How to get a Driver’s License in Massachusetts

Obtaining your driver’s license for the first time is a special moment that will be engraved in your memory forever. Before you smile for the camera and have your driver’s license stamped for approval to hit the road, you will need to learn about the requirements for your state. Massachusetts residents must be at least 16 years-of-age to receive a driver’s permit, but the rules and legal requirements are different for those individuals who are 18 or older.

Under 18

You have turned 16, and you are ready to embark on the journey towards obtaining your driver’s license. If you have never had your driver’s license taken away from you by the Registrar, and you are under the age of 18 – but at least 16 years of age- you can apply for a Class D permit in the sate of Massachusetts. You will find this passenger permit at any of the full service Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) offices in the state.

Before you are given this permit, you will need to provide some information to the RMV office. Some of the identification documentation you will need includes:

• Date of Birth Documentation – A birth certificate is one valid form of documentation that provides your date of birth.

• A Social Security Number – This number must be valid, and issued by the Social Security Administration (SSA). The RMV office will accept a social security card as proof of your social security number. You can also show a Denial Notice from the SSA. If you choose to use a Denial Notice, it should be accompanied with a non-US passport that is valid, as well as an acceptable proof of your visa status, and an I-94.

• Parental Consent – You will need consent from your parents if you are applying for a Class D permit.

Driving School

You will need to complete driving school in order to obtain a driver’s license in Massachusetts. The school that you enroll in must be state approved. After you have found an approved driver’s school, the learning begins. You will need to spend time in the classroom listening to lectures on driving safety and specifics, in addition to time on-the-road.

You will need to complete a total of 30 hours of classroom instruction before you can take your written and road tests. You will also need 12 hours of behind-the-wheel training, in addition to six hours of observing other student drivers behind-the-wheel. Your parent or legal guardian will need to complete 40 hours of behind-the-wheel training with you as well.

Written Test

Your written test can be taken at any RMV office. You can walk-in to take the test without scheduling an appointment, as long as you visit the RMV office during normal business hours. The fee for the written test is $30. During this time, you will need to bring in the documents mentioned above as proof of your identity, citizenship, and residency. You will also need to fill out an application that is available at the RMV office. The test consists of 25 questions, and you must answer at least 18 of those questions correctly in order to pass the written test. If you do not pass the test, you will need to reapply to take the exam again. The same identification documents will be required when you re-test.

There is an eye-screening test that you will need to take at the same time of your written test. This screening tests you for basic colors and field vision.

Road Test

Road tests must be scheduled over-the-phone, through an RMV telephone center. No appointments can be made in person. When you take the road test, a sponsor must accompany you. This sponsor must be at least 21 years-old, and have at least one year of driving experience, along with a valid driver’s license. That driver’s license must be issued by the state of Massachusetts. Anyone that has a foreign license will not be accepted as your sponsor.

You will need to bring your Class D permit, a Class D road test application, and a vehicle, in addition to your sponsor when you take the road test. There is a $20 fee that must be paid in order to take your road test.

If you fail the road test, you can retake it, but there is a limit. You are only permitted to retake the road test six times within a 12-month period. Each time you take the road test, you must pay the $20 fee.

RMV Office Locations

There are 11 RMV offices located in Massachusetts. The hours will vary for each RMV office. Those Massachusetts locations include:

• Boston
• Cambridge
• Chicopee
• Fall River
• Lawrence
• Lowell
• New Bedford
• Plymouth
• Quincy
• Springfield
• Worchester

Once you have received your driver’s permit, there are still rules and regulations that you will need to follow. If you are under the age of 18, you cannot operate a vehicle between the hours of midnight and 5:00 a.m., unless you are in the company of a parent or adult who is at least 21 years-of-age; that person must have a valid license and at least one year of driving experience.

Take Free Practice Test Now

Massachusetts DMV Practice Test – Quiz 1 (Signs)
Massachusetts DMV Practice Test – Quiz 2 (Signs)
Massachusetts DMV Practice Test – Quiz 3 (Rules)
Massachusetts DMV Practice Test – Quiz 4 (Rules)
Massachusetts DMV Practice Test – Quiz 5 (Rules)
Massachusetts DMV Practice Test – Quiz 6 (Rules)
Massachusetts DMV Practice Test – Quiz 7 (Rules)