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

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    Applying for a New Massachusetts Driver’s License

    Getting a driver’s license in Massachusetts is straightforward. All permit and driver’s license applications, including those for new drivers and new MA residents, are handled by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV).

    If you are a new driver, you must get your learner’s permit before you can apply for a new driver’s license.

    Read below for more detailed application information and eligibility requirements.

    New to Massachusetts?

    You must exchange your out-of-state driver’s license for a Massachusetts driver’s license as soon as you become a MA resident.

    To exchange your driver’s license, you will need:

    • Your out-of-state driver’s license.
      • You will need a photo ID AND a certified driving record no more than 30 days old IF:
        • Your driver’s license doesn’t have a picture.
          OR
        • You do not have your current driver’s license.
    • A certified driving record no more than 30 days old IF your driver’s license is from Canada, Mexico, or a U.S. territory.
    • Proof of your birth date, such as your:
      • Out-of-state driver’s license.
        • Your current driver’s license can be used as proof of birth date OR proof of signature, but NOT both.
      • U.S. passport.
      • Birth certificate (original or certified copy).
    • Proof of your signature, such as your:
      • U.S. passport.
      • Loan or lease documents.
      • Marriage certificate.
    • Proof of your MA residency, such as your:
      • Mortgage or lease documents.
      • Home or renters insurance policy.
      • Utility bill up to 60 days old.
    • Your Social Security number.
    • Payment for the $115 fee.

    The MA RMV does NOT accept photocopies of documents. For a complete list of approved documents, see the RMV website.

    If your out-of-state driver’s license is expired, you may have to pass RMV tests to get your new MA driver’s license:

    • Expired between 1 year and 4 years ago: Written knowledge test.
    • Expired more than 4 years ago: Written test, driving test, and eye test.

    Types of MA Driver’s Licenses

    The MA Registry of Motor Vehicles offers multiple non-commercial driver’s licenses:

    • Class A: For operating a combination of vehicles with a total weight of 26,001 lbs. or more.
    • Class B: For operating a single vehicle with a weight of 26,001 lbs. or more.
    • Class C: For operating vehicles that transport at least 16 passengers or carry hazardous materials.
    • Class D: For operating a vehicle weighing 26,000 lbs. or less, except for buses, tractors, semi-trailers, and truck-trailer combinations.
    • Class M: For operating a motorcycle. For more information, see our page on Motorcycle Licenses in Massachusetts.

    Non-commercial driver’s licenses are valid for 5 years.

    For commercial driver’s license (CDL) classes and information, see our page on Applying for a New CDL in Massachusetts.

    Massachusetts Driver’s License Eligibility Requirements

    To get a full, unrestricted MA driver’s license, you must:

    • Be a Massachusetts resident.
    • Be at least 18 years old.
    • Have a MA learner’s permit.
    • Pass a written test, driving test, and vision screening.

    Massachusetts Learner’s Permit

    You must get a learner’s permit before you can apply for a new driver’s license. The permit allows you to learn and practice driving while accompanied by a licensed driver.

    Your Massachusetts learner’s permit will be valid for 2 years.

    Apply for a Learner’s Permit

    You must apply for a learner's permit in person at a MA RMV office. You will need:

    • A completed Class D, M, or D/M License and ID Card Application (Form T21042).
    • Proof of your birth date, such as:
      • Your U.S. passport.
      • An original or certified copy of your birth certificate.
      • Your U.S. marriage certificate.
    • A document verifying your signature, such as your:
      • U.S. passport.
      • Social Security card.
      • U.S. marriage certificate.
    • Proof you are a MA resident, such as:
      • Mortgage documents or rental agreement.
      • Policy paperwork for home or renters insurance.
      • A utility bill no more than 60 days old.
    • Your Social Security number (SSN).
    • Payment for the $30 fee.
    • Passing scores on the written permit test and vision screening.

    Photocopies of documents are NOT accepted. Visit the MA RMV website for a complete list of accepted documents.

    DMV.org TIP:

    How will you do on the written exam? Online practice tests can help you prepare for the real thing at the DMV.

    Apply for a New Massachusetts Driver’s License

    To apply for a new Massachusetts driver’s license you must go in person to an RMV office. You will need:

    • To pass the road test. You will need:
      • To contact the Massachusetts RMV at (857) 368-8010 to schedule your driving test.
      • A completed Class D or M Road Test Application (Form T21844).
      • A registered and insured vehicle.
      • A sponsoring driver who:
        • Is at least 21 years old.
        • Has at least 1 year of driving experience.
          AND
        • Has a valid U.S. driver’s license.
      • Payment for the $20 driving test fee.
        • NOTE: You must take the road test before your learner’s permit expires, or you will have to reapply for a permit.
    • A stamped and signed learner’s permit (after completing the driving test).
    • A completed Class D, M, or D/M License and ID Card Application (Form T21042).
    • Payment for the $50 new driver’s license fee.
    DMV.org TIP:

    Did you know that Massachusetts requires 4 kinds of car insurance coverage? Learn more about MA auto insurance requirements in our Insurance Center.