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Starting on March 26, 2018 in order to renew a Massachusetts driver’s license, ID, or learner’s permit, residents will need documents to show proof of U.S. citizenship or “lawful presence” as required by federal and state law.  

If you are renewing your license, the RMV recommends you start your application online first by answering a few questions.  The website will help you determine what type of ID you will need, and whether you can finish your transaction online, or if you need to visit an RMV center.

To show U.S. citizenship or lawful presence you will need to present documents such as a valid U.S. passport or passport card, or a certified birth certificate.  You can find a full list of acceptable documents here You will also need to bring different documents to provide your identity (social security number, date of birth and Residency).  

Keep in mind:  the RMV requires original documents.  For example, if your social security card is laminated, they will not accept it.

The Real ID

The Federal Real ID Act of 2005 establishes minimum security standards for state-issued licenses and ID cards.  This act was created after the 9/11 attacks to improve national security by creating more secure and consistent personal identity documents.   All states must be in compliance by 2020.  Going forward, in order to comply with the act, Massachusetts will be issuing two types of IDs, a “standard” MA license and a “REAL ID”.   

Your standard MA license will still be valid to board a plane or enter a Federal building until October 2020.  After that, you will need a U.S. passport or a “Real ID” to board a plane, including domestic flights, and enter certain Federal Buildings.  The Real ID will function as your driver’s license, too.  A gold star in the corner will indicate that it is an acceptable form of federal ID.

While the "REAL ID" is not required for boarding a plane or entering a Federal Building until Oct. 2020, you may want to consider applying for one when your license or ID card is up for renewal next.  Note:  while applications for a "REAL ID" must be processed in-person at the RMV center, you may be able to start your application online first.  A "Real ID" will cost the same as a standard MA license. 

Visit for more information.  

New RMV License Requirements

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