BOSTON (WHDH) - The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles on Tuesday reminded the public that the countdown to the federal REAL ID requirement has begun.

Anyone traveling by plane domestically or wishing to enter certain federal buildings will need acceptable identification credentials, effective May 3, 2023.

Officials noted that acceptable credentials can include an RMV-issued REAL ID driver’s license or ID, or a valid passport.

The Registry is encouraging customers who are seeking a REAL ID compliant license or identification card to make an appointment at a statewide RMV Service Center to secure this credential before the federal requirement takes effect next year. 

“While federal REAL ID travel requirements won’t take effect until May 2023, and customers with a valid 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,” Registrar of Motor Vehicles Colleen Ogilvie said in a news release. “Customers are encouraged to take time now to check the expiration date on their Massachusetts driver’s licenses or identification cards, and if seeking a REAL ID, plan ahead and be prepared by having available all of the required documentation needed to secure this credential.”

Massport Director of Aviation Ed Freni added, “We don’t want passengers to be in a position where they can’t fly so we are urging passengers to get their REAL ID before the deadline next year.”

The RMV has posted helpful information on REAL ID requirements that customers can use to prepare for their in-person visits, including convenient document checklists to help pre-stage REAL ID applications, at Mass.Gov/ID. Documents required for this transaction include two proofs of Massachusetts residency, proof of a full Social Security Number, and proof of lawful presence.

The Bay State is currently at 41% REAL ID adoption. Appointments to secure a REAL ID can be made here.

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