How to Take a Drivers Education Course in Massachusetts
Drivers ed in Massachusetts is required for all new motorists younger than 18 years of age. It is a part of the licensing system regulated by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV) that aims to promote safety and responsibility in young drivers. Young motorists are required to attend some form of drivers education before receiving a fully unrestricted driver’s license. The education program is designed to help teen drivers gradually build their driving skills.
Teen driving school in Massachusetts can be found across the state at public driving institutions. Most public high schools also offer driving courses approved by the RMV as part of the curriculum. Young drivers may also take private training courses through other driving teachers, though these typically cost more for the driver and must be approved by the state. All drivers younger than 18 who are applying for a driver’s license must enroll in an approved training course. To learn more about the education courses offered throughout the state as well as how to enroll, continue reading the topics discussed below.
Who needs to take drivers ed in Massachusetts?
Drivers ed is required for anyone younger than 18 years of age interested in getting a driver’s license. These training requirements ensure that young motorists are properly trained and educated before they get behind the wheel. Young drivers are the most at-risk age group, so Massachusetts sets this requirement to teach teen drivers about the importance of avoiding distractions while driving.
Motorists older than 18 years of age are not required to take an education course, but still may enroll if they so choose. Adult drivers ed is not required in the state, but older motorists looking to receive car insurance discounts may consider enrolling in a course or program.
Types of Drivers Ed Classes in Massachusetts
Massachusetts drivers ed classes are offered in a variety of instruction types and methods. Drivers are given plenty of options from which they can choose to make sure they receive the required training and classroom instruction.
Drivers ed online is not currently approved by the RMV in Massachusetts. Only physical, classroom instruction is permitted and counts toward the RMV requirement. Drivers may take an online drivers ed course as a form of secondary instruction or to receive a car insurance discount. However, the RMV does not accept online courses in place of classroom programs.
The most common driver education course chosen by Massachusetts teen drivers is one offered at their public high school. Most high schools across the state include an optional driving course in the curriculum to help student drivers gain the knowledge and skills they need to pass the road test. This classroom-style format is similar to their other high school classes, making it a convenient way to complete the education requirement with the RMV.
There are many professional private driving schools that partner with the RMV to help young drivers complete the required education. Before enrolling in a driving school, individuals must ensure that it is approved by the RMV. Driving instructors must hold the proper license to teach young motorists in the classroom and on the road.
What will you learn in a Massachusetts drivers ed school?
The curriculum of approved drivers ed classes in Massachusetts include essential driving topics in several areas, including traffic laws, maneuvers, safety procedures and consequences of traffic citations. Students also learn about defensive driving and special situations.
After completing the program, student drivers will have the knowledge they need to pass all the necessary tests to get their license. Note that the drivers ed test does include a road exam. As such, education programs include behind-the-wheel instruction in addition to classroom learning.
Teen driving school is committed to ensuring that all young motorists avoid distractions while driving. Aside from learning the basics of how to drive, teen drivers learn about the dangers of distracted driving, including cell phones, alcohol, loud music and driving with passengers.
Massachusetts Drivers Education Requirements
Drivers ed in Massachusetts is controlled by the Massachusetts Registry of Motor Vehicles (RMV). The RMV requires all first-time drivers younger than 18 to complete 30 hours of classroom instruction before they can receive a full, unrestricted license. Drivers must be at least 15 years and 9 months of age to begin any classroom training.
Additionally, they must log 18 hours of behind-the-wheel driving instruction, 6 of which must be completed as a passenger watching another student operate the vehicle. Please note that parents or legal guardians must also participate in two hours of the young driver’s education program. Parent-taught drivers ed is not necessary in Massachusetts. Driving schools include this component in the program.
Benefits of a Massachusetts Driver Education Course
Drivers education in Massachusetts may be required for young drivers, but the benefits cannot be overstated. Beginner drivers familiarize themselves with the basic operational procedures of driving. They learn about important traffic rules and regulations and prepare themselves for on-road situations. After completing a teen drivers ed program, young motorists can feel confident in their driving abilities (and parents, too!).
While the education course is required for young drivers, adults may choose to complete an education program for a variety of reasons. Adult drivers education may qualify some drivers for a car insurance discount with their provider. Similarly, it can help motorists who feel unsure of their driving skills gain the confidence to drive safely in all scenarios.
How to Enroll in a Massachusetts Driver Ed School
When they are ready to enroll in a drivers ed course in Massachusetts, young drivers can proceed in a few ways. Those who are interested in participating in a course offered by their public high school should contact a guidance or enrollment advisor at the beginning of the school year. In most cases, the student will add the driving course into his or her schedule. The driver’s parent may need to be present during the scheduling or provide a signature approving of the curriculum.
Enrolling in drivers ed classes offered at RMV-approved driving schools is a bit different. Depending on the school or institution a driver chooses, he or she may be able to enroll online. Some driving schools may not have an online registration process. In this case, drivers can typically call the school or appear in-person to register for courses and schedule on-road training.
In order to complete any behind-the-wheel instruction, student drivers must hold a learner’s permit. They must provide proof of holding a permit during registration, along with a form of identification and payment.
Massachusetts DMV Drivers Ed Certificates
Once they are finished with drivers education school, motorists will receive a certificate of completion as proof of meeting the education requirements set by the RMV. Those who complete their education with their public school, at a professional driving school or with a private, licensed instructor will have their certificate forwarded to the RMV automatically.
If for any reason the school does not provide the forwarding service, student drivers must submit their certificate to the Massachusetts RMV. They should send all necessary documents to:
Registry of Motor Vehicles Driver Licensing Department P.O. Box 55889 Boston, MA 02205-5889
Drivers Ed for New Massachusetts Residents
Drivers ed is a requirement for new motorists younger than 18 years of age. Those who have recently become Massachusetts residents are not exempt from this requirement. Drivers who currently hold an out-of-state permit must transfer it to a Massachusetts learner’s permit.
Those who have satisfied their previous state’s drivers ed requirements may be able to apply the certificate to Massachusetts. To determine whether the driver’s out-of-state drivers education experience is transferable to the state, motorists must call the RMV.
Massachusetts Drivers Ed vs. Traffic School
Drivers ed school and traffic school are two different concepts. Driving school is required for new drivers younger than 18 years of age in order to get a full driver’s license. License holders who commit traffic violations may enroll in traffic school (voluntarily or otherwise, depending on the infraction) to improve their driving skills, remove points from their records and avoid suspension. Traffic school may be referred to as defensive driving school.
Massachusetts Driver Education Fees
Drivers ed prices in Massachusetts vary depending on the school of instruction. The current rate ranges from $100-$650, depending on the type of course. Programs that include both classroom and behind-the-wheel sessions are the most expensive.