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Massachusetts RMV offering free upgrade to REAL ID to eligible customers



QUINCY – The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is encouraging all eligible customers to renew their standard Massachusetts driver’s license or Massachusetts ID card online at Mass.Gov/RMV any time between now and August 12, 2020, in order to qualify for a free upgrade to a REAL ID credential in 2021. This one-time, time limited offer is available to most customers who have an expired or expiring license or ID card dated between March 2020 and August 2021, as renewals are allowed up to two years after expiration, or up to a year in advance of the expiration date printed on their license or ID.

“The RMV is encouraging all of our customers to stay safe, save time, and go online during the COVID-19 pandemic to renew their license or ID card, rather than attempting to come in to get a REAL ID,” said RMV Registrar Jamey Tesler. “Over 500,000 people have a license or ID credentials that expires this summer that can be renewed online, and we hope they will all take advantage of this one-time offer for a free, future upgrade to allow the RMV to prioritize ‘social-distancing’ and other essential transactions that may only be completed in-person.”

Qualifying customers who complete their renewal online prior to August 12th and wish to upgrade to a REAL ID for free, will have to wait until at least February 2021 to visit an RMV Service Center. At this time, customers will not need a federally-compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights prior to October 1, 2021 because the federal government delayed the compliance effective date by one-year. The fee for obtaining a standard or REAL ID license is $50, while the fee for obtaining a standard or REAL ID card is $25. The typical $25 upgrade / amendment fee will be waived under these qualifying circumstances. A limited digital campaign – “Stay Safe, Save Time, Go Online” — will also accompany this promotion and can be viewed at this link:

Obtaining an initial federally-compliant REAL ID requires all customers to visit a Service Center in-person to present verifying documents. The RMV has introduced this initiative and fee waiver pursuant to Executive Order 39 issued by Governor Baker on June 12, 2020, and in light of the COVID-19 public health emergency to encourage ‘social-distancing’ and limit unnecessary travel by reducing the need for many customers to visit a Service Center, and allowing for the prioritization of essential in-person needs by appointment-only.

Customers should take the following steps to determine their online renewal eligibility and to qualify for this offer:

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

Renew online by August 12th – your new standard license or ID card will be sent to you 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 your renewal cycle is $25, which will be waived for participating, eligible RMV customers.

Customers who renew online will have to wait until at least February 2021 to make an appointment for a REAL ID and have their $25 upgrade / amendment fee waived. Anyone who holds a valid U.S. passport or other federally-compliant form of identification may never need a RMV-issued REAL ID.

As a service to its members, AAA continues to issue REAL ID credentials for their members only and members should make an appointment before visiting an AAA location.

While the RMV has previously announced the below automatic extensions to certain expiring licenses and ID cards, all eligible customers are encouraged to take advantage of this offer by renewing online prior to August 12th.

· ​Driver’s licenses and ID cards that expired or will expire in ​March, April, and May 2020 ​will now expire in ​September 2020.

· Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in ​June​ have been extended until ​October 2020.

· ​Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in ​July​ have been extended until ​November 2020.

· Driver’s licenses and ID cards that will expire in ​August​ have been extended until December 2020.

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