Massachusetts Learner’s Permit & Junior Operator License – Test Practice

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#1. True or false? When passing a motorcycle you must signal and change lanes, just like you would when passing a car.

Never move into the same lane space as a motorcycle, even if the lane is wide and the motorcyclist is riding to one side. Crowding into a lane with a motorcycle is illegal and very dangerous. Motorcyclists need to move within a lane for traffic maneuvers and to avoid road debris, potholes, or surface oil.

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#2. You must never park within how many feet of a fire hydrant?

Never park within 10 feet of a fire hydrant.

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#3. To indicate that you are in the Massachusetts Donor Registry and have consented to organ or tissue donation, your license will be marked with:

The heart symbol on your license or ID indicates that you are in the Massachusetts Donor Registry and have consented to organ or tissue donation.

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#4. When an emergency vehicle with flashing lights approaches you in the opposite lane on an undivided highway, you should:

When you see or hear an emergency vehicle using siren or flashing lights coming from any direction, you must pull as close as possible to the right side of the road and stop until the vehicle has passed. Slowly rolling is not acceptable.

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#5. Smoking or eating marijuana makes it:

Smoking or eating marijuana makes it more difficult to respond to sights and sounds. This makes you dangerous as a driver. It lowers your ability to handle a quick series of tasks. The most serious problem is facing an unexpected event, such as a car coming from a side street or a child running out from between parked cars. These problems get worse after dark, because marijuana also causes a bad loss of night vision.

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#6. When driving during foggy weather, a driver should turn on the vehicle's high-beam headlights to increase the field of vision.

In fog, use your low beam headlights to reduce glare. Light from high beams will reflect back, causing glare and making it more difficult to see ahead.

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#7. Which is true about filing a crash report after a serious road accident?

Within five days of the crash, you must file a crash report with both the RMV and the local police department. You must report any crash that caused injury or death or that caused $1,000 or more of property damage. Just reporting a crash to your insurance company is not enough.

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#8. What does this sign mean?

Yield ahead. This sign warns of a yield sign ahead. Slow down and be prepared to yield other traffic.

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#9. When sharing the road with a bicyclist:

The bicyclist has the same right to use the public road (except freeways) as any other driver. Maintain a safety zone of approximately three feet between the car and the bicyclist. Pass a bicyclist only when it can be done safely. Leave ample room when turning right after passing a bicyclist.

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#10. White traffic signs display:

Regulatory signs have a red or white background and inform drivers of traffic laws or regulations. Some, such as SPEED LIMIT signs, may only include words. Others, such as NO U-TURN signs, use only images. Some are a combination of words and images.

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#11. Which of the following is true about roadways on bridges and overpasses in winter?

Bridges and highway overpasses freeze before the rest of the road and can be very slippery. This is because the ground does not insulate them.

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#12. This sign means:

Added lane sign. Two roadways come together, but you are not required to merge. An additional lane begins. Watch for traffic in the new lane.

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#13. Pavement markings with a white diamond mean:

A white diamond symbol means there is a special lane restriction, like high occupancy vehicle (HOV) only or bus only.

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#14. If gates rise at a railroad crossing, but the red light is still flashing, you should:

A railroad crossing may have red flashing lights, a bell, and a red-and-white striped gate that lowers across the roadway when a train is passing. If the lights begin to flash, you must stop at least 15 feet before the light post or gate. You must then remain stopped until the gate raises and the lights stop flashing. Failure to stop is a violation that has a heavy fine. Even if you do not see a train coming, never drive around a lowered gate or ignore the flashing lights.

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#15. What is the number one cause of death of children and young adults in America?

Motor vehicle crashes are the number one cause of death of children and young adults in America. About one in three Americans will be injured or killed in a motor vehicle crash.

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#16. If you meet an aggressive driver on the road, it can be very dangerous to:

When confronted by an aggressive driver control your anger and do not let the situation get worse.

  • Attempt to get out of their way.
  • Do not challenge that person.
  • Avoid eye contact.
  • Ignore rude gestures.
  • Wear your safety belt. It will keep you in control of your vehicle and protect you in a crash.
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#17. What is the best thing to do if you start to feel drowsy while driving?

Do not drive when you are tired or drowsy. If you have been driving for a long time and feel tired, you should get off the highway at the next exit, rest stop, or service area. If you plan to drive far, stop and stretch every two hours or every 100 miles.

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#18. You drive defensively when you:

To prepare for unpredictable events, you should always drive defensively. Some examples:

  • Always keep good vision in front and around your vehicle.
  • Stay alert and prepared for the unexpected.
  • Keep a safe distance around your vehicle.
  • Drive at the right speed and know when to slow down and stop.
  • Always wear your safety belt.
  • Do not drive if you have been drinking, are on medication, or are very tired.
  • Keep your vehicle in good working order.
  • Obey the rules of the road and give the right-of-way when appropriate.
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#19. When you approach a traffic signal displaying a steady yellow light, you must:

A steady yellow light means caution, the traffic signal is changing from green to red. Remember, you must stop if it is safe. If you are already stopped at an intersection or a stop line, you may not proceed. If you are in the intersection when the yellow light comes on, do not stop but continue through the intersection.

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#20. You see this road sign. What should you expect ahead?

Divided highway ahead (divided highway begins). You are getting close to the place where two-way traffic will be divided by a center strip. Each roadway is one-way. Stay to the right.

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#21. If your car starts to skid on a wet road, you should:

You should handle a skid the same for front- and rear-wheel drive vehicles:

  • Slowly remove your foot from the gas pedal and shift into neutral.
  • Do not hit the brakes. You will make the skid worse.
  • Turn your steering wheel in the direction of the skid. If your rear tires are skidding to the left, turn your steering wheel left. If they are sliding right, steer right.
  • You may need to steer left and right a few times until you get your car completely under control.
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#22. What does this sign mean?

A One Way sign tells you that traffic on that particular road flows in the direction of the arrow only. You may only drive in the direction of the arrow. Never turn against the arrow.

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#23. At a four-way stop, a driver should always yield the right-of-way to:

At a four-way stop, vehicles must go in the order they stopped. The first to stop is the next to go. If in doubt, give the right-of-way to the driver on your right. Try to make eye contact with the drivers of other vehicles to judge their intentions and avoid crashes.

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#24. If you refuse to take a breath or blood test to measure how much alcohol is in your system:

For drivers over 21 and with no prior OUI offense, the suspension period is 180 days. Drivers between 18 and 21 with no prior OUI offense will face a suspension period of three years in addition to the 180-day suspension. Drivers under 18 will face a total of four years.

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#25. Which is true about driving too slowly?

It is illegal to drive in such a manner as to obstruct unnecessarily the normal movement of traffic upon any highway. As an example, on a multiple-lane highway, trucks and buses can only drive in the two right-hand lanes. They use the far right lane for normal travel and the second lane for passing. If you travel in the second lane, stay with the flow of traffic and do not drive below the minimum speed limit. Driving too slowly in this lane can create a bottleneck of large vehicles. This can increase highway traffic hazards.

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RMV Test Practice

Take a test practice with 25 random questions covering the most important areas of your knowledge exam.

The Best Way to Study for Your RMV Knowledge Exam

Start by getting the RMV driver’s manual. You need the latest version, which is available online .

Under normal circumstances, the manual is also available for purchase at a RMV Service Center for $5.

After studying the manual, you are ready for some practice tests. You can take them as often as you like. Each test pulls random questions from a larger set. They cover all important parts of the manual.

If you are smart, you aim for a full score on each test. It gives you a good safety margin for the real test.

Massachusetts Graduated License Law – What You Need to Know

Graduated license laws have been introduced in most states in U.S. They let new, young drivers practice driving with a supervising adult and impose restrictions to help new drivers minimize the risk of accidents.

Restrictions are removed as young drivers advance from learner’s permits to provisional licenses and finally into unrestricted driver’s licenses.

In Massachusetts, this law is known as the Junior Operator License (JOL) Law. A young driver starts with a learner’s permit and moves through a junior operator license phase before earning a full operator license.



Apply for a Massachusetts Learner’s Permit

All new drivers who haven’t been licensed before must start with a learner’s permit, regardless of age.

You must be at least 16 years old to get a learner’s permit.

To get your learner’s permit, you must complete an application, present ID documents that show your full name, birth date, Social Security Number, and Massachusetts address , and pay the $50.00 fee. Non-citizens must also prove their lawful presence.

Currently, you must start your application online and make an appointment to visit a Service Center to provide required identification documentation.

Once your application and documents have been processed and verified at a Service Center, you will take a vision test and get login instructions and credentials to complete your knowledge test online at home.

The knowledge test has 25 questions, and you need at least 18 correct answers to pass the test.

With some solid test practice on this website, you will probably pass without any problems.

After you have passed the written knowledge test, RMV issues your learner’s permit

Woman taking the knowledge test

Knowledge Test Summary

    Number of questions on the test: 25
    Number of correct answers to pass: 18
    Passing score: 72%
    Allotted test time: 25 minutes
    Waiting time before you can take the test again: n/a
    Available languages: 26 (4 on the home test)

The passing score is among the lowest in United States , but it doesn’t make the Massachusetts knowledge test the easiest. The failure rate is estimated to 25%.

You have 25 minutes to complete the test, which is usually more than enough.

Should you fail your knowledge exam, there is no official waiting time to try again. If you have the online test at home, you will get instructions at the end of the test on how to pay for and take a new one.

A re-test at a service center does, however, depend on availability. You may have to wait a few days to take the exam again.

Can I take the Massachusetts online permit test in another language?

The online version of the learner’s permit exam is currently (November 2020) available in English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Mandarin.

The following languages are available at automated testing station (ATS) at your RMV service center: Arabic, Armenian, Burmese, Cambodian (Khmer), Chinese (simplified), Farsi, French, German, Greek, Gujarati, Haitian/Creole, Hindi, Italian, Japanese, Korean Laotian, Polish, Russian, Serbo-Croatian (Latin), Somali, Tagalog/Filipino, Thai, Urdu, and Vietnamese.

With a Learner’s Permit You Can Practice Driving

With your learner’s permit you can start driving, but you must, regardless of age, always be accompanied by a licensed driver who is at least 21 years of age. The person must also have at least one year of driving experience and occupy the seat beside you.

If you are under 18 years, you may not drive between 12:00 a.m. (midnight) and 5:00 a.m. unless the supervising driver beside you is your parent or legal guardian.

When you practice driving you must always carry your learner’s permit with you.

Teenager behind the wheel practice

Massachusetts Junior Operator License (JOL)

A Junior Operator License is the second step in Massachusetts Graduated Licensing program. It is an intermediate or provisional license that comes with certain restrictions.

If you are between ages 16 1/2 and 18, you must comply with these requirements to obtain a JOL.

  • Complete an approved driver education and training program with
    • 30 hours of classroom instruction
    • 12 hours of behind-the-wheel training
    • 6 hours of in-car experience observing other student drivers.
  • Hold learner’s permit and maintain a clean driving record for at least six consecutive months before taking the road test.
  • Complete at least 40 hours of supervised, behind-the-wheel driving (30 hours if you completed a driver skills development program).
  • A parent or guardian must participate in two hours of instruction on the driver’s education curriculum.
  • Pass a final exam to have a driver’s education certificate electronically filed with RMV.

JOL License Passenger Restriction

Within the first six months after receiving your JOL, you cannot drive with any passenger under 18 years is in the vehicle.

This restriction doesn’t apply if the passenger is an immediate family member.

You may also carry passengers under 18 if you are accompanied by a person who is at least 21 years old, has at least one year of driving experience, holds a valid driver’s license from Massachusetts or another state, and is occupying a seat beside you.

The passenger restriction is lifted once you complete the six-month period or you reach age 18, whichever comes first.

JOL License Night Driving Restriction

As the holder of a junior operator license, you are not allowed to drive a motor vehicle between 12:30 a.m. and 5:00 a.m. (see details in the Massachusetts Driver’s Manual ).

The restriction doesn’t apply if you are accompanied by one of your parents or your legal guardian.

If you violate of this curfew, you may be charged with operating a motor vehicle without being licensed, which is a criminal violation.

Cell Phones and Electronic Devices

You may not use any mobile electronic device for any reason while operating a motor vehicle. The only exception is for reporting an emergency.

Violating Junior Operator License Restrictions

judge with gavel

If you violate the passenger restriction or the night restriction, you will be subject to a license suspension of 60 days for a first offense, 180 days for a second offense, and one year for subsequent offenses. Note that this is an administrative suspension. It comes in addition to any penalties imposed by a court.

For a second or subsequent offense, you will also be required to complete a Driver Attitudinal Retraining course.

The Road Test

Taking a road test

For a Class D license, including a JOL, you need a sponsor for your road test. When you arrive at the test location, you must be accompanied by a licensed operator who meets the same requirements as the supervising driver.

If you are not accompanied by a sponsor, you will not be given the Class D road test.



Under normal circumstances, the vehicle you use for your Class D road test must be safe and in good working order. You must show your vehicle registration to the examiner and the vehicle must be inspected. If your vehicle is registered out of state, you must show proof of insurance coverage equal to Massachusetts minimum limits.

During the 2020-2021 pandemic state of emergency, however, road test vehicles are provided by the RMV.

If you are under age 18, you must maintain a clean driving record for the six consecutive months immediately preceding the date you apply for the test. If you had any at-fault crashes, moving violations, or drug or alcohol related violations, you will not be given the road test.


Photo credits: stokkete, lopolo, Warren Goldswain, and Burmakin Andrey



COVID-19 Information

COVID-19 Information

No visits on walk-in basis are currently accepted.

If you cannot complete a transaction online and need to visit a service location, you must make an appointment.

Appointment reservations can only be made online . Time slots are available on a rolling basis up to 14 business days in advance.

You will get a confirmation email that you must show on arrival at your Service Center.

Remember to wear a mask or face covering in public to slow the spread of COVID-19 and help keep MA headed in the right direction.

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Remember, test practice is your key to success.

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