Cherokee Nation bringing photo ID citizenship cards to New Mexico.

January 17, 2013
Cherokee Nation Cherokee Nation

TAHLEQUAH, Okla. — Cherokee Nation citizens in Albuquerque, N.M., can receive the tribe’s new photo ID citizenship cards on Saturday. The tribe’s mobile registration group has visited six states since October.

“Producing a government-issued, photo ID helps to instill a greater sense of pride in our people, and we’re happy to bring this service to our Cherokees living outside of Oklahoma,” said Cherokee Nation Principal Chief Bill John Baker. “I’ve presented my photo tribal citizenship card at several major airports, and even to the U.S. Secret Service, and experienced no problems whatsoever.”

The tribe began issuing the photo ID citizenship cards, similar in appearance to a driver’s license, on Oct. 1. So far, nearly 8,900 cards have been issued to citizens both in and outside of Oklahoma. The Cherokee Nation is the largest tribe in the U.S. with more than 315,000 citizens, including 1,926 in New Mexico.

The new citizenship photo ID cards are being issued in conjunction with a meeting of Albuquerque, N.M., area Cherokee citizens. The group will meet at the following time and location:

Saturday, Jan. 19
Manzano Mesa Multigenerational Center
501 Elizabeth St., Albuquerque, N.M.
11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

More than a year of planning and design was required to transform the tribal citizenship cards, also known as “blue cards,” into photo IDs. The tribe consulted with members of the Five Civilized Tribes and gathered input from other tribes that had upgraded to photo ID cards. The upgraded citizenship cards feature a citizen’s Cherokee Nation registration number, an official registrar signature, the citizen’s photo and signature, the Principal Chief’s signature and a distinctive Cherokee Nation hologram seal for validation. Citizens may also opt for their official Bureau of Indian Affairs Certificate Degree of Indian Blood (CDIB) on the back of the card.

Children 12 and younger can get a new photo ID but must have a parent or legal guardian present to sign the card. Upgrading to a photo ID is free. At-large citizens should bring a valid ID and previously issued citizenship or CDIB card, if available.

For more information contact the Cherokee Nation registration department at 918-458-6980 or

Cherokee Nation News Release
Julie Hubbard - 918-207-3896
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