RMV Announces April 30 Conclusion of Opportunity to Qualify for Free REAL ID Upgrade

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is announcing that Friday, April 30, will be the last day to qualify for the Free REAL ID Upgrade Promotion. Customers may still qualify prior to April 30 by renewing their Standard Massachusetts driver’s license or ID card online at Mass.Gov/RMV.

Customers who already qualified by renewing online since June 12, 2020, will be able to begin booking in-person upgrade appointments for their no cost REAL ID online starting Thursday, April 1, and will have ample time to take advantage of their free REAL ID upgrade. Those customers with a U.S. Passport are already in compliance with federal REAL ID requirements that begin on Oct. 1, and should not need a REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights or entering certain federal buildings at that time.

“The RMV appreciates the public’s overwhelmingly positive response to this promotion and welcomes additional qualifying participation prior to April 30 for those who renew their license or ID online and defer their visit to a Service Center for a REAL ID to a later date,” said Acting RMV Registrar Colleen Ogilvie. “While federal REAL ID travel requirements won’t take effect until October 1, 2021, and customers with a valid U.S. Passport may never need a REAL ID, the RMV and our partners at AAA stand ready to accommodate and provide plenty of time for customers to take advantage of their free REAL ID upgrade.”

Customers are eligible to renew online up to one year in advance of the expiration date printed on their license or ID, and up to two years after the expiration date. This means customers expiring now through April 30, 2022, can renew online for a standard license / ID prior to the conclusion of the promotion, and still take advantage of the free future upgrade.  

Beginning Thursday, April 1, eligible customers who have already renewed their driver’s license/ID online since June 12, 2020, will now be able to book in-person appointments to upgrade their credentials at no cost at an RMV Service Center or a AAA location (if members). Appointments can be scheduled by RMV customers at Mass.Gov/RMV or by AAA members at northeast.aaa.com.

Customers will not need a federally compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights or entering certain federal buildings prior to Oct. 1, 2021, especially if they already possess a valid U.S. Passport which is already a federally complaint REAL ID document. The fee for renewing a non-commercial standard or REAL ID license is $50, while the fee for upgrading to a standard or REAL ID card is $25. The typical $25 upgrade / amendment fee will be waived under the above qualifying circumstances.

The Free REAL ID Upgrade Promotion began by Executive Order on June 12, 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, offering customers the flexibility and time to renew their license / ID online and wait to get their REAL ID, which requires an in-person visit and document verification at a Service Center or AAA. This promotion supported the RMV’s pandemic-related efforts to implement social distancing protocols, reduce in-person Service Center traffic, prioritize critical in-person transaction and appointment capacity and ultimately keep customers and staff safe.

Customers should take the following steps to determine their online renewal eligibility and qualify for this offer prior to the April 30, 2021, conclusion:

•Visit Mass.Gov/RMV, login to their “myRMV” account, and find out if they are permitted to renew online.

•Renew online – their new standard license or ID card will be sent via U.S. mail.

•The cost for renewing a driver’s license is $50. The cost for renewing an ID card is $25. These costs are the same for both a Standard or REAL ID license or ID card. The cost for upgrading or amending a license or ID card outside of their renewal cycle is $25 – this fee will be waived for participating, eligible RMV customers upgrading to a REAL ID license/ID.

•Eligible customers who have renewed online will be able to make an appointment for a REAL ID at an RMV Service Center or AAA office (for members) beginning on Thursday, April 1, and have their $25 upgrade / amendment fee waived.

•Customers can visit Mass.Gov/ID to find detailed information on REAL ID including a helpful checklist that conveniently outlines the documentation needed to secure a REAL credential.

•Customers are encouraged to begin their transaction online by visiting Mass.Gov/RMV, clicking on “Online Service Center,” selecting “Apply for a REAL ID,” and then following the prompts to verify their identity and start their transaction. Customers will be prompted to answer a series of questions to complete a summary document, which should be presented along with required REAL ID documentation during their in-person visit.  REAL ID credentials are mailed customers within seven–10 days of a visit to RMV Service Center and/or AAA location.

•Anyone who holds a valid U.S. passport or other federally compliant form of identification may never need an RMV-issued REAL ID.

•As a service to its members, AAA continues to issue REAL ID credentials and will be offering free REAL ID upgrades to eligible members. Members should make an appointment before visiting a AAA location.

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