RealID: What’s The Difference?

Have you checked the expiration date on your Massachusetts drivers license lately? Do you use it as your ID when you travel by air, train or bus to get through security? 

As of October 2020, you will no longer be able to use your current license as your ID to board a plane in the U.S. or to enter a federal building.  Instead, you’ll need your license to comply with the new federal RealID standards. These federal security measures were put in place in 2005 as a result of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.  

Luckily, as of March 26, 2018, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) has begun issuing new drivers licenses that do comply.  But it is NOT automatic.  Here’s how you get one.  

What’s the difference?

It is your choice which type of license you want. Cost is the same. (Passports cost over $100.) However, the Real ID requires you to appear in person at your nearest RMV with the necessary documentation in hand.

RealID Massachusetts

More information and a video are available at

Get ready to apply

You will need to secure at least one type of original document from each of the three categories below. Here’s a list of documents from which to choose. 

  1. Bring proof of your Social Security number (SSN). Acceptable forms include: SSN Card; W-2 form; SSA-1099 form, Non-SSA 1099 form, recent pay stub with applicant’s name and SSN.  The document presented must display the full nine digit number.
  1. Bring ONE lawful presence/date of birth document from this list.

* U.S. Passport or Passport Card

* Certified copy of U.S. birth certificate

* Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561)

* Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-561 or N-570)

* Consular Report of Birth Abroad (Form FS-240, 

   DS-1350, FS-545)

* Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551)

* Employment Authorization Card (Form I-766 or 


* Foreign Passport with U.S. Visa affixed and I-94 Stamp

  1. Choose MA residency documents (2 for RealID, 1 for standard) to bring.

* MA RMV-issued documents (i.e. renewal letter)

* State/Federal/Municipal/City/Town/Country Agency-issued documents (i.e. 1st Class Mail, MA-issued professional license with photo, Medicaid statement, firearms ID card, jury duty summons, court correspondence, property tax or excise tax dated within 60 days.)

* Bills such as utility bill, credit card statement, or medical statements dated within 60 days.

* Lease. mortgage or rental contract dated within 60 days.

* Financial-related documents such as bank statement with image of personal checks, W-2, pension statement, retirement statement, pay stub, SSA statement, or installment contract dated within 60 days.

* School-issued documents such as school transcript, proof of enrollment, tuition bill, school record for the current year.

Get your license/ID

Once you have all your documentation together, you’re ready to get started.

When it comes to insuring your family’s home, vehicles, possessions and lifestyle, we take our responsibility to keep you properly protected very seriously.  The trust you placed in us when you chose the Keefe Insurance Agency means you count on us to keep you informed of things you can do to avoid potential claims.

We are always available during business hours to answer your questions or address your concerns. Stop by or call us at 508-528-3310 or toll-free at 888-528-3310. There is also additional information available 24/7 on our web site for your convenience.


Bob Keras & Peter Brunelli
Keefe Insurance Agency

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