In April 1969 Normand Dion, a veteran producer for the Richard Flynn Insurance Agency in Lynn, bought the agency from Mr. Flynn and renamed it Columbia Insurance. The agency under one name or the other has been a fixture in downtown Lynn for over 60 years serving the home, auto and business insurance needs of its customers.

In April of 1995 John Olson, who at different times served as both an underwriting and claims manager at Plymouth Rock Assurance Corp, left Plymouth Rock to start a brand new agency in Salem, MA. He named the agency Corporate Group Insurance (CGI). CGI specialized in providing group auto and home insurance programs to the employees of the high-tech and bio-tech companies that are abundant in Greater Boston. One of CGI’s unique features was the free on-site and Registry service it provided it’s clients.

In August 2001 John purchased Columbia from Norm and merged the two agencies together under the Columbia name. Columbia is still located in downtown Lynn and is still providing the free on-site service that CGI offered.

The Real ID is here!

As you may have heard the RMV began issuing the Real ID at the end of March. Beginning in 2020 your current MA driver's license will not serve as a valid ID to allow you fly, enter a federal building or serve jury duty among other things. The advice from the people on the Registry floor is that if your license is coming up for renewal you might as well just get the Real ID instead. You can only get the Real ID at a RMV branch. Renewing on-line or at an AAA office will only renew your current license. That means you will most likely end up visiting the RMV sometime in the next two years to get your Real ID anyway.

Note the Real ID requires you to produce more documents to prove who you are and where you live. You will need to provide these documents even if you have a valid MA driver's in order to get the Real ID. The list of required and acceptable documents is pictured to the right.  Or click here to learn more. 


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