You Need a REAL ID to Board All Domestic Flights: Find out how to get one....

The deadline for needing REAL IDs to board domestic flights or access federal facilities or nuclear power plants is coming quick. Massachusetts drivers' licenses and state IDs must be REAL ID compliant by Oct. 1, 2020, when the change to bring state-issued identification in line with federal standards takes full effect.

Here are eight common REAL ID questions answered:

Do I have to get a REAL ID?

No. REAL IDs are optional. If you have a passport, you can use that form of identification to board flights and obtain entry into federal facilities. REAL IDs are not required to drive in Massachusetts.

Who needs a REAL ID?


You need a REAL ID if:

  • You do not have a valid U.S. passport or passport card; AND
  • You use airplanes as a mode of domestic transportation; or
  • You visit military bases; or
  • You visit secure federal facilities.

Do I need a REAL ID to vote?

No. You do not need a REAL ID to vote.

How and where do I get a REAL ID?

Obtaining a REAL ID requires an in-person visit to an RMV location. You can find those here.

What documents do I need to get a REAL ID?

The requirements are different from a standard ID. 

One must provide any ONE of the following:

  • SSN Card (cannot be laminated)
  • W-2 Form
  • SSA-1099 Form
  • Non-SSA-1099 Form
  • A pay stub with the applicant's name and full SSN on it
  • SSN Denial Notice with passport, visa, and I-94

ONE of the following:

  • Valid, unexpired U.S. passport or passport card
  • Certified copy of a birth certificate filed with a State Office of Vital Statistics or equivalent agency in the individual's state of birth — A Puerto Rican birth certificate will only be accepted for identification if it was issued on or after July 1, 2010. For more information on the Puerto Rican birth certificate law, visit the Puerto Rico Federal Affairs Administration website at
  • Consular Report of Birth Abroad (CRBA) issued by the U.S. Department of State, Form FS-240, DS-1350, or FS-545
  • Valid, unexpired Permanent Resident Card (Form I-551) issued by DHS or INS
  • Temporary I-551 stamp in foreign passport
  • Unexpired employment authorization document (EAD) issued by DHS, Form I-766, or Form I-688B
  • Unexpired foreign passport with a valid, unexpired U.S. visa affixed — A non-US passport must contain a current visa and be presented with an I-94 Record of Arrival and Departure, unless you have a Permanent Resident Card or other change in status. The I-94 can be either a paper version from U.S. Customs and Border Protection or a printout of an electronic version downloaded from their website at — For applicable customers who have a Certificate of Eligibility (I-20) or Certificate of Eligibility for Exchange Visitor Status (DS-2019) documentation verifying the applicant's most recent admittance into the United States must be shown.
  • Certificate of Citizenship, Form N-560, or Form N-561, issued by DHS
  • Certificate of Naturalization (Form N-550 or N-570)
  • Re-Entry Permit (I-327)
  • Refugee Travel Document (I-571)

TWO of the following:

Massachusetts RMV- issued documents (can use one from the options below):

  • Current license, Massachusetts ID card, or learner's permit (liquor ID not accepted)
  • RMV-issued correspondence dated within 60 days and received via U.S. mail (including license/registration reminders) 

State/federal/municipal/city/town/county agency-issued documents:

  • 1st class mail dated within 60 days
  • Current MA-issued professional license with photograph
  • Medicaid statement dated within 60 days
  • Current firearms card
  • Jury duty summons dated within 60 days
  • Court correspondence dated within 60 days
  • Property tax for current year
  • Excise tax for current year


  • Utility bill (electric, telephone, water, sewer, cable, satellite, heating) dated within 60 days
  • Credit card statement dated within 60 days
  • Medical/hospital statement dated within 60 days
  • Cell phone bill dated within 60 days


  • Current lease/mortgage or similar rental contract

Financial-related documents

  • Bank statement that contains images of cancelled personal checks dated within 60 days
  • W-2 wage and tax statement from immediate prior year
  • Current pension statement (401k, 457, SEP, etc.)
  • Current retirement statement
  • Pay stub dated within 60 days
  • Current SSA statement
  • Current installment loan contract (car loan)

School-issued document

  • Official school transcript for current year
  • Official letter from school (proof of enrollment) dated within 60 days
  • Tuition bill for current year
  • Certified school record for current year

Insurance-related documents

  • Auto insurance policy for current year
  • Renter's insurance policy for current year
  • Homeowner's insurance policy for current year

Alternative Residency Affidavit

  • For applicants under the age of 18 only

What happens after I apply for a REAL ID?

First, you'll receive a temporary, secure paper DL/ID at the facility — but TSA and federal agents will not accept the temporary, paper document. After review and verification of documents have been conducted, your new permanent REAL ID card will be mailed to you within 15 business days.

How much does it cost?

$50, sorry.