Massachusetts road test

Passing the Massachusetts Road Test: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Jan 06, 2022

When you’re getting your Massachusetts license, there are several steps involved. However, the road test is arguably the most important part of getting licensed in the state. The RMV will examine drivers’ ability to perform key maneuvers and safely operate a vehicle.

In this guide, we’ll tell you exactly how to pass your Massachusetts road test – from beginning to end!

Requirements Before Taking the Massachusetts Driving Test

There are a few requirements before you can even take the driving test in Massachusetts, which we’ll go through in the checklist below. If they aren’t completed, you may be restricted from taking your test.

You’ll also want to get a ton of practice to make sure you’re comfortable behind the wheel and can pass on your first time.

Driving Test Checklist

  1. Get a learner’s permit. You’ll need to present a permit before being allowed to take a road exam, regardless of your age. If you’re under 18, this process includes driver’s education and taking a permit test, so you’ll want to make sure you have ample time to complete these tasks. Teenage drivers will also need a sponsor present with them at the time of their road test.
  2. Schedule your road test. To take the road test, you’ll need to schedule one with the RMV. You will be unable to simply walk in and take the exam. You can call the Massachusetts RMV to schedule one, or do it online.
  3. Find a test vehicle. New drivers often use vehicles of their family members to complete this obligation. Make sure your chosen vehicle meets the Massachusetts vehicle requirements for taking the road test:
    1. Must be in good working order and pass a safety check
    2. Must have valid registration and current inspection sticker
    3. Must contain a passenger seat for the examiner and rear seating for the sponsor, if applicable
    4. Must not be equipped with “specialized features” (such as backing sensors, back-up cameras, self-parking) that provide the driver with assistance
  4. Practice early and often. On the road test, test administrators will observe your performance on key driving concepts such as parallel parking, driving in traffic, 3 point turns, and reversing in a straight line. Practice makes perfect, so it’s never too early to start!
  5. Bring necessary documents. The MA RMV will require a completed road test application to take the exam. You can fill one out online or find a copy at your local RMV office. Additionally, you’ll need to present your permit and a sponsor, if under 18.

Day of the Massachusetts Driving Test

On the day of your driving test, you’ll likely be feeling a bit of nervousness. There is no reason to be worried – you will do awesome if you’ve practiced. Be sure to visit the RMV 15 minutes before your appointment. If you’re late, you may have to reschedule.

How Does the Driving Test Work?

The road test in Massachusetts is split into different ‘parts’ – the pre-vehicle check/student knowledge, and the actual on-road driving portion of the exam.

Right before the exam begins, you will be met with a test administrator to verify you and your vehicle meet the necessary requirements for the road exam. They will then make sure you know your hand signals. Be sure to review how to signal left, right, slow down, and stop, as you’ll need to know them to start the test. If you don’t know how to perform these motions, you will not be allowed to move forward.

The administrator will then ask you to show how to turn on your lights, use turn signals, honk the horn, among other actions to make sure that certain functions in your vehicle are properly working.

The driving portion of the exam should take about 15 minutes. Every testing location is different, so you may want to get some practice in the area around your scheduled road test. After getting on the road, your performance completing maneuvers such as turning, backing up, securing your vehicle on hills, and more will be examined. You should be checking your mirrors consistently and looking in the direction that you’re driving, as your test administrator will take points from you if you don’t.

After the Massachusetts Road Test

If you’ve passed, congratulations! There is a $35 road test fee that you’ll pay to the Massachusetts RMV after completion. You will immediately be served with a temporary driver’s license as well. Your permanent license will arrive in the mail within 4 weeks.

If You Fail

If you fail the exam, you can reschedule for a later date. In Massachusetts, you are not allowed to take the driving test more than six times within the period of 1 year.

That’s It

Preparing for, and passing the Massachusetts road test may seem difficult, but it doesn’t have to be! After the exam, you’ll be incredibly relieved – and you’ll have a brand new license.

We hope this guide has helped you out, and that you now feel comfortable with the steps moving forward. If you need any help studying for your upcoming exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study guide with online practice tests, a summarized handbook, and practical driving tips that will help you immensely during the actual road exam.

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