Real ID: What You Need to Do to Update Your License

Many of you are aware that Massachusetts is slowly implementing a real ID system through the Registry of motor vehicles. This will affect new and old drivers alike. In order to help make the transition smoother the registry has provided a list of documents needed to obtain your Real Id. The first time you get a Real Id you will need to physically go to the registry with your documents in hand, you cannot get it online. You will not need a Real ID until October 2020 but if you’re going to be renewing your license between now and then it might be worth upgrading now. An active passport is considered an acceptable alternative to getting a Real Id.

Things you’ll need

– A social security card or something that can verify your social security number like a W-2 form, SSA-1099 form, Non-SSA- 1099 form, or a pay stub with your name and social security number on it.

– What the registry is calling a “ lawful presence date of birth document” this could be (but isn’t limited to) a valid passport, a certified copy of your birth certificate, a certificate of citizenship form, certificate of naturalization, permanent resident card or an employment authorization card.

-finally, you will need two Massachusetts residency documents. This could be a Mass RMV issued document like a renewal letter, property tax or excise bill, a utility bill, credit card bill, or even a lease or mortgage document. For students, school issued document such as a transcript, proof of enrollment, or tuition bill will also work. All documents must be dated within 60 days of application.

Edit : If your current name doesn’t match the name on your birth certificate ( married name for example) you will need to bring a copy of your marriage license as well.

Once you’ve collected all the documents that you need, the registry recommends that you go to their website to begin completing the form you will need to get your Real ID. All first time applicants (which is all of us this time around) must visit a RMV service center with the documents to get your initial REAL Id, the cost is the same as a standard issue license.

All of this information and more is available on

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