License and ID

One of the greatest rites of passage in a young person’s life is getting a driver’s license. With so many drivers’ education programs to choose from, the choice can be overwhelming. The RMV created this Guide to Driver’s Education Programs to help make that decision a little easier. Currently, driver's education in Massachusetts is offered at public high schools and by professional driving schools licensed by the RMV. Although each school is licensed separately, they are required to meet the same criteria.

Public School Driver Education Program: A driver's education program taught to students matriculating at public high schools. These programs are offered at public high schools or as part of a continuing education program sponsored by the local school district. Typically, high school faculty members or employees of the school district that are licensed by the RMV to teach driver's education teach these programs.

Professional Driving School Programs: A driver’s education program conducted by a private driving school that is licensed by the RMV and are typically conducted at private facilities. Employees of the driving school that are licensed by the RMV to instruct driver's education teach these programs.

Driver Skills Development Program: A Driver Skills Development Program offers advanced driver training in accident avoidance techniques to individuals who possess a valid driver's license, or a valid learner's permit and have completed a minimum of ten hours supervised behind-the-wheel training. These programs are conducted in a controlled environment on an off-road training course at actual roadway speeds.

Note: a professional driving school may be contracted by a public high school to provide driver's education or lease a classroom at a public high school. These programs should not be confused with a public high school program.

To locate a driving school in your area, go to the navigation bar and click on the Locate a Driving School link and follow the simple instructions.

What to Look for in a Driver's Education Program

You may want to consider the following when shopping around for a driver's education program. Remember, take your time and shop smart. This is one of the most important investments you may ever make!

Interview the driving school owner or manager

  • Ask the owner how long the school has been in operation.
  • Ask for a statement of school policies & procedures. It should include: classroom hours and curriculum, in-car instruction and skills to be taught, how to book in-car hours, payment policies, refund policies, and cancellation policies.
  • Ask the owner or instructor what the classroom student to teacher ratio is for the particular class you will be attending.
  • Ask for references from people who have attended the school.

Visit the school

  • Did you notice the RMV issued license posted in a visible place?
  • Are all the licenses and instructor certifications up-to-date?
  • Is the classroom clean with up-to-date facilities, equipment, and textbooks?
  • What condition are the vehicles in? Are they clean? Do they have ABS brakes? The RMV recommends that the vehicles are no older than 5-10 years old or have low mileage.

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