New to Massachusetts Blog

Mass REAL ID - Everything you need to know

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.

If you need help understanding what type of documentation to bring here is our breakdown:

The documentation they’ll require to issue you a REAL ID can be broken down into three general categories:

                Lawful presence:  Meaning, you’re allowed to be here.   Your U.S. passport or original birth certificate, or foreign passport with unexpired visa will do the trick for this part.  If you don’t have any of these, get an official birth certificate reissued from the Town Hall where you were living when you were born.   A copy won’t do it.  You need the original.

                Your Social Security number: Bring your original Social Security card if you can locate it, or a W-2 or 1099 tax form from your last tax year.    A pay stub with your social security number on it will work too, but not many employers print social security numbers on pay stubs any more.

                Massachusetts residency: Lots of choices here, but bring at least two of these for your REAL ID: current driver’s license, government mail received in the past 60 days, including property tax or excise tax bill, Firearm ID card, , utility bill, bank statement, pension statement, or auto or home insurance policy.  (If you’re a Gordon Atlantic Insurance customer, you can get a copy of these policy documents right from the Gordon Atlantic Insurance customer pp!)

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


Let us help you review your auto insurance. We're friendly, knowledgeable, and local.

Call: 800-649-3252

Or, fill out our online contact form and we'll contact you:


Subscribe Blog

Subscribe Here!

Recent Posts

Posts by Tag

See all

Get a Quote

We are local insurance experts serving the South Shore for over 70 years.
Click below to get a free quote for your personal or business insurance.