I can't believe I had to recently renew my license for the 2nd time recently before my birthday. Time certainly flies by. Thankfully, I was able to process the transaction online since I didn't have any reason to visit the RMV in person as all my records are up to date.

However, for some they might not get so lucky as there is a deadline approaching for something special you're going to need on your driver's license or ID. This is known as a "REAL ID."

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What is a REAL ID?

According to LoPriore Insurance Agency, A REAL ID is a form of identification that meets enhanced security standards for state-issued driver’s licenses and ID cards. It was passed by Congress in 2005 in response to the 9/11 attacks, as the REAL ID Act aimed to prevent airline terrorism by strengthening requirements for documents granting such as access to domestic planes and specific federal agencies.

For us Massachusetts residents, this is a significant step in enhancing security measures, and the Commonwealth has been proactive in implementing the measures required by the Act.

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Do I really need a REAL ID in Massachusetts?

No, but it would be more convenient to have just one ID card instead of various identification cards for different purposes. For example, if you fly domestically and don’t have a passport or other form of TSA-approved identification, you need to enter military bases or nuclear facilities, or you have to visit federal courthouses, federal prisons, or other federal facilities that require identification.

If you decide not to get a real ID, you'll be subject to "strict limits" and won't have the star symbol print the upper right hand corner. The deadline is May 7, 2025 for all Massachusetts to receive their REAL ID. Just make an appointment or visit your local Massachusetts RMV. Bring all necessary documents, even if you submitted them online. Pay the fee for your license renewal.

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