New Mexicans may not be able to use state-issued I.D. at airports

Posted at: 12/03/2012 5:08 PM
Updated at: 12/03/2012 7:03 PM
By: Joseph Lynch, KOB Eyewitness News 4

The strict rules designed to keep terrorists off planes may soon be keeping New Mexicans off them as well. If changes aren't made, come next month you won't be able to use your New Mexico driver's license as I.D. at the airport.

Joe Metcalf hated the idea. "To not be able to use a state issued I.D. is ridiculous," he said.

You might not like it or be ready for it, but starting January 15 your New Mexico I.D. or driver's license won't be good enough to get you through the TSA checkpoint at the airport. It won't affect frequent traveler Austin Colbert, but it will affect many others.

"I already have a passport and I have a government I.D. that can work. I think it sucks that people have to get a passport to travel," Colbert said.

The Department of Homeland Security said the reason it won't take NM state I.D.'s or licenses at the checkpoints is because New Mexico gives them to people without documented proof of citizenship. Doug Roger was just visiting New Mexico but hated the idea.

"It's ridiculous. It's absurd. I don't know, my opinion it's ridiculous. It's absurd. You can't. What's your drivers license? How much more do you need for I.D.?" Roger said.

Governor Martinez tried in previous legislative sessions to pass a law taking licenses out of the hands of those here illegally. Passing such a law would have New Mexico in compliance. But there's no way that it can happen before the new rule goes into effect on January 15. Some travelers are already taking action.

"Pain in the butt. It's going to be a pain in the butt. But I guess they have to do it. I don't know? I'm writing out my passport as we speak getting, going to have it done since we need to do it," one woman said.

For a list of acceptable IDs from the Transportation Security Administration, click here