January 25, 2024 — Testimony

NCLC joined joint testimony supporting MA H.2326/S.1506, “An Act relative to successful transition and re-entry to tomorrow for incarcerated persons” (The STARTT Act).

This bill is needed to enable people who are being released from incarceration to receive an accommodation regarding the MA Registry of Motor Vehicles’ (RMV) strict address requirements. Currently, if someone cannot prove they are returning to a valid address, the RMV will not issue an identification card. This is the case for folks leaving incarceration who are experiencing homelessness or have unstable housing.

This bill recognizes and fixes this problem by temporarily allowing alternative addresses — such as an adult family member’s home, a temporary group residence, a place of worship, a community center, a non-profit organization, or a city or town hall in the municipality where the person plans to reside — for the limited purpose of obtaining a state I.D. card upon release from incarceration. Ensuring that people leaving incarceration have access to state I.D. cards upon release addresses a key obstacle to reintegrating into society.