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  • Applying for a New License (Drivers 18+) in Massachusetts

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    1. Enter Your Zip:

    If you are looking to apply for a new driver's license, you are likely to be either a new resident to the Bay State or a first-time driver.

    1) Choose Your License

    2) Take a Driver's Education Course

    If you're a first-time driver, you should give thought to enrolling in a driver education course. Even though it is not required by law, taking a supplemental course, such as the one offered by our sponsor, will contribute to your road competence―and confidence going into your testing.


    Massachusetts Drivers Preparation Course

    Think you need a little more help understanding the rules of the road? Our Massachusetts Driver's Preparation Course was made just for you! This one-hour course is designed to be a condensed version of your driver's education course, which means you'll get all the information you need in a fraction of the time.

    Massachusetts Driver Prep Course $14.95
    Massachusetts 100 Question Practice Test
    + Driver Prep Course

    Looking for a specialized driver preparation course? I Drive Safely also provides Motorcycle License Prep Course and Commercial (CDL) Prep Course as well.

    3) Prepare for the Test

    Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) Driver's Manual teaches you all you need to know for the written test. After studying it, you should measure your exam-readiness by completing a couple of practice tests.

    4) Locate a DMV Office

    Tests are given on a walk-in basis at any full-service RMV branch office.

    5) Make Test-Day Preparations

    Bring to the RMV office:

    • A completed Test Permit application
    • Your Social Security card, or a letter from the Social Security Administration confirming your ineligibility (for those who can't get a Social Security card).
    • Proof of your birth date*.
    • Proof of your signature*.
    • Proof of Massachusetts residency.
    • Payment for applicable fees.

    *Consult the Driver's Manual for acceptable forms of identification.

    6) Take the Written Test

    After you've studied the Driver's Manual and you're ready to take the test, you'll have to complete a 25 question exam. You must answer at least 18 questions correctly in order to pass. In addition, you must also pass a vision test.

    If you pass you'll be issued a learner's permit, which is valid for two years.

    If you fail, you must pay another $30 fee when taking the test again.

    NOTE: Class D written tests are offered in: English, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Czechoslovakian, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese.

    7) Get a Car

    You'll need a car to take Massachusetts' road test. And owning a car will allow you to practice on your own, in addition to taking a Massachusetts' driver training program.

    You might want to consider a used car, but you don't want to get stuck with a wreck. Before you buy a car, be sure to order a vehicle history report. This can protect you from any hidden defects by showing you if a car has been in accidents, been salvaged, or been flood-damaged.

    8) Get Car Insurance

    Car insurance, regardless if you only own a permit, is mandatory whenever you are driving. Before settling on a carrier be sure to compare rates at our Insurance Center.

    9) Take the Driving Test

    If you just established residency in Massachusetts from another state, you DO NOT have to take a road test provided that your license is either current or has not been expired for more than four years.

    When you arrive for your test make sure you meet the following requirements:

    • Possess a completed Test application.
    • Have some form of medical clearance from your physician if you suffer from a medical condition that could possibly hamper your driving abilities.
    • Have a valid learner's permit.
    • Be accompanied by a qualified sponsor (must be at least 21 years old, has at least one year of driving experience and holds a valid driver's license).
    • Have a functional, legally registered vehicle.
    • Pay the $20 road test fee.

    Once You Pass

    If you pass and prepaid your license, your test examiner will stamp the back of your learner's permit. This will serve as your temporary license.

    After paying the $50 license fee you'll be issued a temporary license.

    If You Fail

    You may retake the test. You will have to pay the $20 fee for every test attempt.


    If you have a valid driver license from your home country, you may legally drive in Massachusetts for a period of time. Although not required, it's a good idea to obtain an International Driver's Permit from your home country. That provides MA officials to see a translation of the information on your license.

    If you decide to establish residency in Massachusetts, you must apply for a driver license immediately. There is no grace period.

    Identification Requirements

    In addition to providing proof of residency and a valid and current foreign passport, and either a Social Security Number or a Denial Notice issued by the Social Security Administration, you must provide other forms of identification from the Primary Identification list. All forms of Primary Identification must be original copies.

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