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Apply for a passenger (Class D) learner's permit

To legally drive in Massachusetts, you must first apply for a learner's permit.
Learner's permit exam - You have 25 minutes to answer 18 questions correctly.

Registry of Motor Vehicles

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The Details of Apply for a passenger (Class D) learner's permit

What you need for Apply for a passenger (Class D) learner's permit

Effective June 10th, the passenger and motorcycle (Class D & M) learners’ permit knowledge exam will be available to take online and that dedicated Permit-Only Appointment Hours will be available at select Service Center locations, after the process was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Appointments for new learners’ permits will be initially restricted to individuals who turned 16 in March and April, then May 2020. Review these FAQs for more information.

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 a learner's permit, you need to:

  1. Be at least 16 years old.
  2. Decide what type of learner's permit you want – a REAL ID Massachusetts permit (valid for federal purposes) or Standard Massachusetts permit (not valid for federal purposes). Go to mass.gov/id to decide.
  3. Start your application online
  4. Bring your required identification and completed application to an RMV Service Center

Learner's permit exam

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. To prepare for the exam, study the Class D driver's manual.

Class D learner's permit exams are available in 34 languages.

Parental consent

If you are under 18 years of age, you must obtain the written consent of a parent, legal guardian, Department of Children and Families, or boarding school headmaster. Written consent must be given by signing the Driver's License, Learner's Permit, or ID Card application. If the person giving consent is NOT a parent, proper documentation of authority must be shown at the time of the permit test. You will also be subject to certain restrictions until you turn 18. 

 

Fees for Apply for a passenger (Class D) learner's permit

Name Fee Unit
Learner's Permit Application Fee $30 each

How to apply Apply for a passenger (Class D) learner's permit

Individuals seeking a passenger or motorcycle (Class D & M) learner’s permit will be required to start their application online and make an appointment to visit a Service Center to provide required identification documentation. Once an application and documents have been processed and verified at a Service Center, customers will be given login instructions and credentials to complete their test online at home. 

You must make an appointment to visit a Service Center.

Bring all required documents, fees, and the completed application to one of the open RMV Service Centers. At the time of your learner’s permit exam application, you must also pass a vision screening for field vision and basic colors.

You can pay by cash, check, money order, credit card, and debit card. Since payment methods vary by location, check what’s accepted at the site you will be visiting.

Next steps for Apply for a passenger (Class D) learner's permit

Obtaining a Class D driver's license

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.

Expired Permit?

Permits are valid for 2 years or the length of your stay in the U.S. If your permit expires, you'll need to reapply and retake the exam. 

More info for Apply for a passenger (Class D) learner's permit

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.

Oral exams are only available in English.

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.

Contact for Apply for a passenger (Class D) learner's permit

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