Albuquerque Journal, N.M., D'Val Westphal column

2017-09-18 | Albuquerque Journal


That question comes from Richard Paul Seago Jr., who emails that when you present all your documents for a Real ID driver's license, the Motor Vehicle Division "will print what is on the birth certificate.

"Problem is, the Social Security Admini-stration doesn't let you put your full middle name as they allow for middle initials only. So my birth certificate, and hence my driver's license, says Richard Paul Seago Jr. and my Social Security card ... says Richard P. Seago Jr. I am currently fighting with the DMV to print only my middle initial, the same way it's been since I've had a New Mexico driver's license.

"So far I have been denied check-cashing privileges for my paychecks and (recently) denied boarding on a flight from Albuquerque to Florida. Because to their eyes, I am giving them two IDs with two different names."

That doesn't seem to square, considering a Real ID is quite literally the gold-star standard of identification and is all you should have to present to cash a check or get on a plane.

According to Social Security's website, "For SSA enumeration purposes, a legal name consists of a first name and last name (or surname). The legal name is the name used to sign legal documents, deeds, or contracts. ... We do not consider the middle name or suffix part of the legal name. ... NOTE: Both the middle name and suffix, even if not part of the legal name by SSA's definition, should be used to resolve situations where the identity of the applicant or number holder is in question."

That is likely why the state defaults to the full name on a birth certificate or passport.

According to Ben Cloutier, spokesman for the state Tax and Revenue Department, which oversees MVD, " The document presented as proof of identity, most commonly a birth certificate or passport, determines what appears on the Real ID credential."

REAL-ID SUCCESS STORY: Meanwhile, Janet Saiers "wanted to compliment the staff at the Juan Tabo and Menaul DMV. Getting my Real ID driver's license Sept. 14, took about one hour and that included a quick trip back home to get one more proof of address and SS form with my full SS number."

FYI to renew your license and get a Real ID you need one proof of ID number (Social Security card, W-2, 1099 with full number), one proof of identity (birth certificate or current passport) and two proofs of residency (bill or statement with name and street address). If you have been married and the names don't match on all your documents, or your bills are in your spouse's name, take a marriage certificate.

IT'S SAFETY-SEAT TIME AGAIN: Mark your calendars for 10 a.m. to noon Saturday, Sept. 23. That's when the state Department of Transportation, along with Safer New Mexico Now, is hosting the annual statewide child safety seat clinics across the state.

The free clinics will be in:

--Alamogordo at the Walmart, 233 South New York.

--Albuquerque at Kohl's, 6800 Holly NE and 3715 Ellison NW.

--Artesia at West Main Baptist Church, 1701 W. Main.

--Clovis at the Walmart, 3728 N. Prince.

--Farmington at San Juan Plaza, 3030 East Main in the Staples parking lot.

--Las Cruces at the Kohl's, 2500 North Triviz.

--Santa Fe at the Kohl's, 4401 Cerrillos.

--Taos at Holy Cross Hospital, 1397 Weimer.

Certified technicians will check your car seat and installation. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration estimates that three out of four child safety seats are not used correctly. The use of child safety seats reduces fatal injury by 71 percent in infants and by 54 percent for children 1 to 4 years of age in passenger cars.

For more information, call 800-231-6145 or visit

Editorial page editor D'Val Westphal tackles commuter issues for the Metro area on Mondays. Reach her at 823-3858;; or P.O. Drawer J, Albuquerque, N.M. 87103.