- Massachusetts Commission for the Blind
- Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles
Media Contact for Possible effects of the REAL ID and the MCB ID
Wayne Levy, Director of Communications
Boston, Massachusetts — MCB is closely following the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles’ (RMV) March, 2018 roll out about the REAL ID in Massachusetts. This announcement could have potential impact on MCB consumers and the MCB ID policies and procedures. The MCB ID is a state authorized form of ID under M.G.L. c.6, s.135, issued by MCB free of charge for a five-year term to residents of the Commonwealth registered with MCB, but this card does not meet federal standards for issuance and monitoring of a secure form of personal identification. The RMV is the designated state agency that issues IDs that meet this standard.
Currently, some MCB consumers use the MCB ID for identification purposes when cashing a check and purchasing medication. The card and/or MCB issued Certificate of Blindness is also accepted to determine eligibility for free or reduced fares on public transit statewide. An MCB ID is not accepted as identification to board a plane in the U.S. Consumers are encouraged to secure a Standard or REAL Massachusetts ID, issued by the RMV, and/or a passport to facilitate airplane travel. Additionally, certain federal buildings that require identification and nuclear power plants now require the RMV REAL ID for entrance.
As new government standards of personal identification are enforced over the next few years, MCB anticipates the MCB ID will have diminished viability. The MCB ID does not contain a scannable bar code, which is key to curtailing counterfeit ID’s and deactivating lost or stolen ID’s. Again, MCB is not authorized to upgrade the ID procedures to come into compliance with federal law since as noted above. Therefore, MCB will evaluate over time whether the present MCB ID will continue.
At this time, MCB encourages all consumers to consider obtaining the Standard ID or the REAL ID from the MA RMV at their earliest convenience. This will require an initial visit to the RMV and the charge for both the Standard and REAL ID is $25.00 for a 5-year term. MCB’s case managers and central registration staff will be delivering this message to all in an effort to avoid MCB consumers being denied access because the MCB ID does not meet current and future standards of secure personal identification.
All RMV ID’s require customers to provide documents showing they are U.S. citizens or lawfully present in the United States. Specific information about the REAL ID can be found at www.mass.gov/REALID. As you will see on the website, much of the work can be done online, ahead of the trip to the RMV.