Documentation

Massachusetts ID and Liquor ID (No driving privelege)

Obtaining a Massachusetts ID: In the wake of 9-11 and the increased concern about identity theft, it has become harder and harder to obtain identification without identification, which obviously poses a problem for people starting from scratch. Homeless persons with positive ID (birth certificate, photo ID, veteran’s discharge, etc.) should have no problem obtaining a Mass ID from the Registry of Motor Vehicles (63- Washington St. I Downtown Boston). (See www.mass.gov/rmv/license/id_brochure.pdf). Residency can be established by bringing a letter on shelter (or other program) stationery signed by a case manager stating the homeless person’s name and Social Security number, listing any other identification that s/he has, affirming that s/he is homeless, indicating where s/he is residing, and stating that the case manager knows this person well and can attest to the facts of the letter. Individuals lacking the usual proof of identity can get an unofficial picture ID — weekdays 10-11am only — from St. Francis House (39 Boylston St 4th floor in downtown Boston, 617-654-1257). This unofficial ID plus a letter from the shelter or transitioal programs where the client is staying, plus a letter from St. Francis House addressed to the appropriate staffperson at the Registry office, plus the required $15 fee is often adequate to obtain an official ID from the Registry.

For people who do not have a Massachusetts driver’s license, the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) can issue one of two official identification cards. The Massachusetts ID and Massachusetts Liquor ID look similar to driver’s licenses; however, they do not extend any driving privileges. These two ID cards are official forms of identity, signature, and age that are accepted in the Commonwealth*. Please refer to Obtaining a Massachusetts Liquor ID for more information about the Massachusetts Liquor ID.

You may apply for a Massachusetts ID at any full service RMV office. You will be given a temporary Mass ID, valid for 30 days, at the branch, and a permanent Mass ID will be mailed to you.

* Please Note: Some establishments which serve alcohol may refuse to accept a Massachusetts ID card. State law (c.138, §34B ) provides the establishment some legal protection if alcohol was served to a minor in reliance on a valid Massachusetts Liquor ID card but not if the establishment relied on the Massachusetts ID card.

Massachusetts ID Requirements
* You must be at least 16 years of age (please scroll down for more requirements if you are under the age of 18).
* You may not hold a valid license in any state.
* You must be a resident of Massachusetts.

Fees
* There is a $15.00 fee for a Massachusetts ID
* There is a $15.00 replacement fee for a lost or damaged Massachusetts ID

Expiration
* Massachusetts ID’s expire every five (5) years

Documentation Requirements
* You must have a valid social security number or an acceptable denial letter (with an acceptable visa code)
If you are under 18 years of age, you must present the following:
* SSN Card or valid, current, U.S. or non-U.S. Passport
* 1 Primary document proving date of birth
* Parental consent on the License application
* A valid Social Security Number that verifies with the Social Security Administration or an acceptable written denial notice from the Social Security Administration.

Note: The Social Security Administration does not include any Visa information on written denial notices, therefore, if you do not have a valid Social Security Number, you will have to provide evidence of an acceptable Visa code in addition to the written denial notice from the Social Security Administration.

Note: All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted. You must also clear a check through the National Driver Register and pay the required fees.

Birth or Death Certificate and Marriage Certificate

In order to attain a copy of a birth or death certificate or a marriage certificate from the State of Massachusetts, one can either go to the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics in person and pay an $18 fee or a mail request can be made for a fee of $28.

Divorce Certificate (State)
In order to attain a copy of a divorce certificate from the State of Massachusetts, one can mail a $3 fee to the Massachusetts Registry of Vital Records and Statistics.

The Registry’s Address is:
Registry of Vital Records and Statistics
150 Mount Vernon Street
1st Floor
Dorchester, MA 02125-3105

Personal Checks or Money Orders should be written to the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

Obtaining a Class D Permit and License (Driver’s License)

Any person who is at least 16 years of age and has not had a driver’s license or right to operate taken away by the Registrar may apply for a Class D (passenger) permit at any RMV full service office.

Documentation Requirements
If you are under 18 years of age, you must present the following:
* SSN Card or valid, current, U.S. or non-U.S. Passport
* 1 Primary document proving date of birth
* Parental consent on the License application
* A valid Social Security Number that verifies with the Social Security Administration or an acceptable written denial notice from the Social Security Administration.
* Parental consentí: If you are under 18 years of age, you must obtain the written consent of a parent, guardian, child guardian division or boarding school headmaster. Written consent must be given by signing the front of the License and ID Application. If the person giving consent is NOT a parent, proper documentation of authority must be shown at the time of the written test.

Note: The Social Security Administration does not include any Visa information on written denial notices, therefore, if you do not have a valid Social Security Number, you will have to provide evidence of an acceptable Visa code in addition to the written denial notice from the Social Security Administration.

All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted. You must also clear a check through the National Driver Register and pay the required fees.

If you are 18 years of age or older, you must present the following:
* SSN Card or valid, current U.S. or non-U.S. Passport
* Document proving date of birth
* Document proving signature
* Document proving Massachusetts residency

Note: One of the documents, other than a SSN card or passport, must be a Primary document.
A valid Social Security Number that verifies with the Social Security Administration or an acceptable written denial notice from the Social Security Administration.

Note: The Social Security Administration does not include any Visa information on written denial notices, therefore, if you do not have a valid Social Security Number, you will have to provide evidence of an acceptable Visa code in addition to the written denial notice from the Social Security Administration.

All documents must be originals. Photocopies will not be accepted. You must also clear a check through the National Driver Registry and pay the required fees.

A Massachusetts Liquor ID can be used to prove date of birth or signature.

Obtaining your Class D Permit
Complete the permit application. This form can be found at any RMV service office or you may download it from our Forms and Files page.
You must present the application, the required ID documents, and the $30.00 fee, in person, to any RMV full service office to take the written test. The test is given on an automated testing system on a walk-in basis during posted branch hours.
The written test consists of twenty (20) questions. You must answer fourteen (14) questions correctly to pass.

At the time of your written test, you must also pass an eye screening for field vision and basic colors.

Please note that if you fail the written permit exam, you must present the required sources of identification documentation the next time you apply for a permit. Please refer to the list of identification requirements to ensure that you bring the necessary documents with you.

Simplified English, Oral, and Hearing Impaired Examinations
If you have a cognitive or physical disability that would prevent you from taking a standard knowledge test through ATS, you may contact the Registry to request an alternative extended time, paper, or oral test. To do so, please call (617) 351-4505 and leave a message that includes your name, your telephone number, the specifics of your request, and the Registry Branch Office where you would like to take your knowledge test. You will then be contacted by a Registry Customer Service Agent who will help you schedule a test.

When you arrive for your scheduled knowledge test, you must provide the Branch Manager with written documentation that confirms the nature of your disability. This documentation may be a Doctor’s or Social Worker’s letter, or a letter from a school on official letterhead. You will also need to provide all of the required identification documents (see Identification Requirements section).

An alternative knowledge test will only be provided if it has been scheduled in advance by calling the number above.

Obtaining a Duplicate Class D Permit
You must appear in person at an RMV office to have a duplicate permit issued for $15. If your permit has expired you need to present the required sources of identification, take and pass the written test and pay the $30 fee to obtain an updated permit. Please refer to the list of identification requirements to ensure that you bring the necessary documents with you.

Operation of a Vehicle with a Class D Permit
You may only operate a vehicle when accompanied by a licensed operator. A licensed operator is a person who is duly licensed by his or her home state, has at least one (1) year of driving experience, is at least 21 years of age and holds a valid license for the class of vehicle being driven. Your permit MUST be with you while you are operating the vehicle.

Limitations with a Class D Permit
If you are under 18 years of age, you may not drive between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent/guardian who is duly licensed in his or her home state and has one (1) year of driving experience. The parent/guardian must occupy the seat next to you. You may not operate a vehicle outside Massachusetts if that state’s laws prevent you from legally doing so.

Renewing a Class D Permit
Permits expire two (2) years from the date of issue. If you need a new permit, the written test and the $30 fee are required.

Obtaining a Class D License
You may apply for a Class D license if you are at least 18 years old and have a valid Class D permit. You may also apply if you are 16 1/2 years old and have successfully completed all JOL requirements. Parental consent is required for applicants under 18 years of age.

Fees
The fee for each road test is listed on our fee chart.

Scheduling a Road Test
Once you have passed the written permit test and completed all necessary JOL requirements, you must call the RMV Telephone Center to schedule your road test. All road tests must be scheduled by the phone center. You may NOT make a road test appointment in person.
If you wish, you may use our automated phone system to schedule a road test by calling (866)-MASSRMV (866-627-7768).

Vehicle Requirements for Class D Road Tests
For all road tests, you are required to supply a properly equipped, legally registered and insured vehicle that has a valid inspection sticker. The vehicle must be acceptable to the examiner. The examiner must be able to reach the vehicle’s emergency brake or foot brake. Any vehicle with a center console that does not have an emergency brake as part of the console cannot be used.
If the vehicle is rented, you must provide the rental agreement and written permission on the rental company’s letterhead authorizing use of the vehicle for a road test.

Sponsor Requirements
To take the road test, you must bring a sponsor who is at least 21 years old, has at least one (1) year of driving experience and possesses a valid driver’s license issued by his or her home state. Foreign license holders are not eligible to be sponsors.

To Obtain your Class D License
You must bring the following to the road test: a completed application for your license, your Class D permit, a vehicle and a sponsor.
You must successfully complete the road test before the expiration date on your permit.
Bring the stamped, signed permit and the appropriate fees to any RMV full service office to get your license.

Restrictions with a Class D License
Licensed Massachusetts drivers between 16 1/2 and 18 years of age may not operate a vehicle between the hours of 12:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. unless accompanied by a parent or legal guardian. Also, you may not operate a vehicle requiring a commercial driver’s license.

Social Security Number

To apply for an original card you will need to provide at least two documents to prove age, identity, and US citizenship or current lawful work-authorized immigration status. If you are not a US citizen or do not have current lawful work-authorized immigration status, you must prove that you have a valid non-work reason for requesting a card.

ID Requirements:
If you are US citizen
* Driver’s License
* or State issued non-driver identity card
* or US passport

If you do not have these specific documents or cannot get a replacement for them within ten days, we will ask to see other documents such as:
* employment ID card
* school ID card
* Health insurance card (not medicare)
* US military ID card
* Adoption decree

Applicants must go in person to a social security office to have an interview to obtain a social security number.

Local Offices:

240 Elm St., Marks Building
Somerville, MA 02144. Open 9am-1pm.
Directions: Red Line to Davis Square; Across from McKinnon’s Market.

10 Causeway St., Room 148, 1st floor
Boston, MA 02222. Open 9am-4pm.
Directions: Green or Orange Line to North Station; Office in Thomas P. O’Neill Building.

Application forms may be found at http:www.ssa.gov/online/ss-5.pdf

OUR ADDRESS

Harvard Square Homeless Shelter
66 Winthrop Street
Cambridge, MA 02138

GET IN TOUCH

We are open from the evening of November 1st to the morning of April 15th. The shelter is open from 7PM to 8AM, except on Saturday mornings when it is open until 9AM.

To enter the bed lottery, call toll-free at 1-888-285-4038 between 7:30AM and 8AM.