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REAL ID requirements in Massachusetts



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MASSACHUSETTS

Massachusetts Complies with the REAL ID Standards.

Massachusetts is called the "Bay State". This State is coordinated with the Federal Government and highly involved into achieve a more secure country for all american territories, and to help inhibit terrorists when there is a possibility of these ones trying to avoid detection by using fraudulent IDs. Every State improves with the goal of a safest country and frontiers.

Go to the official state page

What is a REAL ID?

<strong>REAL ID</strong> info in Massachusetts

The REAL ID is a new type of Identification that sets more secure standards for the Issue of new Identification cards in every State, like for example the driver´s license. These new cards will be necessary for official purposes, and the Federal agencies will be obligated to request it in case of a person accessing any Federal Facilities, entering Nuclear Power Plants or even for boarding a commercial aircraft around the States.

The deadline to fully cover the new Identification cards is set to October 2021, from that date, every State will have to start issuing the new REAL ID for all the legal residents in the States to allow them to move around the States in a commercial aircraft.

Please bear in mind that from October 1st, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), will only accept the Identification cards and Driving licenses that comply with the REAL ID standards and are issued by a REAL ID compliant State. The Department of Homeland Security is working really hard to help and assist all the different territories for them to be able to issue the new REAL ID cards by the deadline.

The REAL ID is not a national identification card, and it doesn't create a centralized federal database. We would like to leave clear that every State will keep issuing their own cards with its characteristics and will keep having their own records.

In some States, the security Standards are already set up to the REAL ID ones, so in this States, the card issue will work as a REAL ID. These States are: New York, Vermont, Minnesota, Michigan and Washington.

To process your REAL ID card you will have to make an appointment on your current State driving license agency website and check the requirements and the papers you will have to present there, most of the States will request documentation that shows: Full name and date of birth, if you have your Social Security Number, your address and your legal Status.

All new REAL ID cards are distinguished from the regular ones because they have one of the following marks:

Anyway, if you have any doubts it is better to ask your State agency than to risk yourself being denied to board a commercial flight, or enter a Federal facility, because of not having a Valid ID.

The Transportation Security Administration also accepts other identification documents in case you have to travel, like the passport for example, just to be sure, before you have to use your ID visit the TSA website to check what are your other options.

Who can apply for a REAL ID in Massachusetts?

Every American citizen must have a REAL ID card or an Identification card that is compliant with the REAL ID model.

You may find that some States can issue some identification cards to non citizens or Undocumented immigrants,if this is your case, the REAL ID allows some States to issue driver's licenses and IDs for you, always with some different characteristics and or another color. If you want to check if there is a chance for you to get a REAL ID for yourself, we recommend you to visit the DHS website to check what are your options.

Any person with an Employment Authorization Document can apply for a REAL ID card which will be temporary until its expiration date. (In this case you will also need to be in possession of a Social Security Number).

There have been some modifications and additions to the REAL ID Act, so if you are not sure you are entitled to have this Identification card, we recommend you to ask for assistance to you local State Agency or to visit the DHS website.

WHAT IF I HAVE A FLIGHT BOOKED?

If you are planning to fly around the States after October 1 2021, you must keep in mind that a REAL ID will be demanded by the authorities to go through the checkpoint at the airport, if you are not in possession of the new REAL ID, you may be allowed to board and Aircraft by using the passport as an alternative way to be identified, other way your boarding will be rejected. On the other hand, if you plan to fly before this date, the DHS and the TSA will allow you to travel with your current driver's license or the regular identification card issued by your State.

The REAL ID is not required by children under 18 years old travelling accompanied, in this case, a valid ID will be enough to cross the security at the airport.

The REAL ID card does not replace a passport in any case, we have to leave clear that if you are travelling internationally, i.e into Canada or Mexico, or if you are boarding an international cruise, a passport will be the document to present as a valid identification. The REAL ID card can only be used to travel inside the United States, not to cross the border.

WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET YOUR REAL ID?

As we said before, all American citizens and residents of the United States must obtain their REAL ID before OCtober 1st 2021. To this purpose, the following documentation will be required for your State agency:

  • ID with full name and date of birth - Passport if you are from a foreign country with a valid VISA.
  • Social Security Number - If you are from a foreign country, you will be required to bring your Employer Authorization Document or any valid document that allows you to work and reside in the States for a certain period of time.
  • 2 receipts/proofs of your principal local address - It is really important that you bring two.
  • Document of your Legal Status - you need to bring any proof in the case you are married, divorced or whichever your situation is.

Please keep in mind that all this process to obtain or renew your REAL ID card, will be done personally, it is not acceptable to do it remotely. Every State will have their own database to issue the REAL ID card, so with this in mind, you may want to check your State specific requirements before your appointment.

WHAT OPTION DO I HAVE IF MY STATE DOES NOT COMPLY WITH THE REAL ID?

There will be possible solutions for you if by the time October comes your State doesn’t comply with the Standards of the new REAL ID - Please bear in mind that all States are now working really closely with the DHS to issue REAL ID cards by the deadline.

Report it to the DHS - THere is a lot of bureaucracy in this aspect, and the DHS has the last word. In some scenarios exists the possibility that the jurisdiction will be granted with an extension, in which case the DHS will closely work with their officials to comply with this new rule ASAP.

You can apply for a regular ID card that does not comply with the REAL ID standards. If this becomes your case, you can make a good use of your ID, and it will be valid for certain purposes but NOT FOR OFFICIAL ONES. Check that your ID will have an inscription informing that the card is not valid for "Official purposes"), so in case you need to board an aircraft for a regional flight for example, you will have to bring your passport.

Enhanced Driver's License:

These drivers licenses are acceptable as valid IDs to cross the border into Canada or Mexico. The list of States who comply and Issue this kind of cards are: New York, Minnesota, Vermont, Washington and Michigan. These cards are approved by the Secretary of Homeland Security to be used as border cross IDs by land or sea due to the fact that those have a Radio Frequency Identification Chip and comply with the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

COMPLIANCE in Massachusetts



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