The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles has an important reminder to pass along to you, Berkshire County. Effective next year, if you want to enter certain federal buildings or fly on a plane domestically, you're going to need a REAL ID.

And if you have yet to get your REAL ID, keep in mind that it is a federal requirement, and the countdown to get one has begun. Anyone traveling by plane domestically, or wishing to enter certain federal buildings, will need acceptable identification credentials, effective May 3, 2023.

According to the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles via a media statement at Mass.Gov, officials say that acceptable credentials can include an RMV-issued REAL ID driver's license or ID, or a valid passport.

The Registry is encouraging customers who are seeking a REAL ID-compliant license or identification card to make an appointment at a statewide RMV Service Center to secure this credential before the federal requirement takes effect May 3, 2023.

Colleen Ogilvie, Registrar of Motor Vehicles, had this to say in the media statement:

Customers are encouraged to take time now to check the expiration date on their Massachusettdriver’s licenses or identification cards, and if seeking a REAL ID, plan ahead and be prepared by having available all of the required documentation needed to secure this credential.

You can visit Mass.Gov/ID to see helpful information from the RMV regarding REAL ID requirements that customers can use to prepare for their in-person visits, including convenient document checklists to help pre-stage REAL ID applications.

Documents required for this transaction include two proofs of Massachusetts residency, proof of a full Social Security Number, and proof of lawful presence. These required documents must be original or certified versions.

Ed Freni, Massport Director of Aviation, added in the statement:

As of May 3, 2023, travelers will need a REAL ID or valid passport to fly at all U.S. airports. We don’t want passengers to be in a position where they can’t fly so we are urging passengers to get their REAL ID before the deadline next year.

If you'd like to make an appointment to get your REAL ID, you can do so here. For more on the story, check out the page on Mass.Gov's website here.

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