Drivers in the Military in Massachusetts

If you're a Massachusetts resident serving on active duty in the military outside the state, you get a break from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) in terms of driving on an expired license or registration while on duty and out of the state.

Renewing Your Massachusetts License While in the Military

While you are on active duty and stationed outside Massachusetts, you are not required to renew your Massachusetts driver's license. However, you, your spouse, and your dependents may wish to renew their licenses during your military service. In such cases, the RMV will issue special non-photo driver's licenses if you are stationed outside of Massachusetts.

Non-photo driver's licenses can only be requested by mail. To order a non-photo license renewal, mail payment of the renewal fee and a copy of your military ID along with a completed Class D, M, or D/M License and ID Card Application to:

  • Driver Licensing
  • Registry of Motor Vehicles
  • P.O. Box 55889
  • Boston, MA 02205

If you return to Massachusetts after your honorable discharge from active duty, you have 60 days from the date of return to renew your expired Massachusetts license.

Non-residents Stationed in Massachusetts: License Renewals

If you are a non-resident stationed in Massachusetts on active duty, you must have a valid license from your home state to drive in Massachusetts. You cannot legally drive in Massachusetts on an expired license from your home state. You cannot legally drive on only a military license or ID, either.

Renewing Your Massachusetts Registration While in the Military

If you have your Massachusetts-registered vehicle with you in another state, you can drive legally with your current Massachusetts registration. If your registration expires while you're out of the state on active duty, you can drive with the expired registration and your military ID. When you return to Massachusetts, you have up to 30 days after your honorable discharge to drive on the expired registration before it must be renewed.

Make sure to carry your military ID and/or discharge papers with you when driving on the expired registration.

Registration Info for Non-residents Stationed in Massachusetts

If you are stationed in Massachusetts while serving on active duty in the military, you must follow these regulations:

  • If your vehicle was originally registered in your home state, you may retain your home state registration indefinitely, regardless of where you are stationed in the country. Massachusetts does require is that you carry insurance at least equal to Massachusetts minimum levels. You should check with your home state, however, for its rules on dealing with expired registrations for military members.
  • If your vehicle was registered in a state other than your home state, you will need to register the vehicle in each state you are assigned to, including Massachusetts. You have 30 days only to drive in Massachusetts on an existing out-of-state registration. You must register and title the vehicle in Massachusetts before the period of 30 days has expired.
If you are returning from service out of the state and your vehicle has Armed Forces plates, you may drive the vehicle for up to 30 days
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