How to Pass the Massachusetts Permit Test

massachusetts-road-signLooking to prepare for the Massachusetts permit test but don’t know where to begin?  Don’t worry, by following this step-by-step guide you’ll discover the steps required to prepare for the permit test and ultimately get your license.  Let’s get started!

Like most other states, Massachusetts uses a Graduated Driver’s License Program (GDL) to help prepare young and inexperienced drivers for the road. The GDL is a multi-stage process that will allow you to practice driving while still remaining under certain restrictions, which can help prevent accidents due to inexperience.

In the state of Massachusetts, the GDL program has three stages:

  • Class D Learner’s Permit
  • Junior Operator’s License
  • Full Class D License

This guide will teach you about the various stages of the GDL so you can learn how to pass the Massachusetts permit test and move on to enjoy unrestricted driving privileges.

Step I: The Massachusetts Class D Learner’s Permit

When you are 16 years old, you can enter the first stage of the GDL process by applying for your Learner’s Permit. To do so, you will need to visit the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) office and take a written exam (also known as the permit test) that will check your knowledge of traffic laws, signals and signs.

Study as Often as Possible

In the week or two leading up to your permit test, you will need to study often. We offer a free copy of the Massachusetts Driver’s Manual for you to use, or you can get a hard copy at the local RMV office. Be sure to read through the entire handbook, going back over any areas you feel uncomfortable with.

Take Practice Exams

Practice exams are a good resource for anyone preparing for the permit test. Our Massachusetts practice permit test will prepare you for the real exam by going over the most crucial topics. When you successfully pass the practice exam, you will know you are ready for the real thing.

Visit Your Local RMV Office and Take Your Tests

When you feel prepared, you can visit your local RMV office to do your exam. Be sure to bring along:

  • Your original birth certificate and proof of Massachusetts residency.
  • Your Social Security number.
  • A Class D, M, or D/M License and ID Card Application (Form T21042), signed by your parent or guardian.
  • $30 in testing and license fees.

Relax and do your best on the test. The answers are multiple choice, so if you get stuck, try to use logic to decide on your best guess. Each question will usually have one or two answers that are obviously incorrect. As long as you don’t panic, you will do great.

Upon passing, you will need to take a vision exam. If you wear glasses or contacts, be sure to bring them along. Once it’s determined that you can see well enough to drive safely, you will be given your permit.

Begin Your Driving Practice

Before you can move on to the next stage in the GDL process, you must complete at least 40 hours of supervised practice driving. Your supervisor must be a licensed driver age 21 or above. You also must sign up for a state-approved driver’s education course. Your parents must participate in a two-hour class as a part of this course for you to qualify for your Junior Operator’s License.

Step II: The Massachusetts Junior Operator’s License

At age 16 and a half, you can apply for your Junior Operator’s License. You must have held your permit for at least six months, completed your driver’s education course (including the parental requirement), and finished all of your required practice driving hours. When you have done all of these things, contact your local RMV office and make an appointment for the driving test.

Bring along:

  • A Class D, M or D/M License and ID Card Application (Form T21042) with a signature from your parent or guardian.
  • Your Learner’s Permit.
  • A registered and insured vehicle to use for the driving test. Also bring a vehicle inspection card to show that the car is safe to take on the road.
  • $70 in license and testing fees.

When you pass your driving test and receive your Junior Operator’s License, you must follow a few driving restrictions:

  • No driving between 12:30 a.m. and 5 a.m. unless your parent or guardian is with you.
  • No driving with passengers under the age of 18 for the first six months unless those passengers are family members.
  • No using a cell phone while driving (even hands free!).

Step III: The Massachusetts Full (Class D) License

When you turn 18, the restrictions will be lifted from your license. You don’t have to do anything else at this time. Simply continue to drive carrying your Junior Operator’s License, and when you turn 21, you can trade it in for a regular license.

Congratulations! You are now an unrestricted driver.

Additional Information

If you would like to skip the driver’s education requirements, you can simply wait until you are 18 to apply for your license. However, since you didn’t take the driving test for your Junior Operator’s license, you will need to do that at this time.