Renewing Your License in Massachusetts
Renewing your driver license?
Perfect time to compare car insurance rates.
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In order to operate a vehicle, you are required by law to hold a driver's license and renew it every five years. You may renew up to one prior to your license's expiration date.
You're also required to carry car insurance. You can shop for a new provider or lower premiums at our Insurance Center.
When it comes to renewing a Class D or Class M (motorcycle) license every five years, you have two options:
- In person
You can check the current status of your driver's license by ordering a copy of your driving record if you're not sure.
NOTE: Visit our CDL section for detailed commercial license information.
If your license has been expired for less than four years you must retake an eye exam. Be sure to bring proper identification to the RMV office.
If your license has been expired for more than four years you must retake the written and road exams, as well.
If you're uncertain of your license's current status, consider ordering a driving record report.
If your license is suspended, you will receive, before its expiration date, a letter notifying you of your non-renewal status. If needed, you can get an updated status report on your suspended license by ordering a driving record report.
For detailed information on how to reinstate a suspended or revoked license, visit our suspended license page.
If a suspension has caused your insurance rates to dramatically jump, you may want to consider shopping online at our Insurance Center for a new provider.
Visit our Replacing a Lost License page for the full scoop.
The RMV no longer mails out renewal notices. You can renew either in person or, if eligible (see below), online. Be sure to renew your license at least seven days before your birthday to ensure arrival of the updated license before the old one expires.
The Registry of Motor Vehicles has also recently cut the following courtesy notices:
- Vehicle Inspection Reminder Letters for vehicles with expired inspections
- Driver’s Education Certificates
- Junior Operator Brochures for Parents
- Change of Address Labels
To prevent any interruptions in your license's status, you must renew online prior to its expiration date. Pay with the $50 fee with Visa, MasterCard or Discover. Your new license should arrive in the mail within one week.
You cannot use the online option if:
- Your license photo is more than nine years old and was taken before your 21st birthday.
- You need to change your name.
- You don't own a Social Security number.
- You have yet to receive a confirmation notice after submitting an online change-of-address notice.
- You want to register to vote.
- You want to change your organ donor status.
NOTE: You can only use the online option every other renewal, or, once every 10 years.
Not an option.
When you arrive you'll need to:
- Pass a vision test.
- Provide either your Social Security number or Social Security Denial Notice (cannot be more than 30 days old).
- Pay the $50 license renewal fee.
Your receipt will serve as your temporary license, until your permanent one arrives in the mail within two weeks.
NOTE: Your license will not be renewed if you have any outstanding warrants, unpaid tickets, back child support or Massachusetts Turnpike/Fast Lane violations.
With more drivers on the road, it's always a smart idea to keep your driving skills sharp by enrolling in a supplemental traffic school. And, as a possible added bonus, your insurance carrier may reward you with lower premiums.
You may want to search online at our Insurance Center for a company that offers a traffic school discount.
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We put a lot of effort into making our content helpful & accurate. Please let us know if you see something that isn't clear or correct; we are here to ease any frustrations you may have while navigating DMV topics. We are not a government agency, please reach out to your local DMV, insurance agent, or respective professional for further assistance on specific situations.