Personal Insurance Blog

Changes at the Massachusetts Registry Regarding Licensing and ID Cards

Effective March 26, 2018 the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles will now require documentation showing you have a US citizenship or lawful presence in order to get or renew ANY driver's license, ID card or learner's permit.

Please be aware this may result in significant wait times leading up to the 26th due to system changes.

If you are getting or renewing your drivers license, ID card or learner's permit on or after March 26th, the documentation you provide will render you either a Standard license/ID card or a REAL ID license/ID card.  A REAL ID is a federal security standard for identification purposes that will be Passport Pic.pngrequired when flying within the US or entering certain federal buildings after October 2020.  If you don't mind carrying around your valid passport with you, you will never need a REAL ID license/ID card; a Standard license/ID card PLUS passport will be sufficient.  But to be clear, after October 2020 a Standard license/ID card ALONE will NOT be eligible for use as identification when flying or entering certain federal buildings.    

  • If you are a US citizen, a valid, unexpired passport is sufficient documentation.  You may also provide a certified US birth certificate.
  • If you are a permanent resident, a green card is sufficient documentation of lawful presence.
  • If you are not a US citizen you will need to provide valid, verifiable immigration documents PLUS proof that you have been granted a legal stay for at least 12 months.

When it’s time for your license/ID card renewal, should you wish to get a REAL ID license or ID card you will not be able to renew online but must visit a RMV Service Center.  Standard license or ID card renewals may be completed online at  If you wish to secure a REAL ID license additional documentation will also be required: a link to the RMV Document Checklist is provided here.

If you have any questions regarding this change, please don't hesitate to call a Gordon Atlantic Insurance professional at 1-800-649-3252.  Prefer to type versus talk?  Click to the left for an emailed response.

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