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.

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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.

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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.

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