The director of the New Mexico Motor Vehicle Division stepped down earlier this month for undisclosed personal reasons.
“In the past few months, certain circumstances have changed in my personal life that require I make changes in my professional life,” Will Duran wrote in his resignation letter, which he submitted in October to John Monforte, acting secretary of the state Taxation and Revenue Department.
Duran’s resignation, effective Nov. 3, comes as the division faces public criticism and anger over stringent requirements to obtain driver’s licenses that comply with the Real ID Act, which is intended to “improve the reliability and accuracy” of state-issued identification documents to “inhibit terrorists’ ability to evade detection by using fraudulent identification.”
The requirements have been a source of frustration for many New Mexicans, including hundreds of people who have been forced to legally change their names or amend their birth certificates to try to prove their identities.
Earlier this year, Duran said division employees were quitting because they were tired of dealing with angry customers. Some customers have even thrown objects at clerks, he said.
Duran, who did not return messages seeking comment Monday, served as division director since November 2014. He was paid about $93,000 a year.
Duran is working at another state agency, the Board of Nursing in Albuquerque, as its director of operations.
In his resignation letter, he thanked Monforte and the administration of Gov. Susana Martinez for the opportunity to serve as division director “and for all the support you have offered during my tenure.”
“I want you to know this was not an easy decision for me but it is necessary for my family and my own well-being,” he wrote.
Ben Cloutier, a spokesman for the Taxation and Revenue Department, said Alicia Ortiz is serving as acting division director.
Duran had recommended Ortiz to Monforte.
“I have great confidence in her ability to keep MVD on track,” he wrote in his resignation letter.
Contact Daniel J. Chacón at (505) 986-3089 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @danieljchacon. This story first published in The Santa Fe New Mexican, a sister publication of The Taos News.