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Safe at Home
New Mexico’s statewide address confidentiality program administered by the Secretary of State to assist victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, stalking or similar types of crimes to receive mail using the Secretary of State’s address as a substitute for their own.
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Safe at Home
Safe At Home Information
Working to change victim to Survivor
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Since 2007, the Secretary of State has administered the Confidential Address Program (CAP). CAP provides services to residents of New Mexico that are victims of domestic violence, sexual assault and stalking. Laws governing the CAP are in NMSA Section 40-13-11
The program has two components. First, CAP provides victims who have moved to a new location, unknown to their abuser, with a substitute address when interacting with state and local agencies. The second component of the program provides participants with a first-class mail forwarding service.
CAP allows the state to contribute to the safety of victims by denying abusers the opportunity to use public records as means to continue to victimize the participant.
A CAP participant is:
- A victim of domestic violence, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault, stalking and/or someone who fears for their safety.
- A resident of New Mexico who has recently relocated to a place unknown to his or her abuser or is planning to move in the near future.
APPLYING FOR PARTICIPATION
Application to CAP is made in person with the guidance of a trained applicant assistant at one of the designated victim assistance programs located throughout the state. Designated programs are state or local agencies, or non-profit agencies that provide counseling and shelter services to victims of domestic violence, sexual assault, attempted sexual assault or stalking and have CAP trained staff. A parent or guardian may apply to the program on behalf of a minor or incapacitated individual.
An application assistant is a domestic violence and sexual assault victim advocate who has received CAP training. The application assistant provides the victim with information about the program and determines whether CAP is an appropriate part of a victim’s safety plan. In addition, the application assistant assists the victim in completing the application documents and forwards them to the CAP office for processing.
CERTIFICATION OF A PROGRAM PARTICIPANT
Upon receiving a properly completed application, CAP will certify the applicant as a program participant. The certification is in effect for three (3) years unless otherwise cancelled before the expiration date. Upon certification, the participant is assigned a substitute address and issued an identification card identifying the individual as a CAP participant.
The substitute address assigned to a participant has no relation to their actual address. The address may be used as the participant’s residence, school and work address. Arrangements are in place with multiple state and local agencies to provide for exceptions to requirements for physical addresses.
Each participant is issued a laminated identification card that identifies the individual as a program participant. The identification card includes the participant’s name, CAP number, state seal, substitute address and expiration date. In addition, the identification card contains the CAP’s toll-free telephone number should questions arise about the program or the valid use of the card. A CAP participant must present his or her card to state and local government agencies for the substitute address to be accepted.
SERVICE OF PROCESS & MAIL
The Secretary of State’s office serves as each participant’s agent for service of process and for receipt of mail. Mail received at the substitute address is forwarded to the program participant. Participants agree to accept all mail forwarded to them by CAP.
Participation in the program allows eligible voters to apply to vote as an absentee voter. The participant’s confidential address will not appear on any list of registered voters made available to the public. After you become a participant and have received your signature card, you will need to register, in person, at the County Clerk’s Office in your area if you wish to vote.
When a student presents his or her signature card, the school must accept the CAP substitute address. The student DOES NOT have to disclose his or her actual address. For new registering students, confirmation of school district’s eligibility is handled by the CAP staff.
The Secretary of State may cancel a program participant’s certification for any of the following reasons:
- Failure to notify the CAP of a change in address seven (7) days prior to moving;
- Mail forwarded by the CAP is returned undeliverable;
- Providing false or incorrect information on the CAP application;
- Failure to notify the CAP of a name change within seven (7) days.
- At the request of the participant
CONFIDENTIALITY OF RECORDS
Program participants’ records are confidential, not subject to the inspection of Public Records Act, and cannot be released by CAP staff unless pursuant to a court order. The fact that an individual is participating in the program, as well as the substitute address, is not confidential. All records are kept in the CAP office, which is in an undisclosed location.
National Domestic Violence Hotline 1-800-799-7233