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Massachusetts Drivers Education

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To be able to drive in Massachusetts, you have to have a driver’s license. Starting at age 16, people in Massachusetts may obtain a learner’s permit, junior operator license and full license by completing a training program offered through the state.

Testing and Preparing to Drive

For teens preparing to obtain their first driver’s license, they will need to complete a Driver’s Ed program. This program has to meet the requirements set by the RMV. The program’s priority is to educate teens and young drivers on the skills needed to drive as well as the rules of the road.

Graduated Driver License Program

Massachusetts does have a graduated driver license program. This program, called the Junior Operator License Program, starts by requiring drivers to get a learner’s permit. This permit can be granted at age 16. At 16-and-a-half, drivers are then able to obtain the junior license by:
  • Holding the learner’s permit for six months
  • Completing 40 hours of supervised driving practice
  • Taking a skills development program (then only 30 hours of practice are needed)
  • Having no traffic violations for at least six months prior to your road test
You can obtain a full license at 18, which is still vertical. Then, at 21, you can have a new adult license (horizontal).

Remedial Driver Programs

The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles offers several defensive driving courses. These include:
  • 8-Hour Driver Retraining Program
  • Online Distracted Driving Program
  • 4-Hour Driver Attitudinal Retraining Program
  • 4-Hour State Courts Against Road Rage
These programs are used to help correct poor driving behaviors and to give those who make mistakes an opportunity to get their licenses back.

Defensive Driving Courses

The state’s defensive driving courses stated above all offer training to help remove points from their licenses after a violation.
8-Hour Driver Retraining Program
The 8-hour retaining program is designed for motorists who have been notified that their license is going to be suspended by the RMV. This program helps them avoid a license suspension.
Online Distracted Driving Program
The online distracted driving program is for motorists who have been ticketed for violating two or more distracted driving laws. They will be required to complete this program to keep their licenses.
4-Hour Driver Attitudinal Retraining Program
The attitudinal retraining program is aimed at improving a driver’s attitude to reduce road rage events. Junior operators who have lost their licenses need to complete this program to get it reinstated. The RMV Hearings Officer may also require someone to pass this program based on individual circumstances.
4-Hour State Courts Against Road Rage
The four-hour road rage program is for those with learner’s permits or junior operator licenses. If they violate laws related to road rage, then they will need to complete the SCARR program to get their licenses reinstated.

Drivers may have this program assigned to them if they go to court over an offense. This program is offered by the RMV, Massachusetts State Police, and the National Safety Council.

Last Verified:
Aug 22, 2022