State Issued ID

As a temporary resident of the state of Massachusetts, you may be eligible to apply for a MA state ID. 

Starting July 1, 2023 eligible residents in Massachusetts can obtain a Standard (Class D or M) driver's license, regardless of immigration status, under the Work and Family Mobility Act. For more information, visit

International students and scholars are eligible to apply for a Massachusetts driver's license regardless of their I-20 or DS-2019 duration (even less than 12 months).  However, not for the State ID since by May 2025, the State ID must be a Real ID card, and the Real ID card application still requires a minimum of 12 months (remaining) visa status in I-20 or DS-2019. 

You will also need to choose between getting a REAL ID license or ID card, or a Standard license or ID card. Visit the RMV website for more information and a complete list of acceptable identification documents. You may find it advantageous to apply for a Standard ID card as the validity is much longer. The REAL ID permits domestic airline travel; however, the HIO recommends that international students and scholars always travel with their immigration documents (even within the U.S.) in case they are required to prove their status.

Massachusetts Driver's License

In order to obtain a Massachusetts driver’s license, you must go to a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) office and take a written test in order to obtain a learner’s permit. You must later take a road test (driving test) in order to get the actual driver’s license. For information on Massachusetts driving regulations, consult the RMV website. For information on application instructions, click here.

You may find information about driving on your home country's valid license on the RMV website.

The RMV website has a list of service centers. If you need to complete an in-person transaction, you are strongly encouraged to make an appointment in advance. Please note that some locations only provide limited services (noted on the website). The addresses of two nearby service centers are listed below. Both of these locations are open Monday through Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.

  • Boston: 136 Blackstone Street
  • Watertown: 550 Arsenal Street

Standard D/M License Documentation Checklist

MA ID Card

To be eligible for a Mass ID card, you must:

  • Be at least 14 years old.
  • Be a Massachusetts resident (bring evidence of residency)
  • Not hold a driver’s license in any U.S. state.
  • Have a Social Security number (or a certified denial letter from the SSA).

For application instructions and required documents, please see Apply for a MA ID on the MA RMV website. 

MA Liquor ID Card

To be eligible for a Mass Liquor ID card, you must:

For application instructions and required documents, please see Apply for a Liquor ID on the MA RMV website. 

Application Instructions for an MA ID/Liquor ID Card

You may begin the application process for the MA ID Card or Liquor ID Card online on the MA RMV website. In order to ocomplete the application process, you must visit a full-service RMV service center in person. You are strongly encouraged to make an appointment in advance.

Before going to the RMV office, you must consult the RMV website for the list of required documents to bring with you. All documents must be originals. The MA RMV does not accept photocopies. You must have separate documents to prove your residence, date of birth and signature. One document cannot be used to satisfy more than one category.

Your new MA ID card or Liquor ID card will be mailed to you. The MA RMV will issue you a temporary MA ID or Liquor ID card for 30 days. Please note that restaurants, bars, etc. are legally permitted to exercise their own discretion in deciding whether or not to accept the Massachusetts ID Card as proof of age.

For more complete information, please refer to the RMV’s website.