Do You Need a Massachusetts REAL ID?

We first wrote about the new Massachusetts Real ID back in January of 2017.  Now that implementation is upon us, here's the latest information and answers to common questions surrounding REAL ID.  

REAL ID is a Federal Security Standard for IDs that was created in 2005 as a result of increased federal security measures taken after 9/11.   After October 1, 2020, you will need a REAL ID or a passport to fly within the United States, enter secure federal buildings or nuclear power plants.  


Here are some common questions surrounding REAL ID.

Who needs a REAL ID?

You need a REAL ID if you do not have a valid U.S. Passport and you fly domestically, visit  military bases or other secure federal facilities.  You will not need a REAL ID to vote, and you will not need a REAL ID to enter a Post Office.  

How and where do I get a REAL ID?

You cannot get a REAL ID online.  You must visit an RMV location or your local AAA office that does this particular registry service.   

What documents do I need to get a REAL ID?

Documentation in order to get a REAL ID differ from getting a standard ID. 

One must provide any ONE of the following:

  • SSN Card (cannot be laminated)
  • W-2 Form
  • SSA-1099 Form
  • Non-SSA-1099 Form
  • A pay stub with the applicant's name and full SSN on it
  • SSN Denial Notice with passport, visa, and I-94

ONE of the following:

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card
  • Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual's state of birth — A Puerto Rican birth certificate will only be accepted for identification if it was issued on or after July 1, 2010. For more information on the Puerto Rican birth certificate law, visit the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration website at
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State, Form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS-545
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) issued by DHS or INS
  • Temporary I-551 stamp in foreign passport
  • Unexpired employment authorization document (EAD) issued by DHS, Form I-766, or Form I-688B
  • Unexpired foreign passport with a valid, unexpired U.S. visa affixed — A non-US passport must contain a current visa and be presented with an I-94 Record of Arrival and Departure, unless you have a Permanent Resident Card or other change in status. The I-94 can be either a paper version from U.S. Customs and Border Protection or a printout of an electronic version downloaded from their website at — For applicable customers who have a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) or Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS-2019) documentation verifying the applicant's most recent admittance into the United States must be shown.
  • Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560, or Form N-561, issued by DHS
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Re-Entry Permit (I-327)
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)

TWO of the following:

Massachusetts RMV- issued documents (can use one from the options below):

  • Current license, Massachusetts ID card, or learner's permit (liquor ID not accepted)
  • RMV-issued correspondence dated within 60 days and received via U.S. mail (including license/registration reminders)

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

  • 1st class mail dated within 60 days
  • Current MA-issued professional license with photograph
  • 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


  • Utility bill (electric, telephone, water, sewer, cable, satellite, heating) dated within 60 days
  • Credit card statement dated within 60 days
  • Medical/hospital statement dated within 60 days
  • Cell phone bill dated within 60 days


  • Current lease/mortgage or similar rental contract

Financial-related documents

  • Bank statement that contains images of cancelled personal checks dated within 60 days
  • W-2 wage and tax statement from immediate prior year
  • Current pension statement (401k, 457, SEP, etc.)
  • Current retirement statement
  • Pay stub dated within 60 days
  • Current SSA statement
  • Current installment loan contract (car loan)

School-issued document

  • 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

  • Auto insurance policy for current year
  • Renter's insurance policy for current year
  • Homeowner's insurance policy for current year

Alternative Residency Affidavit

  • For applicants under the age of 18 only


How much does it cost to get a REAL ID?


Does my child need a REAL ID to board an airplane for a domestic flight?  

Currently, the TSA does not require children under 18 to provide ID when traveling with a companion within the United States. 

What does the REAL ID look like? 

Here is a depiction of the difference between what the REAL ID and standard ID look like.

Real ID Sample

 Still confused?  The website has a nifty tool to help you see if REAL ID is right for you.  


What to do Next?

Have us review your insurance policies and check that your limits are sufficient. Ask what the cost is to bump it up under higher limit scenarios.

Call today 617-846-5000 or click here 24/7/365 and we will get back to you same day or the next business day