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How to Get a Learners Permit in Massachusetts

A Massachusetts learners permit must be obtained by prospective drivers who wish to receive a license at some point. A learner’s permit may be earned at any full-service MA Registry of Motor Vehicle (RMV) location. There are different requirements for adult applicants and applicants under the age of 18. Having a DMV learners permit allows drivers to gain firsthand driving experience under the eye of a more experienced motorist. After training, drivers may apply for an unrestricted MA drivers license. To obtain a learners drivers license, applicants must be at least 16-years-old. Minors will need adult consent.

Getting a Learners Permit in Massachusetts

To obtain a learner permit in Massachusetts, you need to know where to get learners permit credentials. Applicants and documents must be provided to the Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). Before you get learners permit credentials, the RMV office will request the following documents:

  • Completed Class D, M, or D/M License and ID Card Application with parental signature
  • One document confirming date of birth (ex: birth certificate)
  • Social Security Number

You may still obtain your learner’s drivers license even if you do not have an official Social Security Number. However, you will need to provide the RMV office with a Denial Notice from the Social Security Administration, along with a current non-U.S. passport and I-94 form. If you want to get a learners permit in Massachusetts and you are over the age of 18, then you will need to bring a document certifying your signature instead of an application with a parental signature.

Massachusetts Learners Permit Tests

To obtain a permit for driving in Massachusetts, applicants must pass a vision exam and written test. The learners permit test must be passed with a score of at least 18 out of 25. The exam is available in multiple languages. The DMV drivers permit exam will test your knowledge of basic highway rules and regulations. If you intend to get an MA learner drivers license, then the RMV recommends taking a practice test first. The test’s learners permit questions are based on the Massachusetts Drivers Manual.

Massachusetts Learners Permit Rules (Drivers Under 18)

After obtaining a Massachusetts DMV learner’s permit, drivers must adhere to certain rules. Anyone in possession of a learners permit may only operate a motor vehicle if they are with another licensed driver who is at least 21-years-old and has at least one year of driving experience. The motorist with the DMV drivers permit must be seated next to the older, experienced driver whenever the vehicle is in operation. The motorist with the learner permit must also abide by the following rules and regulations:

  • After getting a learners permit, motorists under the age of 18 may only drive between the hours of midnight and 5 a.m., unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian who meets the experience requirements mentioned above. Parents or guardians with suspended or revoked licenses may not accompany the driver with the permit.
  • If a Massachusetts driving permit is not valid in another state, then the motorist may not operate a vehicle in that state.
  • The MA permit for driving must be in the physical possession of the permitted driver when he or she is operating a motor vehicle.
  • If a driver obtains a Class M (motorcycle) permit, then he or she may not operate the motorcycle or transport passengers before sunrise or after sunset.

If the learners permit rules are broken by a motorist, then the state can revoke his or her permit or impose other legal penalties or fines, making it more difficult for the offending driver to obtain a license or insurance.

Applying for a Massachusetts Learners Permit Online

You may complete an application for a learners permit online in Massachusetts, but you cannot process the full application process from your computer. You can only obtain a DMV learners permit after passing the written test and vision examination at an RMV office in your area. However, the Massachusetts learner permit online process will tell you if you are eligible for a permit and produce a list of required documents you will need to take to the RMV office. The entire learner’s permit online process will take minutes to finish and applicants may save their information and return at any time.

To begin applying for a learners permit online, you must enter your name, birth date and Social Security Number (or number from a valid U.S. passport). After answering a variety of questions, the system will determine if you are eligible for a learners permit. If you meet the requirements for learners permit credentials, then you can find a local RMV office and complete the process.

Applying for a Learners Permit in Massachusetts (Individuals With Disabilities)

Learning how to get a learners permit in Massachusetts works a little differently for applicants with disabilities. The leaners permit test is offered to citizens with mental and physical disabilities. Applicants with a qualifying disability must receive reasonable accommodations from the RMV. A paper DMV drivers permit test is available, as well as oral tests and tests with extended time frames. If applicants need a paper learners permit test or more time to complete their test, then they should speak with the RMV service manager when they first arrive for the test.

If you need an oral DMV learners permit test, then you must call the RMV office and schedule a test in advance. If you are applying for a learners permit in MA, leave a message with your name, phone number and where you would like to take the exam, and an RMV representative will contact you to schedule an appointment. Applicants taking an oral driver permit test will be required to provide the RMV with proof of their disability. Letters from a medical professional, social worker or school official are acceptable. The note must have an official letterhead. To receive a Massachusetts learner permit, you will still need to bring the necessary documents mentioned before.