Acceptable Forms of Identification and Proof of Massachusetts Residence

You must produce at least four documents to apply for a permit, license, or ID. These documents will be used to confirm your identity, date of birth, Massachusetts residence, and signature.

Three identification documents must be from the List of Acceptable Forms of Identification and must be satisfactory to the Registrar. At least one of the three identification documents must be from the list of Primary Documents. The fourth required document is your Social Security Card or your current US or non-US Passport. (Your Social Security Card cannot be used as an Acceptable Identification Document but your current Passport can be used to fulfill either the Passport requirement or be offered as a Primary ID.)

The RMV requires you to provide the required identification for each different type of document you apply for even if you already have a Massachusetts ID, Liquor ID, or License.

The required documents include:

  1. Your Social Security Card or a current US or non-US Passport
  2. A document proving your date of birth
  3. A document proving you are a resident of Massachusetts
  4. A pre-existing document containing your signature

A single document that appears to include more than one requirement will only be accepted for one of the requirements (if it is itself an acceptable document).

In addition to the documents listed above, you must also provide your Social Security Number (SSN) or an acceptable alternative document (known as a “Denial Notice”). If you do not have an SSN, you must apply for an SSN at the Social Security Administration. The Denial Notice is issued by the US Social Security Administration and explains why you cannot obtain a Social Security Number. The Denial Notice, with an acceptable visa code. must be no more than 30 days old. If you present a Denial Notice, you must also present proof of your current visa status. When you present your Social Security Number, the RMV will attempt to verify the number online with the Social Security Administration. The RMV cannot issue a permit, license, or ID if an SSN does not verify.

All documents must be originals unless otherwise indicated. Photocopies will not be accepted.


Social Security Number (SSN) Requirements

You must have a valid Social Security number (SSN) to apply for any permit, license, or ID, including a replacement or a renewal. When you submit an application at an RMV Branch, the Registrar may 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 1-800-772-1213.

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. In the past, your Massachusetts driver's license number was automatically your SSN unless you requested a random state number to be assigned.

For more information on providing your SSN, please refer to our FAQs About Providing Your Social Security Number PDF section.


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