Apply for Massachusetts driver's license

Choose Your LicenseApply-License

New residents and first-time drivers must apply for a Massachusetts license. The state offers the following kinds:

* Class D (all non-commercial vehicles except school buses, hazardous waste transport vehicles, and trucks weighing over 26,001 pounds)
* Class M (motorcycle)
* Commercial (CLD) A, B, and C

Take a Driver’s Education CourseApply-License

Younger than 18: You must take the state’s driver’s education program.

18 and older: If you’re a first-time driver, you should consider taking a driver education course, although it is not mandatory.

Prepare for the TestApply-License

The driver’s manual from the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is your best study guide for the written test. It’s also a good idea to take a few practice tests.

Locate a DMV OfficeApply-License

Tests are given on a walk-in basis at any full-service RMV branch office.

Make Test-Day PreparationsApply-License

You’ll need to bring the following to an RMV office:

* Completed Test Permit application, with a parent or guardian’s signature if you’re under 18
* Social Security card, or a letter from the Social Security Administration confirming your ineligibility
* Proof of your birth date
* Proof of your signature
* Proof of Massachusetts residency if you’re 18 or older
* Cash or check for the $30 written test fee

Consult the driver’s manual for acceptable proofs of birth date, signature, and residency.

Take the Written TestApply-License

When you feel prepared, visit the RMV to take the test. You have 20 minutes to answer 20 questions, 14 of which you must answer correctly to pass. You must also pass a vision test.

Once you pass, you’ll be issued your learner’s permit, which is good for two years.

If you fail, you must pay the $30 fee again to retake the test.

Class D written tests are available in English, Albanian, Arabic, Armenian, Cambodian, Chinese, Czechoslovakian, Farsi, Finnish, French, German, Greek, Hebrew, Hungarian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Laotian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Russian, Spanish, Turkish, Vietnamese.

If you have a cognitive disability that prevents your from taking the standard exam, contact the Registry at (617) 351-4505 to request extended testing time, and/or a paper or oral test. These tests are by appointment only.

Get a CarApply-License

If you’re considering a used car, be sure to get a vehicle history report before you buy. It will protect you from any undisclosed defects by giving you information about past accidents, the title, and other details.

Get Car InsuranceApply-License

Car insurance is legally required to drive.

Take the Driving TestApply-License

If you are a new state resident with a valid, out-of-state license (or one that has been expired for less than four years), you do not need to take the road test.

If you do need to take the road test, schedule an appointment by calling (866) 627-7768.

When you arrive to take the test:

* Have a completed Road Test application (with a parent/guardian signature if you’re under 18)
* Have medical clearance from your doctor if you have a medical condition that could potentially hamper your driving abilities
* Have a valid learner’s permit
* Be accompanied by a qualified sponsor (at least 21 years old, has at least one year driving experience, has a valid license)
* Have a registered vehicle in operating condition
* Have a clean driving record for six consecutive months prior to the date of your road test (only if you’re under age 18)
* Bring payment for the $20 test fee

Once you pass, your examiner will stamp the back of your learner’s permit, which will serve as your temporary license. If you did not pre-pay for your license, bring the permit with your road test results on it to any RMV branch within 30 days. Pay the $40 license fee, and you’ll be issued a temporary license.

If you fail, you must pay the $20 test fee for each retake. You may only take the road test six times in a 12-month period.

Receive Your License in the MailApply-License

Expect your license in five to seven days. If it hasn’t arrived after four weeks, call (617) 351-4500 if your area code begins with 339, 617, 781 or 857, or (800) 858-3926 if your area code begins with 413, 508 or 978.


You may legally drive in Massachusetts for up to one year with your valid, foreign license. It’s not required, although it is recommended, that you obtain an International Driver’s Permit from your home country before you arrive.

If you establish residency in Massachusetts, you must apply for a driver’s license immediately.

Identification Requirements
You must provide proof of residency and a valid, current passport, plus a Social Security number or a Denial Notice issued by the Social Security Administration. In addition, you must provide three other forms of ID, and one of which must come from the Primary Identification list. All forms of primary identification must be original copies.

Primary Forms of Identification

* An Employment Authorization Card (I-688A, I-688B, I-766).
* A U.S. Citizen Identification Card (I-179, I-197).
* A record of departure in your passport (I-94).
* A Certificate of Citizenship (N-560 or N-561).
* A Non-Resident Alien Canadian Border Crossing Card (I-185 or I-586).
* A Temporary Resident Identification Card (I-688).
* A Resident Alien Card (I-151, I-551, AR-2, AR-3).
* A Certificate of Naturalization (N-550 or N-570).
* A Permanent Resident Re-Entry Permit (I-327).
* A Refugee Travel Document (I-571).
* A foreign passport with "Processed for I-551" stamp.
* Any document based upon decisions by the Department of State, Department of Justice, or the Department of Homeland Security that’s specific to your situation.

Secondary Forms of Identification

* A canceled personal check that’s not more than 60 days old and contains a preprinted address and your signature.
* An original or certified copy of your foreign birth certificate.
* A current or expired identification card (expired for less than 13 months) with your photo and signature that’s been issued by a U.S. territory or possession, a Canadian province, or a state of Mexico or the Federal District of Mexico City.
* A utility bill (not older than 60 days) that shows your name and address.
* A current or expired (for not not more than 12 months) non-U.S. driver’s license. If it’s not in English it must be submitted along with an International Driving Permit or some other acceptable form of translation.
* An original school transcript, not more than 12 months old, that contains your name and current address.
* A letter on your school’s letterhead authored by the principal, headmaster or official keeper of school records, confirming your status as a resident student.