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Massachusetts Driver’s License Classes (A Complete Guide)

Massachusetts Driver’s License Classes (A Complete Guide)

Wondering what type of MA driver’s license you should get?

If this is your first time applying for a license (or maybe not), then you’ve probably realized that there are so many license classes in the state. 

It can get a bit overwhelming. 

Should you get a Class A CDL, B CDL, or C CDL?

What class is your regular driver’s license? 

Don’t fret – we’re going to help you understand all the Massachusetts driver’s license classes in this complete guide. 

We’ll show you what vehicle each class can operate, as well as how to get the specific license class. 

So are you ready?

Let’s dive right in!

What are the Driver’s License Classes in Massachusetts?

There are five license classes in Massachusetts: 

  • Class A CDL
  • Class B CDL
  • Class C CDL
  • Class D
  • Class M

Let’s go through them one by one. 

Class A CDL

Class A CDL is the highest classification for commercial driver’s licenses. Having a Class A CDL allows you to operate any truck or trailer that has a Gross Combination Weight Rating (GCWR) of more than 26,001 pounds. 

These types of commercial vehicles are often able to tow units and vehicles. Class A commercial vehicles, then, are capable of towing a Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR) of more than 10,000 pounds. 

Also, Class A CDL holders can operate Class B and C commercial vehicles if they have the right endorsement on their license. 

Class B CDL

Like the Class A commercial vehicles, a Class B vehicle is a truck, trailer, or even bus that has a GVWR of more than 26,0001 pounds. 

However, it is only capable of towing units/vehicles that have less than or equal to 10,000 pounds. 

Class B CDL holders are allowed to operate Class B and C commercial vehicles (with the right endorsement). 

Class C CDL

The last CDL classification is for the operation of commercial vehicles that: 

  • Have a GVWR of fewer than 26,0001 pounds and tow fewer than 10,000 pounds. 
  • Transports hazardous materials.
  • Carry 16 or more passengers (including the driver).

Class C CDL holders cannot operate Class A or B vehicles. 

Class D

The Class D license is your regular driver’s license. It can only be used for private vehicles, such as your sedan, SUV, pickup, or whatnot. 

Take note, however, that small trucks and trailers can be operated by someone who has a Class D license. The key thing to remember is that Class D is for private use and not commercial. 

Class M

Finally, the Class M license is for the operation of motorcycles. By definition, motorcycles are characterized by having a seat or saddle for the rider/driver. It often has two wheels, but some motorcycles have three. 

How to Get a Class D License in Massachusetts

Since Class D is the most popular license, let’s go through the steps of getting it first. 

Now, in Massachusetts, the Class D license application has three stages: 

  • Learner’s Permit
  • Junior Operator License
  • Full Driver’s License

Let’s go through the stages one by one. 

How to Get a Learner’s Permit in Massachusetts

The earliest you can apply for a learner’s permit is 16 years old. 

The learner’s permit allows you to practice driving, supervised by someone who’s at least 21 years old and has a valid driver’s license. 

Here’s how to get a learner’s permit in Massachusetts:

  1. Decide if you want to get a REAL ID learner’s permit or a standard learner’s permit. The former can be used as federal identification, so we recommend applying for that. 
  1. Prepare the documents that you need:
    1. Proof of age and identity
    2. US citizenship or lawful presence
    3. Social Security Number
    4. Massachusetts residency 

Use this list to identify what documents are acceptable. 

  1. Apply for a learner’s permit online at the RMV Online Service Center. 
  1. Select ‘Class D Passenger Permit’ and answer the questions that follow. 
  1. Print the application form and fill it out. 
  1. Visit the RMV with your completed application and required documents. 
    1. If you’re under 18 years old, you need to bring a parent or legal guardian. He/she has to sign your application form. 
  1. Submit all your documents.
  1. Pay the $30 permit fee. 
  1. Pass a vision test. 
  1. Have your photo taken. 
  1. Pass the knowledge exam. 
  1. Receive your learner’s permit.

Now you can practice driving!

How to Get a Junior Operator License in Massachusetts

The Junior Operator License (JOL) is the second stage in getting your full driver’s license. 

Before you apply for it, you need to meet certain requirements: 

  • Have held your learner’s permit for at least 6 months
  • Have a clean driving record for the past 6 months
  • Complete an additional 40 hours of driving supervised by a parent or legal guardian. These hours should be logged and signed by them. 

Once you meet these requirements, you can apply for a JOL: 

  1. Schedule a road test online. 
  1. Pay the $35 application fee online. 
  1. On the day of your road test, bring: 
    1. An insured vehicle with proper documentation
    2. Completed road test application form 
    3. Proof of identity
    4. Learner’s permit
    5. Social Security Number
    6. Proof of Massachusetts residence
    7. Completed and signed driving log 
  1. Pass the road test.
  1. Have your examiner stamp your learner’s permit. This will serve as your temporary Junior Operator License. The actual one will arrive within 4 weeks at your home address. 

Now, with a JOL license, you can drive unsupervised but with a few restrictions: 

  • You cannot drive between 12:30 am to 5 am unless supervised by a parent or legal guardian. 
  • For the first 6 months, you cannot carry a passenger under 18 years old unless they are your siblings
  • A first offense will immediately result in a 60-day license suspension and a $100 reinstatement fee.
  • You cannot use a mobile device for any reason, even if it’s hands-free. 
  • You cannot have any amount of alcohol and/or drugs in your system when driving. 

Once you have held your Junior Operator License for 6 months or you turn 18 years old (whatever comes first), your JOL will become a full driver’s license. 

How to Get a Full Driver’s License in Massachusetts

If you are already 18+ years old, you no longer need to get a Junior Operator License. You can go straight from a learner’s permit to a full driver’s license. 

Here is how to do that:

  1. Schedule a road test online. 
  1. Pay the $35 application fee online. 
  1. On the day of your road test, bring: 
    1. Completed road test application form
    2. An insured vehicle with proper documentation
    3. Proof of identity
    4. Learner’s permit
    5. Social Security Number
    6. Proof of Massachusetts residence
  1. Pass the road test.
  1. Get your full driver’s license. 

How to Get a Class A, B, and C CDL in Massachusetts

Before you apply for a CDL, you need to satisfy several requirements: 

  • Must be at least 18 years old for intrastate travel or at least 21 years old for interstate travel
  • Must have a Social Security Number
  • Should be able to provide proof of residence in Massachusetts
  • Should be able to provide proof of citizenship or legal presence in the US

If you satisfy all the requirements, you can start your CDL application. The application has two stages: 

  • Commercial learner’s permit (CLP)
  • Commercial driver’s license (CDL)

How to Get a CLP in Massachusetts

A CLP allows you to practice driving with your chosen commercial vehicle with supervision

Here is how to get a CLP in Massachusetts: 

  1. Self-certify your CDL class online. This is where you choose which CDL class you want. 
  1. Have a Medical Certification form filled up by a physician (if applicable). 
  1. Decide if you want a REAL ID CLP or a standard CLP. A REAL ID CLP can be used for federal identification and as an ID for domestic travel. 
  1. Apply for a CDL learner’s permit at the RMV Online Service Center. 
  • Provide the information needed in the online questionnaire. This will be part of your application form. 
  • When you’ve answered all the questions, print the application form. This application form should be filled up and passed at an RMV office. 
  • Bring these additional documents when you visit an RMV office:
    • Driver’s license
    • Proof of birth, age, and identity
    • Proof of citizenship or legal presence in the US
    • Social Security Number
    • Completed medical certificate
    • Application form
  • Pay the $30 CLP fee and $10 for each endorsement exam (if applicable). 
  • Pass the CDL knowledge exam. You may need to pass other exams if you are getting endorsements on your CLP. 
  • Receive your CLP. 

How to Get a CDL in Massachusetts

Before applying for a CDL, you need to complete an Entry-Level Driver Training (ELDT) program. The ELDT is a required program for those applying for a Class A CDL, Class B CDL, or an S, P, or H endorsement after February 2022. 

Besides that, you also need to hold your CLP for at least 14 days. 

Once you complete those requirements, you may start your CDL application: 

  • Schedule a CDL skills exam online or by calling 617-351-4500 or 800-858-3926
  • Arrange to bring an insured commercial vehicle on the date of your skills test. The vehicle should be insured (bring proof of insurance) and in proper working condition. It should also match your CDL class. 
  • On your skills exam date, bring: 
    • An insured commercial vehicle that fits your CDL class
    • Valid driver’s license
    • CLP
    • Medical certificate
    • Completed CDL Road Test Application Form 
    • ELDT completion certificate 
    • Proof of age, birth, and identity 
    • Proof of Massachusetts residence
    • Proof of US citizenship or legal presence 
  • Pass the skills exam. 
  • Have the examiner put a stamp on your CLP. 
  • Visit the RMV office and submit your stamped CLP for a CDL. 

You are now officially a licensed commercial driver in Massachusetts. 

How to Get a Class M License in Massachusetts

Applying for a Class M license is similar to a Class D license. Let’s look at the steps. 

How to Get a Motorcycle Learner’s Permit in Massachusetts

You have to be at least 16 years old to start your Class M license application. 

If you’re eligible, here’s how to apply for a permit: 

  • Decide if you want to get a REAL ID learner’s permit or a standard learner’s permit. The former can be used as federal identification, so we recommend applying for that. 
  • Click ‘Class M Passenger Permit’ and answer the questions that follow. 
  • Print the application form after you complete all of the questions. 
  • Visit the RMV with your completed application and required documents. 
    • If you’re under 18, you need to bring a parent or legal guardian. He/she will sign your application form. 
  • Pay $30. 
  • Pass the vision test. 
  • Get your motorcycle permit.

How to Get a Class M License in Massachusetts 

Follow these steps to get your official Class M license: 

  • Pay the $35 road test fee online. 
  • On the date of your road test, bring: 
    • An insured motorcycle
    • $50 for the application fee
    • Motorcycle permit
    • Social Security Number
    • Proof of birth, age, identity, and legal residence in Massachusetts
  • Pass the road test. 
  • If you pass the test, your permit will be stamped on and will serve as your temporary Class M license. Wait for your official license to be delivered to you within a month. 

And now you have a Class M license!

Conclusion

And that was all the Massachusetts driver’s license classes. 

Now that you’re familiar with each one, it’s so much easier to decide which one you need. 

On top of that, you know how to get each license class. 

So what are you waiting for?

Go ahead and pick a license class and work towards getting it. 

Good luck!

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