Massachusetts DMV Handbook and Regulations FAQ

If you’re planning on apply for your Massachusetts driver’s license, then you’ll definitely need to make sure you know all of the information contained in the official Massachusetts state DMV handbook. However, you may also find the following frequently asked questions with answers helpful. You can also greatly maximize your chances of passing your DMV written test on the first try if you study with a practice test first.
How old do you have to be to enjoy driver’s privileges in Massachusetts?
Massachusetts has its own rules in regards to relocated teen drivers that you need to know. Drivers that are 16 years old are not allowed to drive under any circumstances without an official Massachusetts driver’s license or learner’s permit. It doesn’t matter if you already have a license or permit from another state. You will need to have your license or permit transferred before you can drive. In order to do this, you must:
  • Be a minimum of 16 years old.
  • Get the consent of a parent or other legal guardian.
  • Present your birth certificate, social security number, and a certified copy of your driving record. The driving record must be no older than 30 days.
  • Surrender your existing permit or license from your previous state.
  • Show a certificate that proves you’ve completed a state-recognized driver’s education class.
  • Pay the license conversion fee of $115.
Are there other age limits associated with Massachusetts driver privileges?
Yes. You must be 16 years old to qualify for a Class D permit. However, you must be 16 ½ years old to qualify for a Class D Junior Operator License and 18 years old to qualify for a Class D driver’s license.
I need to sign up for a Massachusetts driver’s course in order to get my JOL. What should I expect?
If you are under 18 years of age and wish to obtain your junior operator license, then you’ll be required to take a state-approved driver’s education course first. The course will involve 30 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours of standard behind the wheel instruction, and 6 hours of in-car observation. Your parents or legal guardians will also be required to take a 2-hour course that teaches them how to properly supervise their teen driver. They will then be able to help you complete the 40 hours of supervised driving required to get your JOL.
How old do I need to be to get a motorcycle permit in Massachusetts?
You can obtain your motorcycle permit if you are at least 16 years of age. You must already have your junior operator license, have completed a Massachusetts Rider Education program, and have the consent of your parents. At that point, you may take the Massachusetts DMV motorcycle written test, pay the applicable $30 testing fee, and get your motorcycle license if you pass.
What is the protocol for renewing my driver’s license in Massachusetts?
It is illegal to drive in the state of Massachusetts with an expired driver’s license for any length of time, so it’s of the utmost importance that you apply for a renewal before the expiration date. You can do so by visiting the Massachusetts Department of Transportation or the Registry of Motor Vehicles.
Do I have to visit a field office in person to renew my license? What are my other options?
Your eligibility for license renewal, as well as the selection of options you’ll have at your disposal vary according to circumstances.
  • If your current license if valid, you can renew it up to one year before it expires. You can do this online or in person, but not by mail.
  • If your license is expired and has been expired for less than four years, you can renew it online or in person, but not by mail. If it’s been expired for four years or more, you will need to present all of your information and documentation again as if you were applying for a new license.
  • If your Massachusetts driver’s license has been suspended, you will need pay a fee in order to have it reinstated. Depending on the original reason why your license was suspended, the applicable fee can range from $50 to $1200.
  • If your license has been lost, stolen, or damaged, you have the option of renewing your license online if you know your driver’s license number.
Please note that if you are older than 75, you may not renew your license online. You also may not renew online if you have any outstanding fees or unresolved traffic violations.
What payment options does the Massachusetts DMV accept?
If you will be paying your fees in person at a DMV field office, you can make payments in cash, by check, or by debit/credit card. Alternatively, you can have a money order made payable to “MassDOT”. If you are paying online, you must pay using credit or debit card. If you are paying by mail, payment must be made by check payable to MassDOT.
How do I register as an organ donor in Massachusetts?
If you wish to register as an organ donor, you can do so at the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (either in person or online). You may also register through Donate Life New England, LifeChoice, or the New England Organ Bank. When you apply for a new license or renew an existing one, you will have the option to consider becoming a donor if you are not one already. You can also update your organ donor profile at any time at the Massachusetts Organ and Tissue Donor Enrollment web page.
How can I check on the status of my driver’s license?
Massachusetts driver’s licenses can fall under any one of four statuses: valid, expired, suspended, or revoked. You can get in touch with a rep from your nearest DMV field office in order to check on the status. Alternatively, you can request a copy of your driver’s record online. (Many state DMV offices will send you a copy for free.)
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