Matricula ID Controversy Grows; Nine States Now Issue Driver's Licenses Based on Mexican Documents

The Washington Times (Washington, DC), October 6, 2003 | Go to article overview

Matricula ID Controversy Grows; Nine States Now Issue Driver's Licenses Based on Mexican Documents


Byline: Audrey Hudson, THE WASHINGTON TIMES

Nine states are accepting a Mexican government identification card as one form of documentation enabling its holder to obtain a driver's license.

California has come under the most criticism for accepting the matricula consular as a secondary form of identification. Idaho, Indiana, New Mexico, Oregon, North Carolina, South Dakota, Utah and Wisconsin also recognize the cards as either a primary or secondary document to obtain a license.

Every state assembles its own list of acceptable documentation to prove name, age and address.

A high school yearbook, newspaper clipping or church directory works in Idaho. Membership in the Hoosier Rx plan, a school report card or gun permit is recognized by Indiana. An adoption record - officially sealed - is accepted in Michigan. Wisconsin takes Canadian social insurance cards or prison-release documents.

But the common denominator among this hodgepodge of paper is that all are considered verifiable. That's opposed to the matricula consular card, issued by the Mexican Embassy and its consulates to its citizens living in the United States legally, and some say illegally.

In North Carolina, even a Mexican voter card or Mexican military card is an adequate form of identification to obtain a driver's license.

The American Association of Motor Vehicle Administrators (AAMVA) has issued a resolution calling it "premature" to accept the matricula consular card as a verifiable document on which to issue a driver's license.

Members of the AAMVA "expressed concerns that foreign consular IDs, including Mexico's matricula consular card, lack standardized issuance procedures, uniform security features and a secure database for verification purposes," the resolution said.

The Treasury Department recently ruled the matricula cards could be accepted by financial institutions, but federal law-enforcement agencies continue to express reservations about the card's validity.

Homeland Security Secretary Tom Ridge last month warned banks and local officials accepting the cards that "they do so at their peril.

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