What Do You Need to Apply for Your Learner’s Permit?

In order to apply for your permit, the State of Massachusetts requires that you provide the following documents:

-          Proof of full name and date of birth (an original US birth certificate will work)

-          Social Security card or other SSN verification

-          Necessary fees (a $30 written test fee, as of this writing)

-          The signature of a parent or guardian
 

Where and How is the Test Administered?

The written examination can be taken at any of your local driver’s license offices. The Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) is in charge of issuing driver’s licenses and a list of all DL offices statewide can be found on their website. Once you’ve found a suitable office, completed an application and paid your fees, the test will be administered electronically on the computer and the results will be processed immediately upon completion.
 

How Many Questions Are on the Test?

The learner’s permit test consists of 25 multiple choice questions.
 

What Kinds of Questions Are on the Test?

All of the questions that appear on the learner’s permit test are found in the Massachusetts Driver’s Handbook, which is also available for free download from the Massachusetts RMV website. The answers to these questions are also found in the handbook, so reading this book cover to cover is your best bet to ensure you achieve a passing score.

There are two categories of questions found on the test. The first essentially deals with the “rules of the road”, and covers a wide range of information to include:

-          Driving laws (liability insurance laws, alcohol-related laws, pedestrian laws, implied-consent laws)

-          The penalties for violating these laws

-          Various kinds of maneuvering (turning, signaling, lane changing, and parking)

-          Differences between highway driving and city driving, including speed limits

-          Procedures to be used in accidents or emergencies

 

The second category deals specifically with the different types of road signs. Questions from this category may include:

-          The four basic uses for signs (indicating hazard, providing guidance, providing information, and regulating traffic) and which color is used for each

-          Distinguishing various signs and their meaning based on color and shape

-          The uses for pavement markings on both highways and streets, and the ways in which they restrict the actions of drivers

 

How Many Questions Do You Have to Get Right?

To receive a passing grade on the examination you must correctly answer eighteen out of twenty-five questions.

 

What Happens if you Fail the Test?

When you submit your application for your permit, you have ninety days or three attempts to successfully complete the written test. If you fail the test within ninety days you are allowed to retake it two more times, though usually you have to wait one day between attempts and you may be charged a reexamination fee each time. If you fail the test three times or wait longer than ninety days to retake it, then the application will be closed and you’ll have to repeat the process from the beginning.

In general, obtaining a learner’s permit is not a difficult process. Students who have studied the Massachusetts Driver’s Handbook in its entirety rarely have any problem passing the test, and for extra assurance an excellent idea is take one or more of the free practice tests that are available online.

 

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