to provide identification when traveling with an adult within the United States. Of course, a passport will always work in place of a Real ID.
New Mexico residents will still be able to get a non-secure second-tier license after the October deadline.
To see what documents you need to get your Real ID, use New Mexico’s MVD interactive tool to find out.