Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles: REAL ID Required By May 3, 2023

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In full transparency, the following is a press release from MassDOT.


BOSTON – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is reminding customers of the federal requirement that anyone traveling by plane domestically, or wishing to enter certain federal buildings, will need acceptable identification credentials, effective May 3, 2023.

Acceptable credentials can include an RMV-issued REAL ID driver’s license or ID, or a valid passport. The Registry is encouraging customers who are seeking a REAL ID compliant license or identification card to make an appointment at a statewide RMV Service Center to secure this credential before the federal requirement takes effect next year. 

“While federal REAL ID travel requirements won’t take effect until May 2023, and customers with a valid passport may never need a REAL ID, the RMV and our partners at AAA stand ready to accommodate and provide plenty of time for customers to take advantage of a REAL ID upgrade,” said Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie. “Customers are encouraged to take time now to check the expiration date on theirMassachusetts driver’s licenses or identification cards, and if seeking a REAL ID, plan ahead and be prepared by having available all of the required documentation needed to secure this credential.”

“As of May 3, 2023, travelers will need a REAL ID or valid passport to fly at all U.S. airports,” said Massport Director of Aviation Ed Freni. “We don’t want passengers to be in a position where they can’t fly so we are urging passengers to get their REAL ID before the deadline next year.”

The RMV has posted helpful information on REAL ID requirements that customers can use to prepare for their in-person visits, including convenient document checklists to help pre-stage REAL ID applications, at Mass.Gov/ID. Documents required for this transaction include two proofs of Massachusetts residency, proof of a full Social Security Number (SSN), and proof of lawful presence. These required documents must be original or certified versions. The RMV recommends customers check these documents early, as well as to order replacements before license/ID expiration.

Currently, Massachusetts is at 41% REAL ID adoption with over 2.3 million credentials being REAL ID compliant. Customers are eligible to renew up to one year in advance of the expiration date printed on their license or ID, and up to two years after the expiration date.

Currently, roughly 1 million license/ID holders in the state have cards expiring within the next 12 months, and they are now eligible to renew early and receive a REAL ID upgrade by making an appointment at an RMV Service Center or AAA location, if you are a member.

“We join the RMV, our longtime partner, in reminding AAA members that now is the time to get your Real ID if you’re planning to fly domestically,” said AAA Northeast President/CEO John Galvin. “If you don’t have a REAL ID by the deadline, you’ll have to present a passport for U.S. travel—so we encourage AAA members to beat the rush and make an appointment today at any one of our 34 AAA branches in Massachusetts.”

Prior to May 3, 2023, customers will not yet need a federally compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights or entering certain federal buildings. The fee for renewing a non-commercial standard or REAL ID license is $50 ($25 for a Mass ID), while the fee for upgrading to a standard or REAL ID card is $25.

Appointments can be scheduled by RMV customers by visiting the RMV’s Online Service Center at Mass.Gov/RMV or if you are a AAA member at


email: call or text at 508-315-7176

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