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This guide will step you through the process to get a passenger (Class D) learner's permit and driver's license, which allows you to legally operate a passenger vehicle, van or small truck. Information includes steps to get a driver’s license, parent/guardian information, safe driving tips, as well as study materials. 

Table of Contents

Steps to Get Your Driver’s License

You earn driving privileges by passing a learner’s permit exam and a road test. These tests prove that you can operate a motor vehicle safely and within the law. Once you have earned your driving privileges, you are responsible for your actions.

1st Stop on Road Trip

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Learner's Permit

To legally drive in Massachusetts, you must first apply for a learner's permit. The learner’s permit exam tests your understanding of Massachusetts motor vehicle laws and safe driving practices. A learner’s permit gives you permission to drive while you practice your driving skills and prepare for your road test. 

To apply for your learner's permit, click here.

To request a driver's manual, click here.

Road Test

After you obtain a Class D learner’s permit, you must take and pass a Class D road test to obtain your driver’s license. If you are under 18 years of age, you must meet all junior operator requirements before taking your road test.

To schedule your road test, click here.

 

 

Additional Resources for Steps to Get Your Driver’s License

Parent/Guardian Information

Next Stop on Road Trip

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Driver's Education Programs and PSDP

Driver's Education Programs

Completion of a licensed Professional Driver’s Education program is required of all Class D and M driver's license applicants under the age of 18 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.

For information on types of driver's education programs and driver's education requirements, click here.

Parent Supervised Driving Program

The Parent’s Supervised Driving Program is designed to improve teen driver safety by providing parents and guardians with a common-sense approach to teaching driving skills. 

Junior Operator Requirements

Any driver or motorcyclist between the ages of 16 1/2 and 18 is considered a Junior Operator. The Junior Operator Law has several requirements and restrictions that significantly affect the operation of a motor vehicle by a person who has a Junior Operator’s License (JOL). The basic purpose of the law is to provide new drivers supervised opportunities in which to develop good driving skills, while keeping those drivers free of the possible distractions caused by friends under age 18 who are present while the drivers are behind the wheel. For more information on permit and license restrictions for junior operators, click here.

The Junior Operator Law and the Safe Driver Law impose penalties for certain violations issued to junior operators. For a complete list of Junior Operator violations, click here.

 

Additional Resources for Parent/Guardian Information

Safe Driving Tips

Massachusetts law prohibits operators of motor vehicles from using any electronic device, including mobile telephones, unless the device is used in hands-free mode.

Next Stop on Road Trip

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Safety Videos

A driver’s license is a privilege, and with that comes the responsibilities of understanding and following the laws, and keeping you and other drivers safe on the road. Watch these videos to prepare for a lifetime of safe driving, bicycling, and walking.

Scan the Streets 

Driving Impaired

Distracted Driving

Move Over Law

School Bus Safety

Distracted Driving PSA 

2022 Safe Streets Smart Trips High School Video Contest Winners

"Signs Are Your Friend" - Newton North High

"Can't Stop Motion" - Millis High School

Additional Resources for Safe Driving Tips

Did you study for your learner's permit or road test?

Next Stop on Road Trip

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Learner's Permit

Topics covered on the exam include alcohol misuse, suspensions, and JOL violations, as well as rules of the road and identifying road signs. To pass the exam, you must answer 18 questions correctly within the allotted time of 25 minutes. Once the exam is started, you may not pause. To prepare for the exam, study the Class D driver's manual.

Class D learner's permit exams are available in 35 languages. 

To practice taking your learner's permit exam, click here

Road Test

To schedule your road test, click here.

For applicant, sponsor, and vehicle requirements, click here.

Watch these videos to become familiar with the maneuvers evaluated during the road test.

road test image

 

Time to take your Permit!

Last Stop on Road Trip

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Permit Application Process

You must first visit a Service Center to present your application. Customers must meet all existing requirements to be eligible to take the permit exam. Prior to your visit to the Service Center, you will need to make an appointment through the Make or Cancel a Reservation transaction on www.Mass.Gov/myRMV.

Ready to take your permit test online?

Access your myRMV profile.

Log in with your S or SA number and your personal information (like SSN, foreign passport or Consular ID) used at your learner’s permit appointment.

Do not share this personal information with anyone. Always keep your S/SA number private.

Once you have logged in to your profile, there will be a notification in the center of the screen that says “You have a permit exam that can be taken”.

Click on the link to begin the exam

Make sure your computer has its camera activated, you may need to resize your monitor display. Click here for Online Permit Exam Troubleshooting. 

For a step-by-step video on how to apply for your learner’s permit, click here. To view the video in additional languages, click here.

Alternative Exam Options

If you have a cognitive or physical disability that would prevent you from taking a standard learner’s permit exam on a computer, you may request an alternative extended time, paper, or oral exam. To request an extended time or paper exam, you must speak to the service center manager when you visit the service center. To request an oral exam, please call (857) 368-8105 and leave a message that includes your name, your telephone number, the specifics of your request, and the RMV Service Center where you would like to take your oral exam. You will then be contacted by an RMV employee who will help you schedule an exam.

For oral exams, you must provide the service center manager with written documentation that confirms the nature of your disability. This documentation may be a doctor's or social worker's letter, an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), or a letter from a school on official letterhead. You will also need to provide all of the required identification documents.

An oral exam will only be provided if it has been scheduled in advance by calling the number above. Extended time and paper exams do not need to be scheduled in advance.

Key Actions for Time to take your Permit!

Additional Resources for Time to take your Permit!

You Just Took Your Permit Exam

In Person Exams

  • If you took the permit exam in person and passed, you were given a learner’s permit printed on secure cardstock. You must carry the permit with you while practicing driving with a qualified licensed driver.
  • If you took the exam and failed, you can make another appointment to take the permit exam at an RMV Service Center.

Online Exams

If you took the exam online, refer to the following sections for next steps.

Congratulations! If you are returning here because you passed your learner’s permit exam, there’s one more step before you can start driving…

Passed Exam
  1. In order to start practicing driving with a qualified driver in the passenger seat, print your permit on your myRMV profile.
  2. On your myRMV profile, scroll to the link that says “Print your learner’s permit”.
  3. Carry your permit with you at all times when you practice driving. You must have your permit with you when taking your road test.

Oh no! You didn’t pass your permit exam. Need to try the permit exam again?

 

Failed Exam

You may need to study the driver’s manual before retaking the exam. 

When you are ready to try again, follow the steps below.

  1. Log into your myRMV profile using your S/SA number and other personal information. Make sure to follow all the rules & instructions of the permit exam to pass your next attempt.
  2. Select More Options to find the Retake Knowledge Exam link.
  3. Follow the transaction prompts to pay the required exam fee using your debit/credit/or bank account. Each learner’s permit exam costs $30.
  4. Once you pay, you will see the link to “You have a permit exam that can be taken” appear again on your profile. When you are ready, click the link to begin. Good luck!

Key Actions for You Just Took Your Permit Exam

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