The Boston Globe’s Adam Vaccaro explains new procedures coming to the MA RMV.
The huge shutdown is necessary to install software that can, among other tasks, issue new types of “Real ID” driver’s licenses required by federal law as a security safeguard in the wake of the Sept. 11 attacks. Pollack said officials timed the closure to minimize interference with the end-of-the-month crush from drivers with expiring inspection stickers scrambling for a new one.
And when the RMV comes back on line, Massachusetts drivers will see big changes—including waiting in line if they want a new type of licenses instead of renewing online. Drivers seeking to renew or get a new driver’s license will need to bring several documents to the RMV, one that shows their Social Security number, another proving US citizenship such as a passport, or that shows lawful presence in the country, like an employment authorization card. Applicants will also need two documents proving Massachusetts residency, such as utility bills or bank statements.
Drivers aren’t required to obtain a Real ID, but if they don’t, their license will no longer be a valid form of identification for boarding a flight within the US, or entering a federal building after October 2020. Instead, they would need to use a passport.
The state will also issue non-Real ID-compliant licenses that nonetheless will require drivers to show more documentation than previously, including proof of citizenship or lawful presence, and a single document showing proof of residency. These licenses can still be renewed online. Previously, only holders of US visas had been required to provide such documentation for license renewals.
How confidant are you that the software update will actually work on Monday? How likely is it that all MA residents have a current passport? Why plan this update at the end of March if the objective is not to interfere in the end of the month crush? Other thoughts?