REAL ID Credential Won't Be Needed Until 2025

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BOSTON — The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is alerting the public the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has extended the REAL ID full enforcement date from May 3, 2023 to May 7, 2025.  

Beginning May 7, 2025, every air traveler 18 years of age and older will need a REAL ID compliant driver's license or identification card, or another TSA-acceptable form of identification, for domestic air travel and to enter certain federal facilities.  TSA publishes a list of its acceptable identification documents on its website:  https://www.tsa.gov/real-id

These credentials can include an RMV-issued REAL ID driving license or ID, or a valid U.S. passport. The Registry is currently serving customers seeking a license renewal, or new license, the opportunity to make an appointment to get a REAL ID compliant license. 

Documents required for this transaction include two proofs of Massachusetts Residency, proof of a full Social Security Number (SSN), and proof of lawful presence. These required documents must be original or certified versions. The RMV recommends customers to check these documents early, as well as to order replacements before license/ID expiration.

"The Registry continues to assist any residents seeking a REAL ID credential even though the federal government has extended the full enforcement date until May 7, 2025," said Registrar Colleen Ogilvie. "While federal REAL ID travel requirements won't take effect for a few years, 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 a REAL ID upgrade."

Currently Massachusetts is at 48 percent REAL ID adoption, out of approximately 6 million active credentials total. The other active credentials consist of around 450,000 legacy credentials and over 2.4 million standard / non-compliant credentials.

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.

Prior to May 7, 2025, customers will not yet need a federally compliant REAL ID for the purposes of boarding domestic flights or entering certain federal buildings. 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.

Massachusetts residents may go online for information about the REAL ID and about online renewal eligibility:

  • Visit https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles, login to "myRMV" account, and find out if credentials are permitted to be renewed online.
  • Customers can visit https://www.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 highly encouraged to begin their transaction online by visiting https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles, 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 complete a summary document which should be presented along with required REAL ID documentation during their in-person visit. REAL ID credentials are mailed to customers within 7–10 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.
  • Customers who already have a full-term REAL ID are eligible to renew online up to a year in advance of their expiration date.

Appointments can be scheduled by RMV customers at https://atlas-myrmv.massdot.state.ma.us/myrmv/ or by AAA members at https://northeast.aaa.com/automotive/registry-services/schedule-rmv.html.

Document issuing agencies may be experiencing delays in fulfilling requests. Full details can be found at https://www.mass.gov/guides/massachusetts-identification-id-requirements

For additional information and details on these and other RMV service offerings, please visit www.mass.gov/rmv or https://www.mass.gov/info-details/rmv-covid-19-information.


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Owner of Abandoned Cats Pleads Guilty to Animal Cruelty

Staff Reports
PITTSFIELD, Mass. — A woman accused of abandoning more than a dozen cats during snowstorm a year ago has pleaded guilty. 
 
Kelly Hathaway of Pittsfield pleaded guilty on Friday to two counts of animal cruelty in Central Berkshire District Court as part of a plea agreement. Following the plea agreement, she was ordered to have a mental health evaluation and follow any after care as instructed by the court.
 
She was placed on two years probation and ordered to perform 50 hours of community service. She is not allowed to possess any animals and was ordered to surrender any she has in her care. She is also prohibited from volunteering with any animal groups.
 
Hathaway and another defendant were charged last March with abandoning 15 cats on back roads in Richmond and Lanesborough after an investigation by Lanesborough Police, Lanesborough Animal Control and the Massachusetts Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals.
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