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Identity requirements for vehicle registration

If you do not have a driver's license, a Massachusetts ID, or a Social Security number, you will be required to prove lawful presence in the United States to obtain a registration.

Per MGL Chapter 90, Section 2, a resident of Massachusetts, or another state or country, who does not have a driver's license, a Massachusetts ID, or a Social Security Number, will be required to prove lawful presence to obtain a registration.


By law (M.G.L. c.90 § 2) a ‘natural person’ applying for a vehicle registration must provide proof of identity to complete the following registration transactions:

  • New registrations

  • Registration transfers

  • Plate swaps

  • Renewals

  • Amendments

  • Reinstatements

When you apply for a registration for a motor vehicle or trailer, you must provide at least one of the following:

  • Unexpired Massachusetts Driver’s License or Massachusetts ID Card Number – Number will be verified by the RMV.
  • Unexpired Out-of-State (OOS) or Out-of-Country (OOC) Driver’s License - Physical license required if in-person. If owner is not physically present, a color copy of the front and back of the license is required.
  • Your Social Security (SSN) Card - Physical SSN Card must be presented. The card cannot be laminated.
  • Proof of lawful presence - Must present one of the documents listed on the acceptable identification documents list

If a vehicle has two owners, both owners must prove lawful presence.

If you register a vehicle in the name of a sole proprietor with either of the following:

  • Federal identification number

  • Employer identification number

Then the sole proprietor must provide his/her SSN on the registration application.  If the sole proprietor does not have an SSN, he/she must:

  • Re-register and re-title all vehicles in his/her individual name

  • Provide proof of lawful presence