What To Know About The Real ID In Massachusetts

When was the last time you actually went to the RMV to renew your driver’s license?

For most of us who like the ease of a few keystrokes to renew our license online, there are changes that are happening nationwide that you should know about. If you have had the pleasure of passing through airport security recently or often find yourself in a federal building, you have probably seen the signs regarding the new licensing requirements called “Real ID.”

You may have questions such as: “Why the change?” or “How do I get a Real ID?” or “Do I need to switch from the standard license?” Here is a quick review of what you need to know about the new Real ID licenses. (Image Source: Mass.gov)

What is the Real ID?

In the wake of the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001, the federal government passed the Real ID Act (2005). The act establishes minimum security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and identification cards. The idea behind this legislation is that by requiring the additional layer of identity verification there will be increased security. It will also reduce the ability for people with malicious intent to obtain fraudulent documents.

As of October 1, 2020, the new requirements will prohibit federal agencies from accepting licenses and identification cards from states that do not meet these standards for official purposes. This means that access to certain federal buildings will be limited. It also means that in order to fly within the United States a Real ID will be needed. (Image Source: Mass.gov)

How Do I get a Real ID?

In order to get a Real ID in Massachusetts, you must prove that you meet the stipulations that are laid out in the Real ID Act. There are three main pieces of documentation that you will need to physically bring in to a registry of motor vehicles or coordinating office such as AAA in order to get a Real ID.

Verify Your Lawful Presence in the United States

For U.S. citizens, a valid and active passport or birth certificate will suffice in proving that you are a citizen. For non-U.S. citizens immigration documents will be needed that show the length and reason for your stay.

Show Supporting Document

You must provide documents that list your social security number. This can be done with paperwork such as a pay stub, or a W-2 form.

Prove your Massachusetts Residency

For this requirement you must show two documents that prove that you live in the Bay State. They must be from the current year and be valid/unexpired. Examples of this could be a tax bill, utility bill, phone bill, credit card statement or rental agreement.

Keep in mind that if you want a Real ID and it is your first time applying for one, you must apply in person where the documents can be verified, scanned and a current photo will be taken. If you are a AAA member this process can be done at one of their participating offices.

A Real ID is not necessary for everyone. For example, if you do not fly or visit federal buildings, a standard license/ID is always a valid option.

For people living on the North Shore of Massachusetts, Danvers has just opened a new RMV conveniently located on Route 1. Visit their offices to get your Real ID and, as always, stay safe out there.

If you need help navigating the Real ID process or have further questions call Phil Richard Insurance at 978-774-4338 or visit our website.