What is the Work and Family Mobility Act (WFMA)?
The Work and Family Mobility Act (WFMA) allows all qualified residents of Massachusetts to apply for a Standard driver’s license, regardless of immigration status. The RMV is still required by law to ensure applicants prove their identity and date of birth, social security status, and Massachusetts residency. All drivers will be required to make an appointment, pay fees, and pass a vision screening, learner's permit exam, and road test.
When will the Work and Family Mobility Act (WFMA) go into effect?
WFMA goes into effect in July 2023.
When can I start the application process?
Beginning July 1, 2023, you can pre-register to make an appointment and complete an application online at Mass.Gov/myRMV. You will be notified via text message and email when an appointment to visit a Service Center is available. Making an appointment is required.
What type of license does the Work and Family Mobility Act apply to?
WFMA only changes the identity requirements for Standard (Class D or M) driver’s licenses. A passenger (Class D) license allows you to legally operate a passenger vehicle, van, or small truck. A motorcycle (Class M) license allows you to legally operate a motorcycle. Requirements for other credentials (like REAL ID, Mass ID, Liquor ID, and Commercial Driver’s Licenses) and voter registration remain the same.
Will Standard driver’s licenses issued because of the Work and Family Mobility Act look different than other Standard driver’s licenses?
There will be no changes to Standard driver’s license cards. There will be no way to tell what documents the customer presented when they applied for their Standard driver’s license. All Standard driver’s licenses will continue to have the required “NOT FOR FEDERAL ID” printed on the card.
Do I need an appointment to get a Standard driver’s license?
Yes, all applicants seeking a driver’s license will first need to make an appointment to apply for a learner’s permit and then make an appointment to take a road test. Beginning July 1, 2023, you can pre-register to make an appointment and complete an application online at Mass.Gov/myRMV. You will be notified via text message and email when an appointment to visit a Service Center is available. Making an appointment is required.
How long is the Standard Driver’s License valid?
Standard driver’s licenses are valid for five years from the date of issuance for all customers applying after July 1.
How is the RMV maintaining safe roads?
Safety is the RMV’s top priority. All new drivers, regardless of immigration status or license type, will have to take and pass a vision screening, learner’s permit exam, and road test to obtain a driver’s license.
Can I get a Standard driver’s license at an AAA Location?
AAA locations in Massachusetts require a social security number to process learner’s permit applications. AAA members with a social security number can process a learner’s permit application at AAA locations throughout Massachusetts. Please see Mass.Gov/rmv-services-at-aaa for more information.
What steps do I need to take to get a Standard driver’s license?
To get a driver’s license, all applicants must follow the same steps, beginning with getting informed and scheduling an appointment to visit an RMV service center. More information about the licensing process can be found on Mass.Gov/WFMA.
Will materials like the Driver’s Manual, ID Checklist and Road Test Checklist be available in other languages besides English?
Yes. The RMV is translating key materials in to 15 languages: Spanish, Portuguese, Chinese Simplified, Chinese Traditional, Haitian Creole, French, Vietnamese, Russian, Arabic, Khmer, Cape Verdean Creole, Hindi, Korean, Tagalog, and Pashto. Additionally, the learner’s permit exam is offered in 35 languages.
Should I be prepared to take my learner’s permit exam at a Service Center?
The RMV encourages customers who want to take the exam in person at a service center to do so during their scheduled learner’s permit appointment. If you choose to take and pass your exam at a Service Center, the RMV will print and issue you the permit that day. Customers will also have the option to take the learner’s permit exam online at home within 60 days of their appointment.
What if I want to take my learner’s permit exam online?
You may take a learner’s permit exam online. Customers must take the exam online within 60 days of visiting the Service Center. Customers who complete the test online will be responsible for printing their permit. To take the test online, you will need a computer that meets the following requirements: a working camera that is enabled during the exam; a web browser that is at least Google Chrome 97, Microsoft Edge 94, or Internet Explorer 11; you cannot use a smartphone or tablet; you must consent to your photo being taken before, during, and at the end of the exam.
Identification and Document Requirements
What documents do I need to get a Standard driver’s license?
The RMV accepts several new forms of identification and proof of date of birth under the Work and Family Mobility Act. These include valid and unexpired foreign passports, consular identification documents, and foreign national identification cards, among others. For the full list of newly acceptable identification documents, see Mass.Gov/WFMA.
Can I provide digital documents to get a Standard driver’s license?
Documents provided for any credential, including a driver’s license, must be originals. No photocopies will be accepted. The RMV cannot accept an electronic or digital version, such as a display on a mobile device, of the required identification documents.
Do I need to translate my identification documents?
Yes. Any documents not in English are required to be accompanied by a certified English translation. See Mass.Gov/WFMA for more information on translation requirements.
I used to have to apply for a license every year due to my immigration status. Does WFMA allow me to get a 5-year Standard driver’s license?
You will be issued a 5-year Standard (Class D or M) driver’s license even if you have limited term lawful presence in the United States. Even if your documentation expires in less than five years, you will still get the 5-year Standard Driver’s License if you meet the identity and birthdate, social security status, and Massachusetts residency requirements. Remember: if this if your first driver’s license, you will also need to pass a learner’s permit exam and road test!
If one of my documents is expired, can I still use that document to receive a Standard driver’s license?
All the documents that are newly accepted under WFMA must be valid and unexpired. Visit Mass.Gov/ID for complete list of ID requirements and Mass.Gov/WFMA for a list of the newly accepted documents beginning July 1, 2023.
Interpreters and Licensed Drivers
Can I bring my own interpreter for my learner’s permit appointment and road test?
Yes. We encourage all customers to bring their own interpreter if they need one. For the learner’s permit appointment, customers can bring their interpreter to help with the transaction. Interpretation services will also be available if needed during your learner’s permit appointment. However, the interpreter will NOT be able to assist the customer with the learner’s permit exam. The learner’s permit exam is available in 35 languages on demand.
For the road test, the customer’s interpreter will ride in the car with them during their road test. The interpreter will only be allowed to interpret the exact words of the Road Test Examiner. They are not allowed to provide any additional instructions during the road test. If a customer is unable to bring an interpreter, they should request that the RMV provide an interpreter for the road test at the time of scheduling the road test.
Who should I bring with me for the road test?
Customers are required to bring a licensed driver that meets all requirements in the Class D and M Road Test Information Sheet found at Mass.Gov/guides/road-test-information. This individual may or may not be the same as an interpreter. The RMV cannot provide a licensed driver the day of your road test if you are not accompanied by one.
Can I schedule an interpreter for my road test?
When customers schedule their road test appointment online, there will be a question that asks, “Do you need interpretation services for your road test appointment?” If the customer selects yes, then the RMV will provide an interpreter that will join the customer in the car during their road test. See Mass.Gov/guides/road-test-information for more information.
I have a driver’s license from another country, can I convert it to a Standard driver’s license?
It depends on which country the license is from. Customers with a license from a US territory, Canada, or Mexico can convert their license if it is unexpired or expired for less than one year if they provide a copy of their driving record in addition to the identity document requirements. If the license from a US territory, Canada, or Mexico is over a year expired, customers will need to provide a copy of their driving record, take a learner’s permit exam, and take a road test. Massachusetts also has reciprocal agreements with South Korea, France, Taiwan, and Germany. Customers with a driver’s license from these countries should visit Mass.Gov/how-to/transfer-your-drivers-license-from-a-foreign-country for more information.
Drivers from countries not listed above will need to take a learner’s permit exam and road test to demonstrate their driving ability, but do not need to provide a copy of their driving record. For more information on license conversions, visit Mass.Gov/RMV.
I have a driver’s license from another state in the United States, can I convert it to a Massachusetts Standard driver’s license?
Yes. If customers have an out-of-state Class D or M license that is current or has been expired for less than a year, they may transfer it to a Massachusetts issued license. Customers converting a license will still need to meet the RMV’s identification and eligibility requirements. The fee for Class D license conversions is $115. If a customer’s license from another state has been expired for more than a year, they will need to take a learner’s permit exam and road test to show driving ability.
Past Driver’s Licenses
I may have had a license or ID card based on fraudulent documents or information. How do I resolve this before applying for a Standard driver’s license?
It is the RMV’s job to verify identity and that the information and documents people provide to obtain a credential are legitimate. The RMV handles all fraud cases, regardless of WFMA, in the same manner. Any applicant with an open identity fraud case must appear for a hearing with the RMV Enforcement Services Unit before applying for a Standard Driver’s License. Additional information is available at Mass.Gov/how-to/reinstate-your-drivers-license.
My license was suspended. Am I able to apply for a Standard driver’s license?
The Work and Family Mobility Act does not change the process related to suspended or revoked licenses. The requirements to do so vary by suspension type. Suspensions in other states will impact your right to operate and other licensing requirements in Massachusetts. Additional information is available at Mass.Gov/how-to/reinstate-your-drivers-license.
How does the RMV protect customer privacy?
The RMV follows a law called the Drivers Privacy Protection Act (DPPA), which means that only certain people and organizations can access specific information. The RMV does not share information with civil immigration authorities.
Beware of offers to help get driver’s licenses for a fee.
The RMV is the only organization who can issue a Massachusetts driver’s license or collect fees for the licensing process. The RMV provides free resources online in multiple languages to help customers with the process. There is no charge to make an appointment. Make your appointment directly with the RMV at Mass.Gov/RMV. The approximate cost for a new license is $115, which includes the learner’s permit exam fee ($30), the road test fee ($35) and the license fee ($50).
Beware of offers to help get driver’s licenses before July.
Driver’s licenses cannot be issued prior to July for customers newly eligible under WFMA. Beware of fraudulent websites and scams. The RMV is the only organization who can issue a Massachusetts driver’s license or collect fees for the licensing process. The RMV provides free resources online at Mass.Gov/RMV in multiple languages to help customers with the process.
Do I need to attend a driving school to get a Standard driver’s license?
In Massachusetts, customers under the age of 18 must meet junior operator requirements that include attending a driving school licensed by the RMV. More information on the requirements for customers under the age of 18 can be found at Mass.Gov/info-details/junior-operator-license-jol-requirements.
Customers over 18 do not need to attend a driving school to receive a driver’s license. If customers do choose to attend a driving school, they are encouraged to shop around and understand what they are paying for. Any fees charged by the driving school are in addition to the fees charged by the RMV. Many driving schools offer Alternative/Off-Hours Road tests that allow applicants to take the road test in the driving school’s vehicle and with the driving school’s instructor as their sponsor. All applicants are encouraged to understand the costs and fees for this service before entering into an agreement with any driving school. Driving schools are not able to guarantee road test appointment dates or passing grades. Applicants are encouraged to research many driving schools to find a reputable school that fits their needs. More information about driving schools can be found at Mass.Gov/info-details/drivers-education-programs.