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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

Starting July 1, 2023 eligible residents in Massachusetts can obtain a Standard (Class D or M) driver's license, regardless of immigration status, under the Work and Family Mobility Act. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/wfma.

The passenger and motorcycle (Class D) learners’ permit knowledge exam is available to take online.

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

Starting July 1, 2023 eligible residents in Massachusetts can obtain a Standard (Class D or M) driver's license, regardless of immigration status, under the Work and Family Mobility Act. For more information, visit www.mass.gov/wfma.

Learner's permit exam

Learner's permit exams are currently available online. 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.

As part of your Learner’s Permit application at the RMV, you will need to decide where you plan to take your Class D or M permit exam and be ready to tell the Service Center employee your choice of location.

You can take the exam right away at the RMV during your learner’s permit appointment or online at home.

Before you decide where to take the exam, you need to know there are specific requirements and policies to be followed to successfully take the online at-home version of the exam.

You must have access to a computer with a web-camera and must be using one of the recommended web browsers. You will not be able to take the exam at home on a smartphone or tablet. 

Please review the next sections to see if your computer and at home set up will allow you to successfully take the Online Learner’s Permit Exam. If not, please plan to take the exam during your visit to the RMV.

If you take the exam at the RMV or online, you need to get 18 out of 25 questions correct within 25 minutes to pass the exam. The exam is available in 35 different languages.

Online Learner’s Permit Exam At-Home Requirements

Each of the following requirements must be met to take the Learner’s Permit Exam at home:

  • The computer must have a working camera; the camera must be enabled during the session.
  • Your web browser be at least Google Chrome 97, Microsoft Edge 94, or Internet Explorer 11.
  • You must consent to your photo being taken before, during and at the end of the exam.
  • A quiet location to take the exam, more details in the section called Exam Set-Up.
    • Please note: The system is NOT compatible with smartphones or tablets.
    • Speakers are optional – you can listen to the questions and answers during the exam.

If your computer does not meet the requirements or you do not want to have your picture taken, you should choose to take the exam at the RMV Service Center.

When you take the test Online Learner’s Permit Exam at home, the system will take your picture before, during, and after the exam. The RMV must see the same person who applied for the learner's permit is the only person present in all the photos.

At Home Online Learner’s Permit Exam Set-Up

In addition to the computer requirements above, make sure your home testing area is set up just like you would be tested at the RMV.

  • Close all other browser windows and disable pop ups to limit distraction during the test.
  • Limit all distractions; give the permit exam your constant attention.
  • Make sure your face is not obscured during the exam (like no baseball hats, masks, or sunglasses)
  • Do not allow other adults, children including babies, or pets in the room while you are testing.
  • Leave all other electronics like your cell phone, or smartwatch in another room.
  • Do not access reference materials like the driver’s manual; do not plan to search the internet for answers.

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

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

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. 

How to Schedule a Service Center Learner’s Permit Appointment

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.

You must make an appointment to visit a Service Center or AAA location if you are a member.

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.

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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