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Massachusetts Driver’s License Renewal (A Complete 2022 Guide)

Massachusetts Driver’s License Renewal (A Complete Guide)

Need to renew your MA driver’s license?

It’s easy! 

Now, when you think of renewing your license, it may seem like such a hassle. 

Thankfully, in Massachusetts, there are 2 ways to get it done. 

And to make it even more convenient, we’re going to give you a complete guide on the Massachusetts driver’s license renewal. We’ll walk you through the channels, all the steps, all the requirements, and much more. 

If you’re curious about the REAL ID, we’ll talk about that, too. 

So let’s get started right away!

How to Renew Your Driver’s License in Massachusetts

In Massachusetts, there are two ways to renew your driver’s license: 

  • Online
  • In Person

Unfortunately, renewal by mail isn’t available, so you have to choose either of the two options. 

How to Renew A Massachusetts Driver’s License Online

The easiest and fastest way to renew your license is online

However, you must meet the eligibility requirements listed below.

  • You are younger than 74 years old
  • Your last renewal was done at an RMV office 
  • You have an email account or mobile phone
  • You have a credit card or checking account
  • You have a Social Security Number
  • Your driver’s license is not suspended or revoked
  • You have no unpaid tickets, EZ-Pass violations, and excise tax
  • You can provide proof of citizenship or lawful presence

If you are eligible, here are the steps:

  1. Prepare proof of citizenship or legal presence in the US and proof of identity. You can check valid documents here. 
  1. Go to the RMV Online Service Center.
  1. Select “Renew My Driver’s License”
  1. Enter the information found on your driver’s license and click ‘Submit’. 
  1. Check your basic information before proceeding. 
  1. Choose between a REAL ID driver’s license or a standard driver’s license.
    1. REAL ID – your driver’s license will be valid for federal identification
    2. Standard ID – not valid for federal identification and for when you’re flying domestically
  1. If you choose to apply for a REAL ID, you need to apply in person after you complete your online application. 
    1. Complete the application online. 
    2. Print the summary of your application. 
    3. Make an appointment with an RMV Office. 
  1. For standard driver’s license renewal, complete the application online. 
  1. Upload documents that prove citizenship or legal presence in the US.
  1. Pay the renewal fee of $50 for a Class D or Class M license. For Class DM licenses, pay $65.
  1. Wait for your new driver’s license to be mailed to you in 7-10 business days.

And you’re done!

How easy was that?

How to Renew A Massachusetts Driver’s License In-Person

You are required to renew your driver’s license in person if:

  • You need to change your basic information (name, address)
  • You are applying for a REAL ID driver’s license
  • Your driver’s license has expired for more than two years
  • Your last license renewal was done online 
  • You don’t have a Social Security Number

Here are the steps to renewing your driver’s license at an RMV office: 

  1. Before going to an RMV office, prepare these documents:
    1. Proof of citizenship or legal presence in the US
    2. Proof of identity (original birth certificate, valid ID)
    3. Social Security Number (if available)
    4. Information change documents (if applicable) 
    5. Summary of your application (if upgrading to a REAL ID)
  1. Make a reservation online. 
  1. Complete the renewal application and submit the required documents at the office. 
  1. Take a vision exam, knowledge exam, or skills exam (if your license is expired for more than 2 years)
  1. Pay the $50 renewal fee or the $65 fee for Class DM licenses. If upgrading to a REAL ID, pay the fee of $25. 
  1. Receive your temporary driver’s license. Your new license will be mailed to you. 

Sure, it may be a bit more hassle, but it’s still very easy. 

Renewing Below 21 Years Old

You are allowed to renew your license if you’re below 21 years old. However, it’s highly recommended that you renew it after you turn 21 so that you can get the official license. 

Renewing before you’re 21 will give you a vertical driver’s license that you need to eventually replace when you’re an adult. You will also pay a renewal fee twice, so waiting until you’re 21 saves you money. 

To renew your driver’s license, you need to visit an RMV and bring your current license (permit, probationary). From there, follow the steps when renewing in person. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Want to know more about the Massachusetts driver’s license renewal process? Here are some frequently asked questions to help you. 

When does my MA driver’s license expire?

The Massachusetts driver’s license expires every 5 years. To know the exact date, check the expiration date stated on your license. 

When can I renew my MA driver’s license? 

You can start renewing your driver’s license one year before it expires. 

Should I upgrade to a REAL ID?

While you are not required to get a REAL ID when renewing your driver’s license, it’s highly recommended that you do so. The downside is that you have to renew in person. 

However, a REAL ID becomes a valid federal identification. You can also use this ID if you’re flying domestically. 

So if you will be flying domestically in the next few years, it’s better to upgrade to a REAL ID. 

Do I need an eye exam to renew my license in MA?

This depends on whether you are renewing in person or online. If you are renewing online, you won’t be asked to take a vision test. 

If you’re renewing in person, you may be asked to take a vision test, especially if your license has expired for more than two years OR if it’s your first time to renew in person.

How long do you have to renew your license after it expires in Massachusetts?

You have two years after your license’s expiry date to renew your license. However, it’s considered a misdemeanor if you are caught driving with an expired license. 

Can you drive while waiting for your renewed license in Massachusetts?

Yes, you can drive as long as you are given a temporary driver’s license. However, you are not allowed to drive if you don’t have a valid driver’s license. 

Conclusion

And that concludes your complete guide to the Massachusetts driver’s license renewal. 

As we saw, Massachusetts only has two ways to renew, but both processes are very easy to do. 

To avoid long lines and going to the office, always opt to renew online. 

If you’re not eligible, then there’s no choice but to go to an RMV office. 

Nonetheless, renewing your driver’s license is not as complicated as you might think. 

So go ahead and renew your license today!

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