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MA Drivers Ed Rules & Resources

MA Drivers Ed Rules & Resources

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.

COVID-19 CHANGES: As of May 29, 2021 certain COVID restrictions have been lifted. 

The requirement for junior operators to complete six hours observing another student driver will revert back to driving schools and must be completed as part of the driver's education curriculum.

  • If the learner's permit was issued BEFORE May 29, 2021, the student may continue to complete their observation driving hour requirement with the Parent/Guardian Affidavit, or observation driving hours may be completed with a licensed instructor in the driving school vehicle.
  • If a learner's permit is issued ON or AFTER May 29, 2021ALL observation driving hours must be completed with a licensed instructor in the driving school vehicle. The Parent/Guardian Affidavit form will no longer apply to these students. Students will again be allowed to sit in the vehicle to observe another student and complete their observation driving hours.

Observation hours can be completed by a parent/guardian in the form of driving hours if a student's permit was issued BEFORE May 29, 2021. An original Affidavit of Completion Form must be submitted to Triad confirming when the hours were completed. This form can be found on our website under Rules & Resources, Helpful Forms. Students and instructors will continue to wear a mask during a lesson. Instructors will continue to disinfect  the vehicle in between students.

The Commonwealth of Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles regulations allows 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 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 one year of driving experience.
  4. If you are under 18, you may not drive between the hours of 12 AM and 5 PM 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 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.
If you have other questions about the Learner's Permit then check out the MA RMV's FAQ's page.

Massachusetts Junior Operator License (JOL)

  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 would like additional information then check out the RMV's Junior Operator License requirements page.