Mass. governor seeks clarification on REAL ID licenses

BOSTON (AP) – Gov. Charlie Baker is asking state lawmakers to make clear that people who are in the U.S. illegally are not eligible for any kind of Massachusetts driver’s license.

At issue is a state budget provision that would bring Massachusetts into compliance with REAL ID, a federal program that sets new requirements for driver’s licenses and other identification cards. Under the proposed two-tiered system, residents could apply for a REAL ID-compliant license, or choose a license that’s valid for driving but not for federal identification purposes.

The Republican governor said Thursday he would file an amendment clarifying that neither type of Massachusetts license could be obtained without proof of lawful U.S. residence.

In a statement, the Massachusetts Immigrant and Refugee Advocacy Coalition said Baker’s proposal was unnecessary and would create hardships for U.S. citizens and non-citizens alike.

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