Posted on November 16, 2010

NM Licenses Are Becoming a Global Attraction

Houston Chronicle, Nov. 13, 2010

Attracted by a 2003 law, people from all over the world are traveling to New Mexico to obtain driver’s licenses because the state doesn’t require proof of citizenship or legal residency.


Shu Sheng Lui told a state police officer Wednesday she had flown to Albuquerque from Missouri and paid a man $500 to help her get a New Mexico driver’s license.

Lui, 33, along with Hiew Fongyee, 31, and Lam Fong Siu, 44, were arrested at a state Motor Vehicle Division office in Albuquerque’s south valley after they tried to obtain licenses using forged residency documents.

According to criminal complaints, the Chinese nationals had paid 22-year-old Gordon Leong for forged documents showing they live in New Mexico so they could obtain driver’s licenses.


New Mexico residents have generally opposed the state’s driver’s license law, according to a recent Albuquerque Journal poll that found that 67 percent of residents are against it.

On the campaign trail, Gov.-elect Susana Martinez pledged that she would work to revoke licenses issued to foreign nationals under the law.