In order to obtain a Massachusetts Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit, or hardship license, you must submit satisfactory proof of your age, signature, and Massachusetts Residency which meets the Registrar’s document standards. You also must provide a valid, legitimately obtained, Social Security Number which the Registry will electronically validate with the U.S. Social Security Administration. The Social Security Number which you provide to the Registry must match your name in the Social Security Administration’s records. The Registry performs cross-matching as part of the validation process to detect license and identity fraud attempts, which are referred to the RMV Special Investigation Unit for investigation and the Enforcement Services Unit for prosecution under G.L. c. 90 Sec. 24B.
Due to homeland security concerns, the Mass. RMV is very cautious about issuing driver’s licenses and it will not issue a license when there are questions about the applicant’s true identity. The Registry places the burden on the person seeking the license to meet the identification requirements. The Registry’s requirement to provide a valid Social Security Number has been challenged and upheld by the highest appellate court in Massachusetts.
The Mass. RMV will not accept an Individual Taxpayer Identification Number (ITIN) as a substitute for a valid and legitimate Social Security Number. An ITIN is a number issued by the United States Government to individuals who are not able to obtain social security numbers but are required to file federal taxes with the Internal Revenue Service. ITINs are for federal tax purposes only and have nothing to do with obtaining a Mass. Driver’s License.
Your Social Security Number will not appear on your driver’s license, hardship license, Registry ID card, or learner’s permit.
There is an exception to the Social Security Number requirement. That is if you have a legitimately issued SSN Denial Letter issued by the U.S. Social Security Administration and proof of an acceptable visa classification. For example, you cannot get a Mass. License with a denial letter and a B-1, B-2 , or B1-B2 multiple visa, as these are tourist or business visas. Your SSN denial letter must be accompanied by proof of an acceptable visa status as well as an I-94 (Record of Arrival and Departure), and a valid Passport from your country.
If you have questions regarding Massachusetts Driver’s licensing requirements, please contact Attorney Brian E. Simoneau for more information.