New Mexico drivers now facing issues at Fort Bliss campus

February 16, 2016


The Federal REAL ID Act of 2005 is now being enforced at the gates of Ft. Bliss and will effect anyone with an ID from a state that does not comply with the standards of the law.



File Photo
A soldier was scanning a citizen's ID for clearance to go onto the base. Soldier's last name was Kali. Rank unknown.




The Act states that it will be prohibited for federal agencies to accept driver licenses or identity cards from states that have not yet met the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) standards. 


Jared Carver is a student at EPCC, and takes his Astronomy class on the grounds of the Army base. 


"I can understand the new rule since New Mexico has been relaxed on their ID requirements. Besides, it's an army base, not a TGI Friday's. There are plenty of other, much better campuses to choose from."


He says the EPCC campus located within Fort Bliss is very small.


He goes on to state that even the armed and trained Military Police Guards at the entrance gates for Fort Bliss don’t know where the college is because it’s so insignificant, not to mention fairly new. 


Carver asked his fellow classmates if anyone had dealt with issues with the new REAL ID Act that would potentially cause some sort of imposition on them. All of the students that he spoke with were either from military families, or they are Texas Residents.


Carver said “the campus is a large, rundown building with only 4 classrooms for use.” 


He said, “They don't even have a water fountain and the WiFi here is barely existent [making] the computer lab completely unreliable.” 


Thus far, those states are New Mexico, Illinois, Missouri, Minnesota and Washington. As of Jan. 13, the Visitor Control Centers at Fort Bliss will be required to implement compliance checks to confirm they are in accordance with Federal Law and the REAL ID Act.


There are other options for getting on to the base. Some of the acceptable identity source documents include-but are not limited to; School identification card with a photograph, U.S. Military or draft record, Native American Tribal Document, U.S. Passport or U.S. Passport Card, Permanent resident card or Alien Registration Receipt.


With these types of documentation in hand, one would be vetted and a standard 30-day pass will be issued allowing one on to the installation. All those who are not in compliance with the REAL ID Act will be given a Day Pass on a one-time basis once they have been cleared, they will also be escorted through the installation.


If you have a New Mexico license and may need to go to Ft. Bliss, be prepared with having additional forms of identification with you.


There are several choices for alternative forms of identification, and it’s always best to be prepared.


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