Photo of Chief Steven Wojnar of the Dudley, Massachusetts Police Department

Week of April 19, 2020

A weekly column by Police Chief Steven Wojnar of the Dudley Police Department

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts continues operating under the state of emergency due to the Covid-19 virus.  Several people have inquired about the status of motor vehicle documents, such as drivers’ licenses.  What happens if theirs has or is due to expire?  The Massachusetts Department of Transportation has come out with some guidance on this topic that I wanted to share. 

When the state of emergency took place back in March, the Commonwealth extended expiration dates on many registry documents (Licenses, Vehicle Registrations, ID Cards, etc.) for 60 days.  This means many of them were set to expire in May or June, depending on the date.  Since most of the Registry offices are still closed for walk in business, the state has agreed to once again extend these expiration dates.  For example, if your drivers license was to expire in March of this year, it was initially extended until the same date in May 2020.  This new extension allows for the renewal period to be extended until July of 2020.  If your license expires this month (April) the current deadline for renewal is June 2020, however; this may once again be extended beyond that point.  This should ease the minds of many people as they go about their business in these trying times.  On-line renewals should still be processed so everyone is encouraged to check with the Registry to determine their best option.  There are many other items included in these extensions and writing about them here would probably take up an entire page of a newspaper.  For a sample list, please check out our Dudley Police Facebook Page.  Otherwise, further information, can be found at https://www.mass.gov/orgs/massachusetts-registry-of-motor-vehicles .

In addition, the Real ID program (which set certain standards for licenses in order to be used as official identification for airline travel, federal building access, etc.), was scheduled to go into effect in Massachusetts on October 1, 2020.  As a result of the state of emergency and the impacts on services, the Federal Government announced it is extending the deadline to obtain these identifications.  The new date for this requirement is October 1, 2021.  This will be helpful for many who are in the process of renewing their licenses or seeking out these important documents.  More information on this program can be found at https://www.dhs.gov/real-id .    

  Thanks again go out to the men and women from my department for their continued dedicated service to the Town of Dudley.  Thanks also go out to the many Fire and Emergency Services members, public works and government employees, hospital workers, grocery and retail workers, and all other “essential” personnel for their continued hard work and service thorough this situation.  We will get through this and hopefully we will be back in full swing soon, with as limited negative impact as possible. 

Thanks again for your questions and comments.  Please send them to me at the Dudley Police Department 71 West Main St., Dudley, Ma. 01571 or email at swojnar@dudleypolice.com.  Opinions expressed in this weekly column are those of Chief Wojnar only and unless clearly noted, do not reflect the ideas or opinions of any other organization or citizen.  

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