Identification (ID) requirements

The RMV requires you to provide the required identification for each different type of credential you apply for even if you already have a Massachusetts ID, Liquor ID, or driver’s license.

Overview

All customers must provide a valid Social Security number (SSN), which will be verified with the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you do not have a SSN, you must provide a valid foreign passport with an I-94 and acceptable visa status as well as a Social Security Denial Notice (not more than 60 days old) issued by the SSA.

For customers 18 years of age and older, customers must submit documents that prove the following three aspects of identity:

  • Massachusetts residency
  • Signature
  • Date of birth

For customers under the age of 18, only a document that proves date of birth is required and these customers are not required to submit proof of Massachusetts residency or signature. Refer to the Acceptable Identification Documents list.

All identification documents must be originals unless otherwise indicated. Photocopies will not be accepted. In addition, the same document may not be used to prove more than one identification requirement.

Additional Resources

Translation policy

If you present a document that is not written or printed in the English language, it must be accompanied by a translation that is certified by a bilingual teacher at an accredited Massachusetts college, university, or private language school, by a bilingual notary public, or by the local consulate for the document's country of origin.

If translated by a teacher or consulate, the translation must be printed on the letterhead of the consulate, college, university, or private language school and it must be properly formatted. This must be printed on the translator's letterhead, completed by the translator, and submitted to the RMV with the foreign language document.

If translated by a notary, the translation must have the notary's official seal.

Additional Resources

Social Security number (SSN) requirements

You must have a valid Social Security number (SSN) to apply for any learner's permit, driver's license, or ID card, including a replacement or a renewal. The RMV will validate the SSN you provide against computer records at the Social Security Administration (SSA). If you do not have an SSN, you may request an application for one by calling (800) 772-1213.

If you are not a citizen and do not have an SSN, you should apply for one at a Social Security Office as soon as possible. If you are denied an SSN, you may still qualify for a Massachusetts driver's license if you can meet other identification requirements proving your age, signature, and Massachusetts residency. However, to prove that you applied for an SSN, you must present the written notice the SSA provided you, which informed you that you were not eligible for an SSN.

The RMV requires your SSN to confirm your identity and to maintain your license and driving records.

Additional Resources

Visa classification codes

Any visa presented must indicate an authorized stay in the U.S. of at least 12 months (from the date of application at the RMV) to be eligible for a MA license or ID card.

Acceptable visa classes

The following visa classes are acceptable for processing a learner's permit, driver's license, and Mass ID Card transaction.

  • A-1 through A-3
    • The visa holder is eligible for a learner's permit, driver's license, or ID card only if the customer presents a letter from the Office of Foreign Missions (OFM) stating that he/she is not eligible for a United States State Department license and meets all identification requirements.
  • DV
  • E-1 through E-2
  • E-3 and E-3D
  • F-1 through F-2
    • The visa holder must present an I-20 certificate of eligibility
    • The I-20 should state that the customer is enrolled in a Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, or Vermont school.
    • The visa holder's I-94 must be endorsed with Duration of Status. (The I-94 can be either a paper version from US Customs and Border Protection or a printout of an electronic version downloaded from their website: www.cbp.gov/i94
  • G-1 through G-5
  • H-1B through H-4
  • I
  • J-1 through J-2
    • The visa holder must present a I-20/DS-2019 (earlier known as the IAP-66) certificate of eligibility.
    • The visa holder's I-94 must be endorsed with Duration of Status. (The I-94 can be either a paper version from US Customs and Border Protection or a printout of an electronic version downloaded from their website: www.cbp.gov/i94
  • K-1 through K-4
  • L-1 through L-2
  • M-1 through M-2
    • The visa holder must present an I-20 certificate of eligibility.
    • The I-20 should state that the customer is enrolled in a Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New York, Rhode Island, or Vermont school.
    • The visa holder's I-94 must be endorsed with Duration of Status. (The I-94 can be either a paper version from US Customs and Border Protection or a printout of an electronic version downloaded from their website: www.cbp.gov/i94
  • N-1 through N-2
  • O-1 through O-3
  • Q-1 through Q-3
  • R-1 through R-2
  • S-5 through S-7
  • TN
  • TD
  • V-1 through V-3

Unacceptable visa classes

The following visa classes do not prove legal presence, and are therefore not acceptable for learner's permit, driver's license, and Mass ID Card transactions:

  • B-1 through B-2 and B1-B2 multiple (this is tourist or business only)
  • C1 through C-3
  • D
  • NATO
  • W-B
  • W-T

If a customer has a visa classification listed as not acceptable, he/she is not eligible for a Massachusetts learner's permit, driver's license, or Mass ID, but may be eligible for a Liquor ID. Any valid visa is acceptable for obtaining a Liquor ID.

Feedback

Tell us what you think