I'm taking my oldest son on a trip to Yellowstone National Park with a couple of friends next week and I'm starting to get some things in order for it. You know, packing, money, air travel information...

Speaking of airports and airplanes and the TSA, I don't fly very often, but I do remember hearing about this new Massachusetts REAL ID and how we all need to get one.

Businessman at airport looking airplane taking off

The pandemic halted the original date Massachusetts residents needed to get one by, but now it's less than a year.

Young woman showing her driver's license

When I renewed my Massachusetts Driver's License in August of 2021, I noticed at the top it said, "Not For Federal ID". I had never seen that before.

Well the time is coming that you need a "REAL ID", and it's less than a year, in fact you have 11 months now.


As you can see in the illustration above, you CANNOT board an airplane after May 3, 2023 without a REAL ID.

What is a Standard driver's license/ID?

  • Is a valid driver’s license or identification card
  • Is not valid as a form of federal ID
  • Can be renewed online without going to the RMV
  • Has “NOT FOR FEDERAL ID” displayed on the card

What is a REAL ID driver's license/ID?

  • Is a valid driver’s license or identification card
  • Is valid as a form of federal ID
  • Requires an in-person visit
  • Has a star displayed on the document to indicate that is a federally compliant card

The thing about the REAL ID is that you must make an IN PERSON appointment to obtain one, not just apply or renew online.

For more information on the Massachusetts REAL ID, go here.

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