Find a licensing center
To obtain a driver’s license, you need to go to a local Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles Office. You can search for one of the available locations here on the Mass.gov website.
Getting a license for the first time
If this is the first time you’re getting a license, there are a few things to know.
Under the age of 16, you cannot drive in Massachusetts. To reduce the risk of crashes, Massachusetts now uses the Junior Operator’s License program. The program allows teens to obtain a Class D permit at 16, Class D Junior Operator License at 16 ½, and a typical Class D driver’s license at 18.
After turning 18, you no longer have to take a driver’s education course to obtain your license. You will maintain a vertical license until turning 21, at which time it will convert to a horizontal license.
Renewing your license
You should renew your license before it expires in Massachusetts. To do this, you need to renew it through the MA Department of Transportation Registry of Motor Vehicles, also known as RMV. If your license expires, you cannot legally drive in Massachusetts until it is renewed.
Each license is only valid for five years. It expires on your birthday, so that should be easy to remember. You’ll also receive a postcard from the MA RMV before the license expires, so that you can renew it yourself.
If your license is valid, you can renew it in person or online. If you have an expired license, you can renew it online or in person if it is still within a year of the expiry. If it has been over a year, then you need to show all the information you had to prepare to obtain a license the first time. You cannot renew it; instead, you’ll apply for a new card. It is $50 to renew a Class D or M license and $15 for a motorcycle endorsement.
Do you need a REAL ID?
You need a REAL ID if you want to fly within the United States or enter federal buildings. You will need one before October 2021 for those purposes. You may also use a passport to fly.
Both cards cost the same, whether you get a REAL ID license or your standard license. You cannot have your REAL ID processed online, so you will need to go to your local RMV office to get one.
Upgrade your probationary license
If you have a probationary license/permit, you need to take a road test before you can obtain the Junior Operator License. After you pass that, you maintain your vertical license until the age of 21, at which time you should return to the RMV to obtain a horizontal license.
Replace a lost or stolen license
Complete a Request for Activity Hold Add/Remove if you have lost your license. This form requires you to report:
- Your Social Security Number
- Your license number
- Where the license was lost or stolen
- If you’ve seen someone use the license or ID
- Contact information, so the RMV can reach out to you
To replace it, you can go online, call in by phone or visit the RMV in person.
By phone, call:
It is $25 to replace a lost or stolen ID.
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