Mass Real ID or Mass License ID?

Mass Real ID?  Mass Standard License ID?  Which one should you choose?  Up until this past year, when it came to renewing your license it was usually pretty simple.  The letter came in the mail letting you know it was about to expire and either you could renew online or some times you had to make a trip to the Registry of Motor Vehicles.  But its much different now.  So lets review it so you know what you need to do and choose.

If you’re like me you probably have no idea what the difference is between your drivers license and the new Mass Real ID.  The new Mass Real ID is now a valid for federal identification and the Standard Mass License ID ( your Massachusetts license) will not be able to be used for federal identification.  So lets start at the beginning and walk you threw the process step by step.

Why did you receive this letter?

So like a mentioned above you will receive your letter in the mail stating that its time to renew your drivers license (Standard Mass License ID) or Real Mass ID license.  First thing you should do is go online to The Registry of Motor Vehicles and you will either complete the renewal form online or start a new online application.  Now because you may be renewing your license for the first time and changing it to a Real Mass ID license there are now new federal and state law requirements regarding documents.  When you start your online application process it will help you bring all the right forms of identification and documents to save you time.

real id

Documents that you may have to bring in all must be orginals, photocopies will not be accepted!  You will need proof of Massachusetts Residency.  This document must display residental address with your name.  You can not have PO box or “in care of”.  They will not be accepted.  The following lists will provide more insight on what you can bring.  But note that for a Real Mass ID license you need to bring two of the following documents.  If you are only renewing for a standard Massachusetts license they only require one.

Proof of Lawful Presence & Proof of date of Birth

All documents must be valid and unexpired – choose one of the following

  • U.S. Passport or passport card
  • Orgianal or Certified version of U.S. Birth Certificate
  • Puerto Rican Birth Certicate must be issued after July 1, 2010
  • Permanent Resident Card
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad issued by the Department of State
  • Temporary 1-551 stamp in Foreign Passport
  • Employment Authorization Document
  • Foreign Passport with a valid, U.S. visa
  • Certificate of Citizenship
  • Certificate of Naturalization
  • Re- Entry Permit
  • Refugee Travel Document

Proof of Social Security Number

  • SSN card which can not be laminated
  • W-2 form that displays your 9 digit SSN
  • 1099 form that displays your 9 digit SSN
  • Pay stub and name with your 9 digit SSN

Name must match for REAL ID

If your name doesn’t match the one that may appear on your legal documents, you must be able to prove your legal name change in order to qualify for a REAL Mass ID license.  You need to prove  one of the following

  • Marriage Certificate
  • Divorce Decree
  • Court Doucument

Massachusetts RMV – issued documents

  • Current License
  • Current Massachusetts ID card ( Liquor ID not accepted)
  • Current Learners Permit
  • RMV – issued mail dated within 60 days

State/federal/city/town/county agency-issued documents

  • 1st class, government issued mail dated with 60 days
  • Current MA-issued professional license
  • Medicaid statement dated within 60 days
  • Current firearms card
  • Jury duty summons dated within 60 days
  • Court correspondence dated within 60 days
  • Property tax for current year
  • Excise tax for current year

Bills:Must be dated within 60 days

  • Utility bill (electric, telephone, water, sewer, cable, heat)
  • Credit card statement
  • Medical/hospital statement
  • Insurance bill (auto, meidcal, home)
  • Cell phone bill


  • Current lease/mortgage or similar rental contract
  • Mortgage statement dated with 60 days

Financial-related documents

  • W-2 wage and tax statement from immediate prior year
  • Current pension statement (401k, 457, SEP)
  • Current retirement statement
  • Pay stub dated within 60 days
  • Current SSA statement
  • Current installment loan contract (car loan)
  • Bank Statement (savings or checking account) dated within 60 days

School-issued documents

  • Official school transcript for current year
  • Official letter from school (proof of enrollment) dated within 60 days
  • Tuition bill for current year
  • Certified school record for current year

Insurance-related documents: Current year only

  • Auto insurance policy
  • Renter’s insurance policy
  • Homeowner’s insurance policy

For applicants under the age of 18

  • Alternative Residency Affidavit

Save time when you get in line!  If you are missing a document you will not be successful in this renewal process.  All of your documents need to be original.  Any photocopies or laminated documents will not be accepted.  You can go to and print out this checklist to make it easier.  Then this will help you make sure you have everything you need upon renewal.  Also present this checklist and the documents selected with your completed application to the service center the day you go!

Okay well now that we have everything you need to bring covered what to you need to do next?  Like we talked about about go online to first.  Select either Renew my License or Renew my Mass ID Card then follow the instructions.  Choose the type of card you want.  But remember that your standard Massachusetts drivers license will not be allowed to be used as a federal form of identification.

The website will help you decided which type of card if right for you and which documents you will need.  If you decide and choose a standard Massachusetts drivers license you may able to summit everything online to complete your renewal.

If you decide to want to do the REAL ID drivers license you must

  1. Start the renewal application online
  2. Print your application summary document
  3. Visit the RMV with your application summary document, required documentation, and fee to complete your renewal.

We know this all might be really overwhelming.  Especially if this is all new to you.  Which is really new to all of us.  Call us today and speak to any of our account managers to help you through this process.  We are here for you 24 hours a day if you go to our website!


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Are you ready to save time, aggravation, and money? The team at Farquhar & Black Insurance is here and ready to make the process as painless as possible. We look forward to meeting you!

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