Drivers must request a New Mexico drivers license name change after they legally change their names in the state. A prompt name update ensures a smooth transition from one legal name to another on all important DMV documents. However, drivers should apply for a new Social Security card before attempting update their names on their DMV files since many documents, including those used for updating DMV records, are linked to the Social Security Number (SSN).

Failing to first updating a name with the Social Security Administration (SSA) may cause a driver’s name change request to be denied by the DMV. Learn more about how to change name on drivers license documents in New Mexico by reviewing the information outlined below.

Instances Where You Must Change Your Name on Your New Mexico Drivers License

Besides the obvious reasons for changing your name on your driving license in New Mexico, such as marriage and divorce, there are many situations that might necessitate a legal name change. Some fairly common reasons for DMV name changes include:

  • Teenagers being adopted after reaching the legal driving age.
  • Choosing another name that reflects religious or ethnic affiliations.
  • Correcting a major name error on a birth certificate.
  • Transgender name changes.
  • Making a formal change to a pen name or stage name.

In short, any time a court issues a legal name change decree, drivers are responsible for updating their DMV records accordingly so that their drivers licenses match the new legal name.

New Mexico Drivers License Name Change Time Limits

A New Mexico drivers license name change does not necessarily have to occur by a certain deadline. However, it is wise to update your documents as soon as possible to avoid a possible fine for operating a motor vehicle with a license containing outdated information. Additionally, having a license with the wrong name may make it difficult to renew or registration or complete a title transfer on a car.

How to Change Your Name With the Social Security Administration

Changing your name on your driving license should happen soon after updating the name you have on record with the Social Security Administration (SSA) following a marriage, divorce or some other life event that involves getting a new name. The SSA allows you to update your information by mail or in person, free of charge.

As with a DMV name change, the SSA must view the document that verifies your new name while connecting it to your old one. Such documents include but are not limited to a marriage certificate, divorce decree, adoption decree, court-ordered name change or Certificate of Naturalization.

The SSA will need a form of photo identification, such as your old drivers license, state-issued ID card or U.S. passport. Some individuals obtaining a drivers license name change or a Social Security card name change will need to show proof of U.S. citizenship or lawful non-citizen status.

Everyone who initiates a name change at the SSA must obtain a new Social Security card and provide original copies of their name change documents. If submitting these by mail, note that they will be returned to you along with your new Social Security card. In most cases, when obtaining a name change on drivers license records or with the SSA, your driver’s license and Social Security Number (SSN) will remain the same. Only the name will be different on the duplicate license and SSN card you receive.

Online Drivers License Name Changes

Due to the in-person document verification required for a name change on drivers license documents, the NM MVD does not offer name changes online. Although you may replace your drivers license online and may be able to complete a license renewal the same way, all name changes must be processed at an MVD office.

How to Change Your Name on Your Drivers License in Person

An NM drivers license name change begins by making an appointment at your local Motor Vehicle Division (MVD) office. You must bring your current NM drivers license and an original copy of the document proving your name change, as described below. Acceptable documents include marriage licenses, divorce decrees, birth certificates, adoption decrees and court orders.

Documents provided for a name change must be originals or certified copies. Non-certified copies, photocopies and notarized photocopies cannot be used for updating your DMV records. In addition, all documents used to change your name on your driving license in NM must be written in English. If your original documents are in another language, they must be submitted along with written translations in English and certified by the translator.

After applying for the drivers license name change, you will receive a temporary license to use while waiting for your replacement drivers license card to arrive.

New Mexico DMV Name Change Fees

When you update your DMV records in New Mexico, you must pay a fee that depends on your age and the length of time you want to keep the license. Drivers over the age of 75 can obtain a name change on drivers license documents for free. In any case, motorists replacing a license after updating their names will pay an $18 fee for a four-year license and a $34 fee for an eight-year license.

Last updated on Tuesday, March 3 2020.