The new bill, signed by Governor Deval Patrick over the summer, is aimed at making it easier for young people to get jobs and cash checks. It lowers the eligibility age for the official Massachusetts ID from age 16 to 14.
Having a state ID will allow students to more easily obtain a work permit and cash their paychecks, as well as help teenagers prove their identity to potential employers who must file work eligibility verification documents with the federal government.
“This new eligibility requirement fills a void that has long been needed,” said Rachel Kaprielian, the state Registrar of Motor Vehicles. “We’ve had to turn away a number of adolescents under age 16 hoping to acquire an official ID because they are looking for summer work or were involved in an intern program.”
“I was proud to sponsor this legislation allowing our young people an avenue to obtain proper identification for employment purposes,” said State Rep. John P. Fresolo. “It is common sense to allow 14- and 15-year-olds who are eager to enter the workforce, to work part-time during the summer. Providing them with access to Mass ID’s could help their chances of finding employment and also increases public safety by enabling our children to have a source of identification on them at all times.”
A group of Worcester South High School students invited to the announcement became the first teenagers to apply for the MassID.
“I am going to use this when I find a summer job next year,” said 14-year-old Migel Valentin.
Rafal Bobinski, a 15-year-old student said, “The ID isn’t just useful for work, it will also help me when I go to open a checking account or get into the Boy’s and Girl’s Club where they may ask for a photo ID.”
Under-age applicants must satisfy all the requirements for obtaining a Mass ID which can be found in the driver’s manual or at mass.gov/rmv.