As state officials work to improve the security of New Mexico’s driver's licenses system — with a special emphasis on tightening regulations on those issued to foreign nationals — Governor Susana Martinez’s office has announced the indictment of three men who are accused of illegally selling the coveted IDs to undocumented immigrants from out of state.
U.S. driver’s licenses are among the most common documents presented to Notaries Public for use as satisfactory evidence of identification and they are relied upon nationally by businesses and governments every day. In New Mexico, undocumented immigrants are authorized to obtain driver’s licenses with few restrictions, a loophole the Governor is attempting to repeal.
“We have long known of fraud and abuse in our driver’s license system, and these latest indictments make it clear that we must address the problem,” Governor Martinez said.
The three men are suspected of offering New Mexico driver’s licenses under false pretenses to out-of state customers who paid up to $1,500 each. Two of the suspects also allegedly performed illegal notarizations on forged residential and lease agreements for these customers, according to a news release from the office of Governor Susana Martinez.
“Existing state law has clearly made our driver’s licenses less secure and now we’re contributing to the public safety problems of other states as more and more out-of-state illegal immigrants and criminal elements are coming here to get driver’s licenses and leave,” said State Taxation and Revenue Secretary Demesia Padilla.