Massachusetts Driver Licensing Law & Teen Driver Law

Obtaining a Massachusetts Learner's Permit

Teens in Massachusetts become eligible for Learner's Permits once they turn 16. These permits allow teens to practice their driving skills as they prepare for taking the road test and becoming licensed drivers.

After studying the driver's manual and completing a license application, a teen can apply at any full-service RMV branch. At the testing center:

  • A $30 fee and identification materials are required.
  • The applicant will be required to pass a vision test.
  • The applicant will be required to pass a knowledge exam testing on the Massachusetts motor vehicle laws and safe driving practices.
  • If the applicant is under 18 years old, a parent's or legal guardian's signature is required. Once issued, the permit will be valid for two years and holds the following requirements:
    • The permit holder must carry their permit while driving.
    • Permit holders must always be accompanied by a licensed driver, at least 21 years old with one year driving experience, in the front passenger seat at all times.
    • While under 18, the permit holder is not permitted to drive between 12AM and 5AM unless accompanied by a licensed parent or legal guardian.
    • Permit holder may not driver outside the state of Massachusettes.

Obtaining a Junior Operator License

After holding a Learner's Permit for at least six months, teens between 16 ½ and 18 will be eligible to advance to a Junior Operator License. To qualify, the applicant must have completed a state-approved driver education course, along with completing an additional 40 hours of supervised driving. Once the requirements are met, the permit holder is eligible to apply for an RMV road test. If passed, a Junior Operator License will be issued.

For the first six months after obtaining a Junior Operator License, the license holder is not permitted to drive with any passengers under 18 years, outside of the immediate family, without the supervision of a licensed driver who is at least 21 with one year driving experience. Additionally, the license holder is not permitted to drive between the hours of 12:30AM and 5AM without a parent or legal guardian.

In 2010, Massachusetts adopted the Safe Driving Law which added new penalties for those with a Junior Operator License. These penalties include:

Use of a Mobile Phone or Mobile Electronic Device by a Junior Operator Civil Offense-

Reporting an emergency is the only exception. Drivers are encouraged to pull over and stop the vehicle to report the emergency.

  • 1st offense-$100, 60 day license suspension & attitudinal course
  • 2nd offense-$250, 180 day suspension
  • 3rd or subsequent offense-$500, 1 year suspension

Sending/Reading Text Messages

  • 1st offense-$100
  • 2nd offense-$250
  • 3rd or subsequent offense-$500

Negligent Operation & Injury from Mobile Phone Use - Junior Operating License Suspensions:

  • 1st offense-180-day suspension
  • 2nd or subsequent offense within 3 years-1 year suspension
  • $500 reinstatement fee

Need more information on state laws? Learn more about the laws where you live.

Note: Our attorneys are licensed to practice law in Pennsylvania, West Virginia, Ohio, Maryland, and Virginia. This information is not intended to solicit clients for matters outside of the states of Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Maryland, and Virginia, although if you are injured in an accident, we have relationships with other personal injury attorneys and lawyers throughout the United States.

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