Standard licenses still most popular at RMV, not Real ID

More than four months after the state started issuing driver’s licenses that comply with the federal Real ID security law, the standard license continues to be the most popular service option for customers at Registry of Motor Vehicles locations, according to data presented Monday.

For customers who get their licenses at AAA locations instead of RMV branches, however, the Real ID is the most popular option, Registrar Erin Deveney told the Department of Transportation Board of Directors.

Massachusetts in March began offering the Real ID-compliant licenses, which require additional documentation to obtain. Starting Oct. 1, 2020, the standard licenses that are not Real ID-compliant will no longer be accepted as identification for domestic air travel or entering federal buildings and nuclear power plants.

The Saugus AAA branch, the location that issued the most licenses in August, issued nearly 1,600 licenses that month, of which less than 500 were standard and the rest were Real ID-compliant, according to Deveney’s presentation. Meanwhile, the Haymarket RMV in Boston issued more than 10,000 licenses, of which roughly 6,000 were standard.

The launch of the Real IDs and a corresponding new computer system earlier this year led to delays and longer lines immediately after the switch.

The median transaction time for applicants for a new license or state ID hit nine minutes and 43 seconds in April, and was down to seven minutes and 49 seconds in August, Deveney said.


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