Apply for a License (Drivers 18+) in Massachusetts

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.

Massachusetts REAL ID Licenses

The Massachusetts RMV has begun issuing federally-compliant REAL ID driver’s licenses in addition to standard driver’s licenses. Beginning October 2021, the REAL ID will allow you to continue using your license for domestic travel and entry into federal and military buildings—a standard ID will no longer suffice for these activities.

You can choose to receive a REAL ID upon application—details are outlined below. For more, visit the state's guide to REAL IDs.

New to Massachusetts?

Just Moved?

Find all the information you need to finish your moving requirements with the DMV.

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, first decide if you want a standard driver’s license or a REAL ID driver’s license. (Learn more about REAL ID below.)

Then, gather up the following:

  • A completed Driver's License, Learner's Permit or ID Card Application (Form LIC100).
  • Your out-of-state driver's license*.
  • 1 document proving U.S. citizenship or lawful presence/date of birth.
    • IF your driver's license is from Canada, Mexico, or a U.S. territory (including Puerto Rico), you MUST show a driving record that is no more than 30 days old
  • Proof of residency—this will vary based on whether you want a standard ID or REAL ID:
    • 1 document for a non-compliant (standard) license.
    • 2 documents for a federally compliant REAL ID.
  • 1 document proving your Social Security number (SSN). All 9 digits of your SSN MUST appear on the document, which can include a:
    • Social Security card.
    • W-2 form.
  • Payment for the fee:
    • $115 for a Class D.
    • $115 for a Class M.
    • $130 for a Class D and Class M.

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

*You MUST pass a vision exam, knowledge test, and road test if your out-of-state license has been expired for more than 1 year.

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 that does not meet the requirements for a CDL, 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.

Standard vs. REAL ID Driver’s Licenses

You can choose between a standard and a REAL ID driver’s license in Massachusetts. Both types of driver’s licenses:

  • Allow you to drive within the restrictions of your particular permit, license, and class.
  • Act as a valid form of identification.

However, because it meets federal identification requirements, a REAL ID driver’s license also:

  • Acts as a FEDERAL form of identification and will feature a star emblem to indicate its federal compliance.
  • Allows you to enter federal facilities and military bases and board domestic commercial flights without showing additional identity documents.

The REAL ID isn’t mandatory, but it does offer convenience and the application process requires only a few extra steps—as explained below.

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 Driver's License, Learner's Permit or ID Card Application (Form LIC100).
    • If you are under 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian MUST sign your application.
  • Your out-of-state driver's license.
  • 1 document showingU.S. citizenship or lawful presence/date of birth such as a:
    • Certified copy of a U.S. birth certificate.
    • U.S. passport/passport card.
    • Certificate of Citizenship (Form N-560 or N-561).
  • Appropriate proof of residency, based on which type of license you're applying for:
  • 1 document containing proof of your Social Security Number* (SSN). It MUST show all 9 digits of your SSN, and can include your:
    • Social Security card.
    • W-2 form.
  • Payment for the $30 application fee.
Photocopies of documents are NOT accepted. Visit the MA RMV website for a complete list of accepted documents.

*NOTE: REAL ID applicants without an SSN MUST present a denial notice from the Social Security Administration, a foreign passport, appropriate visa, and an I-94 form. Applicants who ARE NOT U.S. citizens must provide proof they have been granted legal stay in the U.S. for at least 12 months, in addition to valid, verifiable immigration documents.


The RMV suggests that you study the MA Driver Manual to prepare for your written exam. A time-saving alternative is to study with an online practice test from our certified partner.

Apply for a New Massachusetts Driver's License

NOTE: If you applied for a Massachusetts driver's permit BEFORE 3/26/2018, but will take your driver's test AFTER 3/26/18, you must prove citizenship or lawful presence in the U.S. BEFORE you will be issued your driver's license. Consult our Apply for a Learner's Permit section above for details on providing this information.

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

  • You can schedule your driving test online.
  • A Class D or M Road Test Application (Form RDT103).
  • A registered and insured vehicle.
  • A sponsoring driver who:
    • Is at least 21 years old.
    • Has at least 1 year of driving experience.
    • Has a valid U.S. driver's license.
  • Payment for the $35 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 Driver's License, Learner's Permit or ID Card Application (Form LIC100).
    • If you are under 18 years old, a parent or legal guardian MUST sign your application.
  • Payment for the fee:
    • Class D: $50.
    • Class M: $50.
    • Motorcycle endorsement on existing Class D: $15.

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


Class D or M Road Test Application
Application to take a Class D OR Class M road test with the Massachusetts RMV. If a minor is taking the road test, form must be completed by a parent or legal guardian.
Driver’s License, Learner’s Permit or ID Card Application
RMV application for an original, renewal, replacement OR corrected Class D driver's license, Class M license, learner's permit, OR MA state ID card.
DMV.ORG BBB Business Review