The following is a press release from the Registry of Motor Vehicles
BOSTON – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) continues to encourage all eligible customers to renew their Standard Massachusetts driver’s license or Massachusetts ID card online at Mass.Gov/RMV in order to qualify for a free upgrade to a REAL ID credential in 2021.
This promotional opportunity, authorized and extended by Executive Order, will remain in effect until Massachusetts’ State of Emergency is lifted to provide customers more time and flexibility to conduct transactions and to support the RMV’s ongoing efforts to implement social distancing protocols while limiting in-person service center visits to keep customers and staff safe.
Customers are eligible to renew online and take advantage of this offer up to one year in advance of the expiration date printed on their license or ID, or up to two years after the expiration date.
Customers will not be able to seek their free REAL ID upgrade until at least six (6) months after the State of Emergency is lifted.
The RMV continues to see a dramatic increase of online renewals by customers during the pandemic and this promotional opportunity period. More than 163,000 online renewals were completed since promotion began June 12 compared to just 49,600 over the same time period in 2019. In August 2020, there were over 62,000 online credential renewals, compared to just 15,739 in August 2019. The RMV has bolstered back office support efforts to accommodate this continuing increased demand.
Beginning in mid-August, limited in-person license renewal appointments became available in Service Centers for customers. The RMV suspended those in-person transactions due to the pandemic and applied multiple extensions to expiring licenses and IDs as outlined below. The RMV asks that those who can renew online please do so and preserve these limited appointments for those individuals with credentials expiring in September 2020 who cannot, especially if their license or ID currently benefits from an extension.
Qualifying customers who complete their renewal online and wish to upgrade to a REAL ID for free will have to wait until at least six (6) months after Massachusetts’ State of Emergency is lifted to visit an RMV Service Center. Customers currently do not need a federally compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights prior to October 1, 2021, as the federal government delayed the compliance effective date by one year.
The fee for renewing a non-commercial standard or REAL ID license is $50, while the fee for upgrading to a standard or REAL ID card is $25. The typical $25 upgrade / amendment fee will be waived under these qualifying circumstances.
Obtaining an initial federally compliant REAL ID requires customers to visit a Service Center in-person to present verifying documents. The RMV introduced this initiative and fee waiver pursuant to Executive Order 39 which was issued by Governor Baker on June 12, 2020, and was subsequently extended through Executive Order 47 on August 11, 2020, in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency to encourage social distancing and limit unnecessary travel by reducing the need for many customers to visit a Service Center. This also allows for the prioritization of essential in-person transactions, which remain by appointment only.
Customers should take the following steps to determine their online renewal eligibility and qualify for this offer:
- Visit Mass.Gov/RMV, login to their “myRMV” account, and find out if they are permitted to renew online.
- Renew online – their new standard license or ID card will be sent via U.S. mail.
- The cost for renewing a driver’s license is $50. The cost for renewing an ID card is $25. These costs are the same for both a standard or REAL ID license or ID card. The cost for upgrading or amending a license or ID card outside of their renewal cycle is $25, which will be waived for participating, eligible RMV customers.
- Customers who renew online will have to wait until at least six (6) months after Massachusetts’ State of Emergency is lifted to make an appointment for a REAL ID and have their $25 upgrade / amendment fee waived. Anyone who holds a valid U.S. passport or other federally-compliant form of identification may never need an RMV-issued REAL ID.
- As a service to its members, AAA continues to issue REAL ID credentials for their members only and members should make an appointment before visiting a AAA location.
- Limited in-person license renewal reservation appointments are available in RMV Service Centers for customers. The RMV asks that those who can renew online please do so, especially if their license or ID currently benefits from an extension, thus preserving these appointments for those individuals with credentials expiring in September 2020 who cannot renew online.
While the RMV has previously announced the below automatic extensions to certain expiring licenses and ID cards, all eligible customers are encouraged to take advantage of this offer by renewing online up to one year prior to their expiration date:
- Driver’s licenses and ID cards that expired or were set to expire in March, April, and May 2020 have been extended until September 2020.
- Driver’s licenses and ID cards that expired or were set to expire in June have been extended until October 2020.
- Driver’s licenses and ID cards that expired or were set to expire in Julyhave been extended until November 2020.
- Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in August have been extended until December 2020.
All RMV customers are encouraged to visit the RMV Online Service Center or www.Mass.Gov/RMV to renew their license or ID card, and complete one of over 40 other transactions available online, by mail, or by phone.