How to Get a Massachusetts Driver's Permit

The Massachusetts graduated driver’s license program requires all new drivers to begin driving under supervision, in order to practice safe driving before getting their full driver’s license. In order to receive the initial learner’s permit, you must follow certain steps. Here is a simple guide to getting a Massachusetts driver’s instruction permit:

Learner’s permit

Massachusetts divides learner’s permits between those new drivers that are under 18 years old, and those that are over 18. Drivers under 18 years old must be at least 16 years old to apply for a learner’s permit. While driving with a Massachusetts learner’s permit, drivers must be accompanied by an adult who is at least 21 years old, and has held a driver’s license for at least a year.

While driving during the instructional period, parents or legal guardians must log the 40 required hours of driving practice that a teen will need to apply for their standard driver’s license. If the teen has been through a state-approved driver’s education course, they only need to log 30 hours of practice. The learner’s permit is valid for a total of two years. Drivers under 18 may not drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m. unless supervised, regardless of what level they are on in the graduated licensing program.

How to apply

In order to apply for a Massachusetts learner’s permit, drivers must submit the following documents to the local RMV office:

  • A completed application that is signed by a parent

  • Proof of birth date, such as a birth certificate or a school transcript

  • Proof of Social Security number, such as a Social Security card or a W-2 form

If the applicant is over 18, they will need those items as well as the following:

  • A legal document with a signature, such as a passport or a loan contract

  • Proof of Massachusetts residency, such as a bank statement or a bill

Passing the exam

In order to pass the Massachusetts learner’s permit exam, students will have to correctly answer 18 out of 25 questions about the state-specific traffic laws, safe driving rules, and road signs, within the allotted 25 minutes. The exam is administered via computers in any local RMV office. The Massachusetts Driver’s Manual has all the information necessary to pass the exam. In order to get extra practice and build confidence before taking the exam, there are many online practice tests, including timed versions available.

After passing the written exam, drivers must pass a vision exam, and pay a $30 fee. If the learner’s permit ever needs to be replaced, the fee is $15. The next step after a learner’s permit is the Junior Operator’s License, which allows drivers to transition to a full-fledged Massachusetts driver’s license by lifting the supervisory condition, but maintaining certain other restrictions. A Massachusetts Junior Operator’s License may not be earned until the driver is at least 16 years and six months old, and the driver has held a learner’s permit for at least six months.

The statements expressed above are only for informational purposes and should be independently verified. Please see our terms of service for more details

Need Help With Your Car?

Our certified mobile mechanics make house calls in over 2,000 U.S. cities. Fast, free online quotes for your car repair.


Related articles

How to Get a Tennessee Driver's Permit
The The Department of Safety in Tennessee uses a graduated driver's program that requires all new drivers under 18 years old to begin driving with a learner’s permit, in order to practice safe driving under supervision before getting their full...
How to Get a Wisconsin Driver's Permit
The The state of Wisconsin requires all new drivers under 18 to begin driving with an instruction permit, in order to practice safe driving under supervision before getting their full driver’s license. To receive the initial learner’s permit, you must...
How to Prepare for the Driver's Written Test in All States
Before obtaining a driver's permit, you need to pass the driver's written test. Check out tips on how to do so, according to which state you live in.

Related questions

How do you use the USB port?
If your car is equipped with a USB port (not all Fusions have them, so check to make sure yours is so equipped), you have the ability to connect a wide range of devices to your radio, including flash sticks,...
I need some answers in order to get my permit. please help
Hello. Let's get these questions answered for you. All vehicles should be serviced per the manufacturers maintenance schedule ( The owners manual contains this schedule that is set up to best maintain the service of any vehicle. There is no...
The car idles up and down. Replaced throttle body temperature sensor, mass airflow sensor, and oxygen sensor.
Hello. If you have taken all those steps and the idle is still not at the correct speed, then the next thing I would look at is the idle air control valve ( The idle air control valve is the...

How can we help?

Our service team is available 7 days a week, Monday - Friday from 6 AM to 5 PM PST, Saturday - Sunday 7 AM - 4 PM PST.

1 (855) 347-2779 ·