What You Need to Know about Real IDs in Massachusetts

The REAL ID program serves to create more secure issuance of identification. Beginning on October 1, 2020, you will need to show a REAL ID-compliant license, valid passport or other acceptable form of federal identification to board a plane or enter a federal building. A standard license will no longer be an acceptable form of federal identification.

Starting in March 2018, REAL IDs became available in Massachusetts. Here’s what you need to know about obtaining a REAL ID in Massachusetts:

  • Optional form of identification. You have a choice of a REAL ID or a standard license; however, starting October 1, 2020, you won’t be able to use a standard license to board a plane.
  • Same fees, same expiration. Fees for both types of IDs are the same, and they both expire in 5 years.
  • Renewing is different for REAL IDs. If you would like to convert to a REAL ID upon renewal, you will need to make a trip to the RMV to show documentation. Transactions cannot be completed online.
  • Be prepared with documentation. Remember, documents must be originals and laminated documents are not acceptable. Each document can only be used to fulfill one requirement. Document requirements include:
  • “Lawful presence” document (1)
    – For U.S. Citizens: a valid, unexpired passport or certified U.S. birth certificate is acceptable.
    – Permanent residents: a valid, permanent resident card (green card)
  • Social Security Number (SSN) document (1)
    – A non-laminated social security card, or select official documents that display your social security number, such as a recent paystub.
  • Massachusetts residency document (2)
    – Two acceptable documents showing current residential addresses. Note: P.O. Boxes are not acceptable, nor are documents mailed “in care of”. Click for the RMV’s full list of acceptable documents.

And just a friendly reminder to take care of unpaid parking tickets, excise taxes or EZ Pass violations before you head to the RMV, you can’t renew your driver’s license without doing so!

This article is designed to provide general information about the new requirements, visit the RMV website for the official, updated information and requirements.

Source: https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles