Starting one year from Tuesday, the standard Massachusetts driver's license will no longer be accepted as an ID valid for boarding domestic flights or entering certain federal buildings.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles issued a reminder that effective May 3, 2023, domestic travelers will need a Real ID-compliant driver's license or identification card, or a valid passport to comply with federal identification requirements, and encouraged people seeking a Real ID to make their RMV appointments before that date.
Full enforcement of the Real ID law, passed in 2005 and envisioned then as an anti-terrorism measure, was set for 2021 but pushed back by federal officials because of pandemic's impact on states' licensing operations.
Applicants for Real IDs must produce several original or certified documents -- two proofs of Massachusetts residency, one showing proof of a full Social Security Number, and proof of lawful presence in the U.S., like a passport or birth certificate. A list of acceptable documents is available on the state's website.
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The RMV said Massachusetts currently stands at 41% Real ID-adoption, with more than 2.3 million compliant credentials issued. Real ID appointments can be scheduled by visiting the RMV's Online Service Center, and AAA members can also make appointments at AAA locations.
"Customers are encouraged to take time now to check the expiration date on their Massachusetts 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," Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie said in a statement.