Are there any Washington State transplants who have traded in their WA licenses for NM licenses? I attempted to do it, and the guy at the MVD said the computer would not "take" my WA lic. number because it did not have asterisks in it (years ago, WA lic. numbers did have asterisks in them, but not any more). I don't want to spend another 2 or 3 hours in line, only to be turned away again. Could it have been just my bad luck to go to the wrong office and get the wrong employee? I have since called the MVD to ask this question, but I was told I have to come in in person.
Go to MVD Express. The people at the MVD are mostly idiots.
Here is the webpage about mvd in New Mexico. It does cost $ 15 more for someone applying the first time that adds up to $33 total for a 4 years license or $49 for a 8 year license. and mvd only takes cash.
They also take checks. I was just there on Wednesday. MVD Express also takes credit cards.
My impression is that MVD used to be OK.. 5-10minutes to take care of most business. Until they privatized part of it. It's now terrible. MVD Express is expensive! But maybe worth it.
I actually have the best solution for you Kat, tell them you just got here as an "immigrant". That you have no other form of ID. They'll get one issued pronto, just hurry before they repeal that pesky law.
Cue the Politics Troll! Seriously, haven't you got better things to do?
I have been living in Albuquerque since February, 2002, a transplant from Chicago. I have never had any trouble getting service at an MVD office. I have never used MVD Express. You might want to consider just going in without reference to your Washington license and just apply for a New Mexico liciense. If they ask you about your previous residence, tell them, but emphasize that you have come to get a New Mexico license and New Mexico license plates. You might have to take a driving test, I don't know--I didn't, but so what if you do? I have found the service good, though not excellent. Once I've taken a number, I've never had to wait more than 45 minutes, and its usually shorter than that. I just don't know what the big problem is. Bring in your birth certificate and marriage certificate if you changed your last name, and several proofs of address, like utility bills, mortgage, whatever.
The Illinois DMV must REALLY suck.
The big problem is that the employees at MVD can be complete idiots! Lucky for you, you haven't encountered any major issues. A friend of mine (from Germany, is a resident, was on a visa at the time) tried to get her license from MVD. THey told her she wasn't a citizen, so she couldn't get a license. Um.... ok. Idiots. (Are these the same people who think New Mexico is not part of the US?) She went to the MVD Express and got it instantly.
Kat, I moved here from Washington late last year. I had no problems at the Rio Rancho office with my Washington DL. It has no asterisks (I have had the number memorized since I have had it for over 29 years). As for getting the wrong employee...it happens sometimes. It happened to us. Just smile and know when its over that your on your way.
Also if your a AAA member don't forget that several of the offices do vehicle licensing and its much easier and shorter than anyone else.
Good to know there are some WA transplants here with us.
Where did you move from? We came from Marysville. If you would like to get together some time, my husband and I would love to meet you!