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Driver's Education Requirements

Currently in Massachusetts, driver’s education is required for a new driver under the age of 18. This consists of 30 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours of actual behind the wheel driving and 6 hours of back seat observation. Parents are also required to attend a separate 2 hour parent class.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles regulations allow a student to start classroom instruction at the age of 15 years and 9 months. Actual behind the wheel instruction and in car student observation both require a student to be at least 16 years old with a valid learner's permit.

Facts About Your Permit

  1. Your permit is valid for two (2) years and allows you to practice your driving skills as you prepare for your road test.
  2. You must carry your permit whenever you drive until you earn a Junior Operator's License or a full driver's license.
  3. You must always be accompanied by a licensed operator who occupies the passenger seat next to you. This person must be at least 21 years old and have a valid license with at least 1 year's driving experience.
  4. If you are under 18, you may not drive between the hours of 12:00 am and 5:00 am unless accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian.
  5. A class D learner's permit allows you to operate a motor vehicle in another state as long as it does not violate the laws of that state.
  6. You may only operate a passenger car.
  7. The law requires that you be at least 16 1/2 to obtain a “Junior Operator's License.” You would have to obtain your Learner's Permit at age 16, complete a driver’s education course, and drive for six (6) months without any surchargeable incidents or motor vehicle offenses before you would be eligible to apply for a “Junior Operator's License” at age 16 1/2.

Massachusetts Junior Operator License (JOL) Requirements

  1. Complete a Massachusetts approved driver education class.
  2. Accumulate 12 hours of behind the wheel driving experience and 6 hours of in car observation.
  3. Hold a valid learner's permit for a minimum of 6 months.
  4. Receive no moving traffic violations resulting in a conviction for the six months prior to the date of application for the JOL.
  5. Successfully pass a road test exam.
  6. Pay the required fees directly to the RMV.

If you have any other questions about Learner's Permits or Junior Operator Licenses then check out the MA RMV's FAQ's page or visit the Massachusetts RMV website.