State Issued ID

As a temporary resident of the state of Massachusetts, you may be eligible to apply for a MA state ID. Please review the chart below to determine which ID card may be best for you.

Note that your visa document (Form DS-2019, Form I-20, or Form I-797) must indicate an authorized stay in the U.S. of at least 12 months total to be eligible for a learner's permit, driver's license, or Mass ID card. If your Form DS-2019 or Form I-20 is valid for less than 12 months total, you will only be eligible to apply for the MA Liquor ID.

B1, B2 visa and Visa Waivers (WB and WT) do not prove legal presence, and are therefore not acceptable for an MA driver's license, and MA ID card. B visa holders and those on Visa Waivers are not eligible to apply for an MA driver's license, and MA ID card.

Type of ID Age of Eligiblity 12 Months of Authorize Stay Required? U.S. Federal ID? ID for Bars?
Driver's License 16.5 Yes Yes Yes
MA State ID 14 Yes Yes Yes
MA Liquor ID 21 No No Yes

You will also need to choose between getting a REAL ID license or ID card, or a Standard license or ID card. Visit Mass.gov/ID for more information and a complete list of acceptable identification documents. 

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.

RMV has provided helpful tips on driver's license and ID applications: RMV Tips for Success and Document Checklist.

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

The RMV website has a list of branch offices and current wait times. Please note that some locations only provide limited services (noted on the web site). The addresses of two nearby branch offices 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

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:

  • Be at least 21 years old.
  • Not hold a Massachusetts driver's license.
  • Have a Social Security number (or a certified denial letter from the SSA).

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 branch office in person. The RMV does not take appointments for these applications. 

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, refer to RMV’s website.