You must be at least 16 years old to learn to drive in Massachusetts. The MA Registry of Motor Vehicles notes that if you just turned 16 and are ready to obtain your learner's permit you may now do so.
To get a MA learner's permit:
- You need to study all of the information in the driver's manual. You may read the manual, in its entirety, online.
- You need to bring a completed License and ID Update application to any full-service RMV branch. You can find the application online or at the branch.
- If you are under the age of 18, a parent or guardian will need to sign the application.
- You will be required to pay a $30 written test fee as well as meet the identification requirements.
- You will also be required to pass a vision test or submit a RMV vision-screening certificate from your medical practitioner
- Your photo and signature will be captured electronically on the RMV database
- There is a 20 question (written/computer based) exam testing your knowledge of Massachusetts's motor vehicle laws and safe driving practices. You have 20 minutes to take the test and must answer 14 correctly in order to pass.
- The test is administered on automated testing stations which are easy to use video screen kiosks.
Once you get your Massachusetts learner's permit:
- You must always be accompanied by a licensed operator who occupies the passenger seat next to you. This person must be at least 21 years old and have a valid license with at least 1 year's driving experience.
- If you are under 18, you may not drive between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 am unless accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian.
- A class D learner's permit allows you to operate a motor vehicle in another state as long as it does not violate the laws of that state.
- You may only operate a passenger car.
- You must carry your permit whenever you drive until you earn a Junior Operator's License or a full driver's license
- Your permit is valid for two (2) years and allows you to practice your driving skills as you prepare for your road test.
The next step in the graduated driver licensing (GDL) system is the Junior Operator's License (JOL). If you apply for a driver's license and are between the ages of 16 1/2 and 18 you must have possessed a learner's permit for at least six (6) months and will only be issued a Junior Operator's License (JOL), upon passing a road test. There are restrictions with this type of license as well.