Behind the Wheel in Massachusetts

Massachusetts Driver's Training

If you're a teenager applying for a new Massachusetts driver's license, you'll need to complete both driver's training AND behind-the-wheel practice to satisfy the requirements of the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) junior operator license (JOL) requirements.

Both types of your supervised behind-the-wheel driving practice will help you gain valuable driving experience and prepare you for your driving test.

On this page you'll find information about your behind-the-wheel training requirements and the next steps towards your first driver's license.

MA Behind-the-Wheel Requirements

During the learner's permit phase of the Massachusetts DMV JOL program, if you're younger than 18 years old, you will need to complete:

  • 12 hours of behind-the-wheel training as part of your Driver's Ed program.
  • 40 hours of additional supervised driving practice with a licensed adult.

You can begin the JOL program and your behind-the-wheel requirements when you turn 16 years old by applying for your learner's permit and enrolling in a driver's education course.

For more information, please see our pages on those topics:

Massachusetts Driver's Training Course

Behind-the-wheel driver's training is a component of your Driver's Ed course and is offered by public schools and professional driver's training schools.

Visit the Massachusetts RMV website to locate a program in your area.

Your Driver's Ed program will include a minimum of 12 hours of behind-the-wheel practice with your driver's training instructor and 30 hours of classroom instruction.

NOTE: If you're a driver under 18 years old, you also have the option of completing a driver skills development program in addition to your Driver's Ed course. Completing a skills development course will reduce your additional supervised driving requirement to a total of 30 hours.

Supervised Driving Practice in Massachusetts

While you hold a learner's permit, you are allowed to drive only while accompanied by a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old. 

Permit holders under 18 years old, are not allowed to drive between the hours of 12 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless they are accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian in the front seat.

Before you can advance from your learner's permit to your provisional driver's license, you'll need to complete at least 40 hours of supervised, behind-the-wheel driving practice. This is reduced to 30 hours if you have completed a driver skills development course.

You can keep track of your supervised driving hours with the Massachusetts RMV Supervised Driving Log.

Before taking your road test, you'll need to submit a written statement signed by your parent/legal guardian to certify your driving practice.

After Driver's Training - Get Your Provisional License

You will be eligible to take your road test and obtain your junior operator license (JOL) when you:

  • Are at least 16 1/2 years old.
  • Have held your learner's permit for at least 6 months.
  • Have had no traffic violations in the past 6 months.
  • Have completed both the classroom and driver's training components of your Driver's Ed course.
  • Have completed your supervised Massachusetts behind-the-wheel training.

Once you meet the requirements above, visit the Massachusetts RMV website to schedule your driving test.

For more information about the forms, fees, and any other documents you'll need to receive your driver's license, please visit our Applying for a New License (Teen Drivers) in Massachusetts page.

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