Please note this post has been updated as of 06/03/13
The Registry of Motor Vehicles has announced that effective January 1, 2013, all registration transactions (with the exception of duplicate registrations and title-only transactions), will now require an applicant to present at least ONE of the FOUR following criteria, unless otherwise exempted:
A driver’s license number; OR
A MA Identification Card number (issued to the applicant under M.G.L. c. 90, Section 8E); OR
A Social Security Number (SSN); OR
Other proof of legal residence in Massachusetts.
If a vehicle has two owners, this means that both owners will have to meet the new residency requirement. As well, if an owner registering their vehicle in the name of a sole proprietor using a Federal Identification Number or an Employer Identification Number, they too will be required to provide a valid Social Security Number in addition to the other numbers on the application.
The new requirement, incorporated into Chapter 178 of the Acts of 2012, will affect all new Registrations, Registration Transfers, Plate Swaps, Renewals, Amendments and Reinstatements.
Other proof of legal residence in Massachusetts
For those applicants who do not have a license number, MA ID Card number or an SSN, the RMV has stated that another form of acceptable documentation may be provided in order to prove residency and to complete a registration transaction.
“An applicant who does not have a license number, a Massachusetts ID Card number or an SSN, must provide documentation of residency in Massachusetts. This may include one or more of the documents listed in the Driver’s Manual (the current version at the time of the application) section ‘Acceptable Forms of Identification – Documents to Prove Massachusetts Residence’ (the only exception is that a Massachusetts Certificate of Registration is not acceptable to prove residency).”
Note there are limited exceptions to this new requirement
Nonresident students, military personnel, senior citizens and disabled persons will be exempt from the new requirement. That means that they will not be required to provide any numbers or documents in order to provide their residency.
The following are the official definitions from the RMV of what constitutes an exempted person:
Nonresident Student – This is a person enrolled as a student at a Massachusetts school or college and who attends that school during any period from September 1st to August 31st or the following year and who has a temporary resident address in the Commonwealth during their studies.
Military Personnel – Is any active duty member of the armed forces of the United States whose permanent home may be in another state but is assigned to a base or facility in Massachusetts or has a temporary residential address here.
Senior Citizen – any person at least 65 years of age and residing in Massachusetts.
Disabled person – a person of any age residing in Massachusetts and who meets the definition of a disable person qualifying for a handicapped placard or HP plate under Massachusetts law.
Who to contact if you have specific questions
Many thanks to the MAIA’s Donna McKenna who contacted Agency Checklists this morning about some clarifications that needed to be made in this article. We suggest that if agents have any specific questions, they contact the MAIA and in particular Ms. McKenna about their specific question involving this new requirement.