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Teen Rules and Regulations

If you just turned 16 and are ready to obtain your learner's permit, this is what you need to know before planning a trip with your parent or guardian to your local Registry branch:

  • 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 Class D, M, or D/M 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 25 question (written/computer based) exam testing your knowledge of Massachusetts's motor vehicle laws and safe driving practices. You have 25 minutes to take the test and must answer 18 correctly in order to pass.

  • The test is administered on automated testing stations which are easy to use video screen kiosks.

For more information on preparing for and taking the written test, please refer to the Driver's Manual. If you have a disability and need to request an accommodation, please bring medical documentation and ask to speak to the branch manager

Facts about your Permit:

  • Your permit is valid for two (2) years and allows you to practice your driving skills as you prepare for your road test.

  • You must carry your permit whenever you drive until you earn a Junior Operator's License or a full driver's license

  • 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.

The law requires that you be at least 16 1/2 to obtain a "Junior Operator's License." You would have to obtain your Learner's Permit at age 16, complete a driver's education course, and drive for six (6) months without any surchargeable incidents or motor vehicle offenses before you would be eligible to apply for a "Junior Operator's License" at age 16 1/2.

Massachusetts Junior Operator License (JOL) Requirements

  • Complete a Massachusetts approved driver education class.
  • Accumulate 12 hours of behind-the-wheel driving experience and 6 hours of in car observation.
  • Hold a valid learner's permit for a minimum of 6 months.
  • Receive no moving traffic violations resulting in a conviction for the six months prior to the date of application for the JOL.
  • Successfully pass a road test exam.
  • Pay the required fees directly to the RMV.

For additional information about Learner's Permits or Junior Operator Licenses, check out the MA RMV's FAQ's page or visit the Massachusetts RMV website.