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New to Massachusetts Blog

Mass REAL ID - Everything you need to know

Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

Tue, Nov 05, 2019 @ 03:48 PM

Mass REAL ID - Everything you need to know


Why do I need a Massachusetts Real ID?

After October 2020 you will need a REAL ID or a passport to fly within the United States or enter federal buildings

How do I get a Massachusetts Real ID?

Go to the Registry of Motor Vehicles with the proper documentation to begin the process. You will need to prove 3 things before getting your REAL ID:

  1. S citizenship or lawful presence
  2. Social Security Number
  3. Massachusetts residency

Please note that any documents you bring to prove the above will need to be originals to be accepted by the RMV and that one document cannot be used to prove multiple requirements. Visit the RMV website to see which types of documents are accepted to prove the above requirements.

How much does a REAL ID cost?

According to the RMV website, a real ID costs $50 which is the same as a license if you decide to get it at the time of renewal. However, if you wish to get a REAL ID before your license renewal date, it will cost $25 for an “amendment fee”.

What is the difference between a Massachusetts REAL ID and a standard Massachusetts Driver’s License?

  • A Massachusetts REAL ID can be used to board a plane in the US or enter US federal buildings after October 2020. A standard license won't be able to do this.
  • The only noticeable visual difference between a REAL ID and a standard MA Driver’s License is a yellow star in the upper right hand corner of the REAL ID. A driver’s license won’t have the star but instead the words “NOT FOR FEDERAL ID”. See the example image below from the RMV

RealID comparison

Tags: travel, rmv, ma rmv, MA REAL ID, Massachusetts REAL ID

Your Guide to Fall in Massachusetts

Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

Tue, Jul 30, 2019 @ 04:37 PM


Places to go Apple Picking:

Corn Mazes in New England:

List of fall activities in Massachusetts

Halloween Events in New England


Contact Us

Tags: fall

What is an RMV-1?

Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

Tue, Jul 16, 2019 @ 10:08 AM

What is the RMV-1?

An RMV-1 is a form that the Massachusetts RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) uses for registry transactions, including:

  • New plates for a new vehicle
  • A new title for a new vehicle
  • Transfer of existing plates from one car to another
  • Calculating and collecting Massachusetts Sales tax.

RMV-1 Form

RMV-1 Form Download

How to fill out the RMV-1

The form begins with the buyer’s name and address.  Your ‘registration’ ties your name to the plates you have on the new vehicle, whether you’re transferring plates (such as on a trade-in), or getting new plates.

The RMV-1 also populates the name(s) and address that goes on the title.  The title is a separate document that specifies ownership of the vehicle.   It will be the document that you use in the future to complete a sale when you’re ready to sell the car. 

The RMV-1 also includes any bank or lienholder, which also shows on the title.  This alerts the Massachusetts RMV (Registry of Motor Vehicles) that the new title (to the new owners) should be mailed to the bank or lienholder, who physically holds it until the loan is paid off.   If you’re buying a car with no loan, the title should go to your address directly; expect it usually within about a month.

On a purchase where the plates transfer (from the old car to the new one), ownership should agree with the previous vehicle’s ownership.  This distinguishes for example, whether one person owns the vehicle or if it’s owned jointly by husband and wife.   If the previous car was owned jointly, the new car will use the same joint ownership.   (This can be amended, in a separate transaction at the Registry, or you can just get new plates).


Massachusetts Sales Tax

Sales tax is also calculated.  When a dealer takes a trade-in from you, they will show the value of the new car, less the value of the old car (the trade-in), and the sate only charges you 6.25% of the net.  For example, if you trade in a $5,000 car to buy a $20,000 car, you’ll pay sales tax on $15,000.  However, when you buy from other than a dealer, such as all private transactions, you’ll pay either the sales tax on the full sales price, or a sales tax that the Registry calculates based on their estimate of its value.   This is because some sellers take payment for one amount but show a lesser amount to try to lower your tax burden.  The RMV is savvy to that, so they might charge you more than you expect when you get to the window.


Car Insurance

Speaking of the window, when you go to the Registry yourself, they’ll check that the new car has insurance.  That’s where we come in.  The RMV-1 has an insurance verification area.  If you’re not transferring plates (and therefore insurance), you might need a new insurance policy.   This is different from other states; Massachusetts wants that new car to have insurance when you get plates.  They won’t issue plates if you don’t have insurance.   If you’re buying a new car, call us for a broad variety of carrier options.  If you have insurance, we typically apply an ‘e-stamp’ on an electronic version (in a pdf).   On occasion we still use an old fashioned rubber stamp for some auto dealers that fax us RMV-1s or bring them physically to our office.

In summary, The RMV-1 is the same form that the Registry has used for decades, as the information is the same: name and address of new owners, description of the car, including year, make, model, and VIN (vehicle identification number), insurance company validation, seller information and bank or lienholder. 



Tags: rmv, vehicle insurance, commercial vehicle, ma rmv, MA vehicle regs, rmv-1

Your guide to summer in Massachusetts

Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

Thu, Jun 27, 2019 @ 03:29 PM

Gordon Atlantic insurance is pleased to offer the official guide to summer in Massachusetts. Check out the links below.

Summer fireworks schedule and locations - Click Here

Things to do on Cape Cod This Summer - Click Here

Striped Bass on the South Shore

Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

Fri, May 03, 2019 @ 12:03 PM

The great sport fish, the striped bass, is making its way up the eastern seaboard, and the buzz with local anglers is palatable. Most stripers that come to Massachusetts Bay wintered in Chesapeake Bay with its rich estuaries and moderate temperatures. Each spring they begin their journey north in search of food. They're due.

The food of choice around here are herring. Three herring spawning brooks feed the North River and are aptly named the First Herring Brook (in Scituate), the Second Herring Brook (in Norwell, where my father had a trap line behind his house as a kid), and the Third Herring Brook, the boundary separating Norwell and Hanover. Over the past several years, the North and South Rivers Watershed Association  has led an effort to remove dams from these brooks. Dams had powered mills back in the day, but lost their economic usefulness decades ago.  Their removal has paid off big in the resurgence of herring stock. Even native trout, gold standard habitat seekers, have returned to these brooks.striper and angler

Resurgent herring bring more than striped bass. The North River is alive with cormorants and ducks, egrets and great blue herons, and osprey and eagles. Every fisherman knows, here there are water fowl, there are fish.

The herring count in 2019 has been epic. Stop at the Third Herring Brook where River Street (Norwell) becomes Broadway (Hanover), through a pair of polarized glasses be amazed at the number of herring making their way up-stream. This food supply is why Stripers like the North River and nearby ocean.

Today (early May) in Massachusetts Bay the water temperatures are getting to the high 40’s, so the migrating fish aren’t be far behind. Edgartown water is now at 50 degrees (in early May); Plymouth and Mattapoisett are at 49. These temperatures are a few weeks late this year with all the rain and cloud cover  (often the first fish arrive the third week in April). But they're where the fish are comfortable enough to begin feeding here.

A lot of fishing is done alone, or with a single fishing buddy.  I personally like the alone time.  But fishing can be a great community event, such as the annual  NSRWA fishing tournament, happening in just a few weeks, the weekend of June 7-9.  That linked page will also describes many best fishing practices.

The overall striper population is under pressure on the East coast.  Overfishing and loss of spawning habitat in the Chesapeake are two commonly cited reasons.  With recreational anglers taking 75% of the fish (commercial fishermen taking the rest), a careful harvest is in everyone’s best interests.

Studies estimate a 9% mortality rate by recreational fishermen of caught and released striped bass . What can a recreational angler do to keep more fish alive?striper huge GG

  • Know the regulations. This year in Massachusetts the fish must be 28” long to keep; you may possess only one.  If you do keep a fish, filet, ice, and eat is as soon as possible. On the grill with a just a little mayo and fresh chopped dill is my favorite.
  • Retrieve quickly: don’t wait till the fish is so exhausted that it will die when you unhook and release it.
  • Skilled anglers remove multiple treble hooks from lures leaving only tail hooks to avoid fouling and facilitate hook removal.  You’ll still catch fish that bite, but you’ll always remove one hook faster than two, increasing the fish’s chance of survival. 
  • Return the fish to water as quickly as possible. This fish has just fought for its life and needs oxygen which it won't get above water.  If your landed fish is listless, help it get water through its gills by gently pushing it back and forth through the water. If successful, the fish will gain consciousness and take off.  You'll know.
  • This last one can be hard: release the monsters, like this holdover I caught last May  Female stripers are the bigger fish, and they carry thousands of eggs.  Let the really big ones go. The meat isn't as good, or as healthy, either. 

Respect the water and the habitat. Most fishermen are great stewards of our natural resources: that’s why we’re out there in all kinds of weather at all times of the day.   Retrieve debris including all your own line and we’ll all continue to enjoy the great outdoors, and with any luck, even catch a fish or two.

Tight lines!  

Tags: fishing, striped bass

Jacobs Pond: An Underrated Kayak or Canoe Spot

Posted by Geoffrey Gordon

Mon, Jul 31, 2017 @ 02:38 PM

Jacobs Pond Great Blue Heron

Recently, my wife and I decided to take our kayaks out on Jacobs Pond. What we found there was an unexpected array of wildlife and scenery on par with that of Maine or Canada. We live in Norwell and still were pleasantly surprised by what we saw, experiencing a truly relaxing afternoon right in our own town. Although the entire pond is beautiful, a real gem is found when you explore upstream.  Thankfully, we were greeted with sunshine and a beautiful day despite weeks of dismal clouds and rain.  Pictured throughout this blog are photos of the wildlife we took ourselves.

Jacobs Pond Turtles.jpg

Photographed is a Great Blue Heron and some painted turtles enjoying the sunshine. In addition to the Blue Heron and painted turtles, we saw a diverse population of animals such as osprey, cormorants, ducks, and bull frogs. 

When it comes to fishing, this area is shallow and a little weedy.  However, if you enjoy bass fishing, the pond is plentiful. Besides bass you may find perch, pickerel, and sun fish. Given its great location, Jacob's pond makes for a fun and tranquil afternoon out on the water. 

For access, use the Jacobs Lane entrance.  At this location you can both park and launch your kayaks/canoes into the pond.  Trail heads are located here as well.

Kayaking on Jacobs pond.jpgTo finish off the day, I recommend walking across the boardwalk to the island located in the pond. The boardwalk is right off the Jacobs Lane entrance and is a perfect way to cap off a relaxing kayak/canoe tour of Jacobs Pond.

For additional information about Jacobs Pond, including history and trail details, click here.

Insurance question? Click here.

Tags: norwell, wildlife, summer fun, Jacobs Pond, kayak, canoe

Can I use my Cell Phone when driving in Massachusetts?

Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

Thu, Dec 22, 2016 @ 01:35 PM

Welcome to Massachusetts….Now hang up that phone!!!

Cell phone.jpg

Each state has its own cell phone rules so it is important to be sure you know what they are if you are going to cross state lines.  For instance, in Connecticut and New Hampshire, any use of a hand-held device is prohibited.

However, in Massachusetts, drivers over 18 are allowed to use a hand held phone but are not allowed to text at all.  Keep in mind that as long as you are in a car and in the driver’s seat you cannot text.  That means if you are stopped at a red light or in traffic not moving it is NOT okay to text.

In Massachusetts, drivers under the age of 18 are banned from using any mobile device for any reason.  You cannot pick it up to plug in an address for directions, send a text, or call anybody. 

Another note, Bus Drivers are not allowed to use cell phones for anything; whether or not it is hand-held.

If you have any questions, or are not sure of the rules, it is best to err on the side of safety and caution and HANG UP THAT PHONE!!

Drive carefully and we hope that those around are as well!!

Tags: cell phones, new to massachusetts, driving, teen drivers, state laws

Fenway Park- Boston, MA

Posted by Marge Libby

Tue, Apr 16, 2013 @ 04:00 PM

“I believe in the Church of Baseball. I've tried all the major religions, and most of the minor ones… I've tried 'em all, I really have, and the only church that truly feeds the soul, day in, day out, is the Church of Baseball.”  (Annie Savoy, Bull Durham)

Fenway Park

For those who consider baseball a religion, surely Fenway Park is the old, beloved and highly respected “Grand Cathedral.” Here are a few tips to for your trip to Fenway Park.


Of course, the best place to start is “How Do I Get There from Here?”  This link will provide you with directions via automobile, subway, commuter rail, and bus along with parking information.

Game Day

If you’re going to a game, my best advice – GO EARLY!! Yawkey Way is closed prior to games, providing a unique atmosphere one will not find at any other ball park. Check out the Red Sox Team Store where you will find the largest selection of Red Sox souvenirs and memorabilia. Find someone who is signing autographs at Autograph Alley. Dance in the street to the Dixieland sound of the Hot Tamale Brass Band, who have performed before every home game since 1999. Catch the pre-game Dennis & Callahan show at the NESN Stage. Do it all, and even more.


Have your picture taken with the “Teammates” statue of four Red Sox Hall of Famers - Ted Williams, Bobby Doerr, Dom DiMaggio, and Johnny Pesky.  You could have your picture taken with the Ted Williams Jimmy Fund statue which depicts Williams with bat in hand, placing his hat on the head of a boy with cancer. This statue is a fitting tribute to the legend and the Jimmy Fund, which is the official charity of the Red Sox. Both statues can be found outside the Gate B entrance at the corner of Ipswich and Van Ness Streets.

Have a favorite player?  Commemorative bricks of players past & present can be found at Gates B & C. This link will provide you with the locations.

Want to really get to know Fenway Park? Check out the official Fenway Park Tour. The tour lasts about an hour and your stroll around the park may include a visit to the Hall of Fame, the Press Box, the Right Field Roof Deck, the Green Monster Seats and even the warning track. Bear in mind that the stops are subject to availability. Fenway Park Tours are conducted year round. They begin at the top of the hour (9-5). On game days, the tours are conducted only up to 3 hours prior to game time. Know the game schedule when planning your tour.


Hungry? Maybe you are a traditionalist – hotdogs, Cracker Jacks, and beer?  Of course you can get that at Fenway. Fenway’s cuisine has come a long way! You will find clam chowder (Legal Seafood), lobster rolls, tacos, meatball subs, cotton candy, kettle corn and even vegan choices! Not a beer fan? How about wine or frozen margaritas? For the chillier games, you will find the line at Dunkin’ Donuts is longer than the beer line. This link will provide a list of the concession stands at the park.

I hope you enjoy your day at the ballpark and can come to appreciate all that Fenway Park brings to Boston history and baseball history!

Marge Libby

Tags: Boston, ma, baseball, fenway park, fenway, green monster, monster, tours, new to ma, ma attractions, mass history

Pembroke Celebrating 300 years

Posted by Donna Bellavance

Thu, Jun 14, 2012 @ 01:31 PM

PembrokeAs a resident of Pembroke for 37 years, I am proud to share with others the good news that my town is celebrating its 300th anniversary this year.  Like so many towns in the South Shore, Pembroke has grown from a small community to a well-populated and bustling area with much to offer its residents.

The various committees working on the anniversary celebration have planned numerous events that should provide  fun for all attendees.

Some of the events planned are as follows:

June 15  

Pembroke’s largest water balloon fight

June 19
  Public Safety Night
July 22   Treasure Hunt followed by a cook out at the Herring Run
July 29   North River Cruise & Trolley Tour
August 10& 12   Pembroke Arts Festival
August 18 & 19   Aviation Week end
September 23   Road Race and Parade
October 20 & 21   Civil War Enactment followed by fireworks
November 3   Pembroke High School Concert
December 15   Closing Events
pembrokePlease visit Pembroke's website for all up-to-date info. There is a limited edition Pembroke 300th calendar available at the Pembroke Center library and the DPW office.

There are raffle tickets selling for $5 each for the Pembroke 300th Anniversary Quilt which is on display at the Pembroke Center Library.

Suggestions are being requested for items to put in the Pembroke Time Capsule.

I am sure that these events will be well attended by many proud Pembroke residents willing to share stories relating to the rich history of the town.

New to MA eBook

Donna Bellavance

Tags: South Shore, pembroke, anniversary, 300, colonial, town, gordon insurance, agordon, massachu

The Launch at Hingham Shipyard

Posted by Gordon Atlantic Staff

Wed, Jun 06, 2012 @ 09:19 AM

shipyard resized 600Otherwise known as “the Launch at Hingham Shipyard,” this little treasure is worth checking out and getting to know. Despite the far distance from my house, I make the journey at least once a week.


During World War II, 227 warships were made at the Shipyard for use in battle. Recently, Samuels & Associates began developing at the shipyard and have transformed it into an outdoor mall rivaling the Derby Street shops.

What it has to offer

If I went through all of the stores and options open at the Shipyard, this would be either a boring list or a shadow of their website, so I’ll go through what brings me to the shipyard.

Red Mango

red mango cardThe first store that ever sparked my interest was Red Mango. I had never had frozen yogurt before, but when friends brought me to this new dessert experience after a trip to Nantasket beach, I was instantly hooked. Not only does it have excellent  flavors, the store is self-serve (priced by weight). Red Mango is the #1 reason I drive the 12 miles and 30 minutes to Hingham.


What better precursor to Red Mango than a restaurant owned by the Wahlberg family? As soon as Wahlburgers opened up I could tell it was a hit; mainly by the hypnotic smell and the line of people out the door. Moderately priced, the burgers are fine quality, the shakes taste great, and the fries are the reason I keep going back.


Need I say more? Before Wahlburgers sparked my interest, Panera was my restaurant of choice. Good options, fast service. Superb choice if you have picky eaters or vegetarians in your party. Not much to say about this South Shore classic.

Patriot Cinemas

Although I’ve never actually seen a movie here, I’ve heard it’s a great option for dinner and a movie nights. On the topic of movies, what is remarkable to me is that the Shipyard hosts free outdoor movies every Thursday night in July and August. Here is the program of events.


The Moorings

If you don’t live in Hingham/Weymouth and don’t want to commute all the way to this shopping mecca, why not move there? There are homes for sale right in the middle of the plaza. And what is convenient is the commuter ferry to Boston right at the Shipyard. Now this location is like a double edge sword when it comes to insurance. Not only is it condominiums, it coastal too. Check with your independant insurance agency to make sure your home is fully protected at the best price.


There are many stores like Bed Bath and Beyond, CVS, and Eastern Mountain Sports that people might be interested in. I have never gone shopping there so I can't really offer a complete review.


The Shipyard is a great place to go to get some shopping done, go out for a bite to eat, and spend time with friends. The parking situation is exponentially better than at Derby Street Shops. There’s always spots open and if not, there is a nearby parking lot waiting for your car to rest. Traffic is a minimum.

Every time I make the trip, it is worth it.

 shipyard map resized 600

New to MA eBook

Steven McClelland

Tags: massachusetts, cohasset, whitman, shipyard, norwell, ma, scituate, hanson, rockland, hingham, shopping, food, dining

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