Fort Bliss rejects New Mexico driver's licenses
By David Burge | El Paso Times, Texas (Tribune News Service) | Published: January 14, 2016
FORT BLISS (Tribune News Service) — Fort Bliss is no longer accepting New Mexico driver's licenses and licenses from a handful of other states as a valid form of identification to get on to post.
The change took effect Wednesday and is designed to bring Fort Bliss into compliance with the Federal Real ID Act, which establishes minimum standards for the production and issuance of state-issued licenses and identification cards.
Driver's licenses from New Mexico, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Washington state do not comply with the federal ID act, Fort Bliss officials said. As a result, they can no longer be used as a valid single form of ID to gain access to Fort Bliss.
Texas driver's licenses are not affected under that law at this time, officials said.
Visitors who have driver's licenses from New Mexico and the other affected states can still gain access to the post by using alternative forms of ID. Once they are vetted and cleared, they will be issued a standard 30-day visitor's pass to the post. Those who have a previously issued pass based on a so-called noncompliant ID will have to get a new pass using the alternative forms of identification.
Acceptable alternate forms of ID include: a U.S. passport or passport card; permanent resident alien card; foreign passports that meet the requirements; employment documents that contain a photograph; driver's licenses or IDs that meet Federal Real ID standards; IDs issued by federal, state or local government agencies if they contain a photo and basic biographical information like date of birth and address; school ID cards with a photograph; U.S. military or draft record; U.S. Coast Guard Mariner card; and Native American tribal documents.
Individuals who do not have one of those IDs can still gain access to the post on a one-time basis. They will be vetted and once cleared, they will receive a day pass and be escorted onto the installation. The organization or individual being visited will be contacted and required to provide an escort for either the delivery or the visitor.
White Sands Missile Range announced Monday it would no longer accept IDs from New Mexico and the other noncompliant states as a single form of identification.
David Burge may be reached at 546-6126; firstname.lastname@example.org; @dburge1962 on Twitter.
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