Massachusetts (MA) Learner's Permit

Getting a Massachusetts Learner’s Permit: A Complete Guide

by Zutobi · Updated Dec 01, 2021

If you’re looking to get your Massachusetts learner’s permit, you’ve come to the right place. In this article, we’ll go through all the details you need to know.

What is a Massachusetts Learner’s Permit?

The learner’s permit is the first step in the licensing process, and it allows you to drive under the supervision of a licensed adult. You can apply for one when you turn 16, but you will need parental consent – this is not required if you’re over 18.

How to Get a Driver’s Permit in Massachusetts

The learner’s permit application can be started online once you are ready, but you’ll have to schedule an appointment at an MA RMV near you to complete your application.

When you head to the RMV, remember to bring these documents:

  • Social security number
  • Proof of residency
  • Proof of citizenship

At the licensing office, you will need to pass the written exam. Currently, the exam is offered online and anyone eligible to take it online is required to do so. Here are some things you should know before you take it:

  • You must take and pass the exam within 60 days of completing your application; if you miss the deadline, you’ll have to reset your application.
  • The exam has a time limit of 25 minutes.
  • There are 25 questions, and you must answer 18 of them correctly to get a passing score.
  • You’re allowed to skip up to 7 questions temporarily, and you will be asked these questions again at the end of the exam.
  • The online exam can be taken in multiple different languages.

You will find out if you passed or not at the end of the exam. If you pass, you’ll be able to print your permanent learner’s permit. Your permit will be valid for two years. If it expires, you’ll need to go through the whole application process again and retake the exam.

If you fail, you’ll have to pay the fee again and retake the exam.

The written test is one of the hardest parts of getting your Massachusetts learner’s permit with over a 50% failure rate nation-wide, so you need to study properly before the test. That’s where Zutobi comes in – we make studying for your test easy with our summarized driver’s handbook, up-to-date practice tests, and gamified learning experience. There’s a reason 95% of our students pass on their 1st try.

Massachusetts Learner’s Permit Restrictions

Once you have your permit, you can start learning to drive with a licensed adult who is at least 21 years old and has had their driver’s license for at least one year. Be careful to follow these other guidelines as well:

  • If you’re under 18 – only drive between midnight and 5:00 a.m., and you must have a parent or legal guardian (rather than any licensed adult)
  • Must have learner’s permit with you when driving.
  • Cannot drive in another state if the state doesn’t allow it.

As you practice driving, log the hours on your supervised driving log. If you’re a minor, you’ll need to have 40 hours logged before you can sit the road test and get your junior operator license. You must also have completed an approved driver’s education program consisting of 30 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours behind-the-wheel training, and six hours behind-the-wheel observation. Also, you cannot have had any violations on your driving record 6 months before applying for the junior license.

If you’re over 18, you can progress straight to an unrestricted driver’s license after completing the road test – and you do not have to log any time before you may sit the road test.

That’s It!

That’s all you need to know about getting your learner’s permit in Massachusetts. If you need any help studying for your upcoming knowledge or driving exams, then Zutobi is the perfect study resource with a summarized handbook, Massachusetts practice tests, and a gamified learning experience on both the web and mobile.

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