Massachusetts Driving Age Laws

by Guy Yosub

In Massachusetts, residents must be 18 years old to obtain a full Class D (passenger vehicle) or a Class M (motorcycle) driver’s license. At age 16 1/2 they can get a Junior Operator's License that will allow them to drive unchaperoned, though with certain restrictions applying. Residents must be 18 years old to obtain any Commercial Driver's License (Class A, B, or C). The first step to obtain a driver’s license is to get a Learner’s Permit. Anyone under the age of 18 needs a parent’s consent to apply for a Learner’s Permit or a Junior Operator's License.

Learner’s Permit

At 16 years old, residents may apply for a Learner’s Permit. The permit allows practicing driving only under adult supervision. Further restrictions are that there may not be any passengers in the car under the age of 18 unless there is an adult present who is over the age of 21 who has held a valid driver’s license for more than a year. The permit is meant to allow time for the new driver to practice and learn how to operate a vehicle so that he may be prepared for the driver’s exam.

Junior Operator’s License

At 16 1/2 residents can apply for a Junior Operator’s License. There are a few requirements that must be met to apply for the Junior Operator's License. The applicant needs to have held a Learner’s Permit for six months. Applicants need to have completed 30 hours of classroom instruction, 12 hours behind-the-wheel, six hours of observation, and 40 hours of driving with a parent or guardian. Lastly they need to have a clean driver’s record.

Further Restrictions

As with a Learner’s Permit, there are restrictions on driving with a Junior Operator's License. The driver cannot drive between the hours of 12:30 and 5 a.m. without a parent or guardian in the car. Also, there may not be a passenger under the age of 18 unless there is an adult over the age of 21 present who has held a valid driver’s license for over a year. At 18 the owner of a Junior Operator's License can upgrade to a full driver's license.

About the Author

Guy Yosub was a pioneer in the field of ecommerce and has been writing about the industry for over 10 years. He has written editorials for eBay and has contributed to eHow. Yosub has a master's degree in English from CUNY Queens College, and a bachelor's degree in comparative literature and cinema.