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How to Renew a Driver License in Massachusetts

Drivers license renewal in Massachusetts requires motorists to complete various steps. Additionally, DMV license renewal is overseen by the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) and drivers must renew their license on time if they wish to continue driving. Most drivers choose the option “renew drivers license online,” but others are required to renew in person. Unless a driver is trying to renew drivers license credentials that have been suspended, no skills tests are required. It is illegal to drive with an expired drivers license in Massachusetts and it is the responsibility of motorists to renew their privileges on time.

When to Renew a Drivers License in Massachusetts

You must renew a drivers license in Massachusetts every five years, and for most drivers, their license will expire on their birth date. Shortly before the time to renew your drivers license arrives, the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) will send you a reminder in the mail, but drivers should still pay close attention to the expiration date printed on their license. You may undergo DMV license renewal if your license is valid, suspended, expired or lost. After you complete the drivers license renewal process, you will receive a temporary license to use for thirty days until you receive your real plastic license in the mail. You may check the status of your drivers license renewal by contacting the RMV.

You can begin renewing drivers license documents up to a year before they expire. For an expired drivers license that is past four years expired, you will have to take the road test and written test again. Before renewing your Massachusetts drivers license, you are required to pay any outstanding state tickets, fees and child support payments in full. If you need to renew your driver license before you turn 21, then your new license will have the “Under 21” designation printed on it.

Can you renew your license online in Massachusetts?

You may choose the option “renew drivers license online” in Massachusetts if you do not have any outstanding violations or fees and you are under the age of 75. You can use the online drivers license renewal process to start if you are not eligible, but you will need to complete the process in person at your local RMV office. If you are not eligible to renew your drivers license online, then you may start an application and take the necessary documents with you to the RMV office. To undergo MA drivers license renewal online, visit the RMV website and be prepared to provide the following information:

  • Full name and date of birth
  • Massachusetts driver license number
  • Social Security Number
  • Email address

You will need to pay a driving license renewal fee after providing the previously mentioned information and when you finish, the RMV will send your license in the mail. You may only renew class D, M and D/M licenses online. All other driver license renewals must be completed in person at an RMV office.

You may also renew drivers license credentials if they are stolen, damaged or lost. If you do not undergo drivers license renewal after your original license is stolen or lost, then you will be at a higher risk of identity theft. You may choose “renew drivers license online” if you still have access to your license number. However, you will need to renew your license in person if you do not have your number. To renew a drivers license in person, you must take the necessary documents, fees and information to the nearest RMV office.

Where to Renew Drivers License in Massachusetts (In-Person Renewal)

If you cannot renew your drivers license online in Massachusetts, then you will need to complete the process in person at an RMV office. To renew drivers license papers in person, you must take a finished Class D, M, or D/M License and ID Card Application, along with your current license, Social Security Number and payment for the renewal fee to the office. If you are over 75, then part of the drivers license renewal process will involve passing a vision examination. If you prefer to have a physician of your choice perform the exam, then you may have them complete the Class D and M Vision Screening Certificate for you to take to the RMV office. You may renew your Massachusetts drivers license without a Social Security Number, but you must bring either a denial notice from the Social Security Administration, non-U.S. passport or I-94 form to the RMV.

Out-of-State Military Drivers License Renewal in Massachusetts

Another important aspect of learning how to renew drivers license credentials involves understanding the process for military personnel. You may renew a drivers license in Massachusetts if you are an active-duty military member, but it is not required. The military drivers license renewal process applies to dependents as well, as long as the renewal is a non-photo request. To complete the Massachusetts DMV license renewal process from out of state, you will need to send a copy of your military ID, a completed Class D, M, or D/M License and ID Card Application and the renewal fee to the RMV in Boston. Once the documents and fee are received, you will be sent a temporary non-photo license to use until you can renew it.

Renewing Drivers License in Massachusetts After a Suspension

The Massachusetts drivers license renewal process is different if your current license has been suspended. Some motorists can renew drivers licenses by paying a fee, but others will need to take the written and road tests again. You cannot renew your drivers license online in Massachusetts if your license has been suspended, so you must visit a full-service RMV office. You must consult a hearings officer if your license has been revoked for any of the following reasons:

  • Operating a vehicle under the influence of drugs or alcohol
  • Vehicular manslaughter or homicide
  • Habitual traffic violations

The driving license renewal fee for those who have had their licenses suspended are significantly higher than the fee for other drivers.

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