A Massachusetts state ID credential is available as several different types. For instance, these include a standard or REAL ID card and a liquor identification credential. While Massachusetts residents may obtain a standard or REAL ID credential if they are 14 years of age or older, applicants must be at least 21 years of age to obtain a liquor ID, as this document is used to purchase alcohol. While each of these documents may be used as proof of age, identity and signature, only a REAL ID credential can be used for federal purposes.

Moreover, an identification card serves as proof of photo ID for those who do not hold a valid driver’s license. Also known as a non-driver identification document, these credentials cannot be used as proof of eligibility to operate a motor vehicle. Additionally, Massachusetts residents cannot hold a valid identification credential and a driver’s license at the same time. To learn more about applying for a non-driver identification credential, review the sections that follow.

Massachusetts DMV ID Requirements

While Massachusetts DMV state ID requirements vary by credential type, most customers must reside in the state, not hold a driver’s license in any jurisdiction, and they must meet minimum age restrictions. To obtain a standard non-driver identification credential (known as a Mass ID), customers must:

  • Be at least 14 years of age.
  • Reside in Massachusetts.
  • Not hold a valid driver’s license.

Moreover, liquor ID card requirements are similar, but there are some differences. For instance:

  • Customers must be at least 21 years of age.
  • Applicants do not need to reside in Massachusetts.
  • Applicants must not hold a valid driver’s license in Massachusetts.

To obtain a REAL ID credential, however, customers must meet standard Mass ID requirements. For example, REAL ID applicants must be at least 14 years of age, reside in the state and not hold a valid driver’s license. However, REAL ID applicants must also provide additional identification documents when applying for a credential.

What do you need to get an ID in Massachusetts?

“What do you need to get a state ID in Massachusetts?” is a common question that customers may ask before they apply for a non-driver identification credential. While specific documents will vary depending on the type of credential applicants wish to obtain, it is important to gather all necessary information ahead of time, as doing so will expedite the application process.

To get started in obtaining a state ID card, applicants may obtain an Identification Documents Checklist from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV), as this form will assist them in gathering any required information. Then, they may submit this checklist, along with their application and identification documents.

To obtain a liquor ID through the RMV, for instance, customers must provide certain items. These include:

  • Payment for the DMV ID card fee. While accepted payment methods vary by RMV branch, most offices accept cash, money orders, checks or credit cards as payment.
  • One proof of Social Security Number (SSN). Alternately, customers may submit an SSN Denial Notice, along with a foreign passport, I-94 or visa.
  • One proof of birthdate. These credentials may include a certified copy of a birth certificate or a U.S. passport.
  • A Liquor ID Card Application (LIC112). When completing this application, customers must complete Sections A through E.

What do you need to get a standard or REAL ID card in Massachusetts?

Customers who need a standard or REAL state ID credential must provide the RMV with additional documents as proof of their eligibility for identification documents. However, specific requirements vary, depending on the credential type. For example, other documents needed for state ID or REAL identification credentials include the following:

  • One proof of lawful presence, such as a valid U.S. passport, a certified copy of a birth certificate, a valid Permanent Resident card, a Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA), a valid foreign passport or a Certificate of Citizenship
  • A Social Security Number, if applying for a standard Mass ID, or proof of a nine-digit SSN, if obtaining a REAL ID credential
  • One proof of state residency, if obtaining a standard identification card, or two proofs of residency, if obtaining a REAL ID credential
  • A Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit or ID Card Application (LIC100), or customers may begin their applications online, before appearing in person, at an RMV Service Center

Note that if obtaining a REAL ID credential, an applicant’s current legal name must match the name on his or her lawful presence document(s). If the names do not match, the applicant must provide the RMV with proof of the name change, such as a court document, marriage certificate or divorce decree.

If obtaining a REAL identity card in MA, acceptable proof of an SSN may include a Social Security card, a paystub or a W-2, 1099 or a non-SSA-1099 form. Alternately, applicants may submit an SSN Denial Notice, along with a passport, I-94 and visa.

As proof of Massachusetts residency, state ID card applicants may submit an RMV-issued document, utility or medical bill, mortgage or rental contract, financial-related document or a school record.

If applicants are younger than 18 years of age and cannot prove their state residency, however, they may submit the Alternative Residency Affidavit (LIC111).

As part of these child ID card requirements, a minor and his or her parent or legal guardian must appear before an RMV official or a notary public to sign and complete the affidavit. At this time, the parent or guardian must also present proof of a Massachusetts driver’s license or identification credential.

Note: If a minor submits a notarized affidavit when applying for a child identification card, the parent or guardian does not need to accompany him or her to the RMV office. However, the parent or guardian must accompany him or her to the RMV office, if the affidavit is not notarized.

How to Get an ID in Massachusetts

While customers cannot apply to get ID online in MA, they may start an application for liquor, standard or REAL ID credentials on the RMV’s website. Then, they must finish the application process in person, at a local RMV Service Center. However, customers may complete the entire application process in person, at an RMV Service Center, if they prefer to do so. To learn more about these requirements, review the sections below.

Where to Get State ID Credentials in Person

Customers must visit the Massachusetts DMV to get ID credentials in person, as state residents cannot apply for identification documents online, by phone or via mail. To apply, customers must visit a local RMV Service Center to submit an application for a Liquor Card or a Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit or ID Card Application. Additionally, customers must submit any required identification documents, and provide payment for the applicable fee.

After applying for an ID, customers will receive a temporary credential, as this document can be used for up to 30 days. However, applicants will receive their permanent liquor credentials within five to seven days, while their REAL IDs or standard cards will arrive in the mail within seven to 10 days.

How to Get ID Online

While customers cannot apply for ID credentials online, they may use the RMV’s Online Service Center to begin an electronic questionnaire, obtain a list of required documents and verify their eligibility. After providing information about their SSNs, dates of birth and names, customers will receive an application and a list of documents that must be submitted in person, at an RMV Service Center.

REAL ID Cards in Massachusetts

While a Massachusetts REAL ID card is not needed until October 1, 2020, the state RMV began issuing these new types of credentials on March 26, 2018. As such, anyone who wishes to obtain a non-driver identification document in Massachusetts may apply for a standard, REAL ID or liquor identification credential at any time, depending on whether they wish to use their cards for federal or non-federal purposes.

For instance, Massachusetts residents may use REAL ID documents to enter federal buildings or fly within the country, while standard and liquor identification credentials cannot be used for these purposes. Unlike a standard ID card, a REAL ID credential displays a star as proof of its federal compliance.

However, residents do not need to apply for REAL ID credentials after October 1, 2020 if they hold a valid passport, a Permanent Resident card or a U.S. military identification credential. With these credentials, Massachusetts residents may continue to board U.S. airplanes and enter federal buildings.

If customers cannot present the documents required for REAL ID credentials, they will need to obtain a standard identification document (a Mass ID). When traveling domestically, however, passengers may use any of the following documents as proof of federal identification in lieu of a REAL ID credential:

  • An active passport, Global Entry card or passport card
  • Department of Defense IDs
  • Tribal-issued photo IDs
  • Identification credentials for transportation workers

How to Renew or Replace a State ID in Massachusetts

Residents may replace a lost ID card in MA if their original credentials are stolen from them or disappear from their possession. However, the specific replacement process varies by credential type. To replace a standard or REAL ID, for instance, customers may do so online, in person or by telephone. Additionally, members of the American Automobile Association may obtain a replacement credential at a local AAA office.

Moreover, those who wish to replace a liquor ID credential may do so by telephone, or they may begin an application online and complete the process in person, at an RMV Service Center.

In addition to obtaining a replacement ID card, customers may renew their standard or REAL ID credentials once every five years. To do so, residents may apply online or in person, at an RMV Service Center. However, customers cannot renew their liquor IDs. When their liquor ID credentials expire after five years, Massachusetts residents must re-apply for new credentials.

DMV ID Costs in Massachusetts

In most cases, fees vary by credential type, and the nature of the request. For instance, the following are the standard costs for an ID card in MA:

  • The cost of purchasing or renewing a photo ID is $5 per year.
  • The DMV ID cost for liquor identification credentials is $25 per credential.
  • The cost of replacing a credential is $25 (including liquor cards).
  • The cost of amending a credential is $25.
  • To donate to the Organ and Tissue Donor Registration Fund, customers may pay an additional $2.
Last updated on Wednesday, March 4 2020.