To remain compliant with updated federal requirements concerning state identification cards and driver’s licenses, Massachusetts will begin issuing a new style of licenses in the fall of 2017.

On Tuesday, Gov. Charlie Baker signed into law an update to the current Massachusetts driver’s license to eventually make the cards compliant with the federal REAL ID law, which was passed in Washington in 2005 and sets minimum security standards for state-issued IDs, MassLive reported. The new cards will not yet be fully compliant with the REAL ID’s requirements, as the state must still complete further technology and security upgrades.

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"The security standards and proper federal documentation requirements set out in this bill are imperative as the [RMV] begins the gradual process of implementation so credential holders may continue to board domestic flights and enter federal buildings in the coming years," Gov. Baker said in a statement quoted by MassLive.


Over the next five years, the new IDs will be phased in, according toWHDH, which added that, for the first time, license applicants will have to prove that they are legally in the United States.

"I thank the members of the legislature for their attention to the commonwealth’s compliance with federal REAL ID security standards and ensuring that all applicants must show proof of lawful presence in order to obtain any Massachusetts credential," Gov. Baker was quoted

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Massachusetts’ new licenses will feature raised lettering, laser engraving and a second bar code with demographic information, according to MassLive. By Oct. 1, 2020, all state residents will need to have a REAL ID-compliant license when entering a federal building or boarding an airplane.

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