Obtaining a Massachusetts ID is not required, although if you want to avoid having to provide additional proof of identification when in stores or having to carry your passport as identification when you write a check in a store, you may want to consider applying for a Massachusetts ID card. An ID card and Driver’s license (required if you plan on driving while in the U.S.) can be obtained through a Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) branch office. Note: in order to apply for a state ID/license, you need to have a Social Security number and pay a fee of $25.
There are two RMV offices near Hampshire College:
116 Pleasant Street
Easthampton, MA 01027
18 Miner Street
Greenfield, MA 01301
For RMV branch office information (office hours, wait times, services, fees, directions, etc.) please visit: http://www.massrmv.com/BranchMap.aspx Scroll to the bottom and click on the branch you want information on.
Documents needed to apply for state ID (All must be originals):
- Completed ID application form, http://www.massrmv.com/rmv/forms/license.htm
- Printed I-94 from https://i94.cbp.dhs.gov/I94/request.html
- Hampshire ID card (OneCard)
- Social Security card
- $25.00 to pay for the application (you may pay with a credit card, cash, or a check made out to "Registry of Motor Vehicles")
- If you live off campus, a bill or letter with your name and address on it.
- If you live on campus, a letter provide by the Housing Operations Office (HOO) with your mod/dorm address. You can request the letter by emailing Amy Parker at ampGE@hampshire.edu or stop by to see her in the HOO office in Merrill.
- A letter provided by the International Student Advisor at MISS that will confirm your full-time student status and Social Security number. You can request the letter by emailing O.C. at rgSA@hampshire.edu.
- Proof of signature. See acceptable forms, http://www.massrmv.gov/rmv/new_res/idreq.htm.
NOTE ABOUT SOCIAL SECURITY NUMBERS: You must apply for a Social Security number before you can apply for a Massachusetts ID or Permit/License. You will be required to provide either:
a) A Social Security card OR
b) A Denial Notice from the SSA. If you present a Denial Notice, you must also present proof of acceptable visa status, an I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure), and a current non-U.S. Passport.
Massachusetts Liquor ID
NOTE: You must have a Massachusetts liquor ID if you want to use it to prove that you are of legal drinking age (21). The Massachusetts state ID card will not work for that purpose. You will need to use the same application form to apply for the Massachusetts liquor ID. The application fee is $25.00.
Massachusetts Learner's Permit
Note: it is recommended to review the Driver License Manual at http://www.massrmv.com/FormsManuals.aspx before visiting the RMV. Fee for permit is $30. To make an appointment for a road test for a license, call 1.800.858.3926 (cost $20). The license costs $50 and is valid for 5 years. You can find the application form at http://www.massrmv.gov/rmv/forms/license.htm.
Using a Foreign Driver's License
The RMV indicates that "if a student has a home country license, he or she is allowed to drive in Massachusetts for one year from the date of entry" if the license was issued by a country that has signed the Road Traffic Convention of 1949. Check with the RMV to see which countries are included.
If you don't know how to drive, you will need to contact a local driving school and arrange to take driving lessons.