Completion of a licensed Professional Driver’s Education program is required of all Class D & M license applicants under the age of 18 in the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. To be eligible for a driver education certificate, a student must complete the following two program components:
- Classroom Instruction consisting of a minimum of thirty (30) hours for the purpose of educating and familiarizing students with Massachusetts motor vehicle law and of safe and proper operation of a motor vehicle.
- Motor Vehicle On-Road Instruction consisting of eighteen (18) hours of instruction in a driving training motor vehicle including a minimum of twelve (12) hours of actual behind-the-wheel instruction and six (6) hours of observation while another student is taking behind-the-wheel instruction.
A student must complete the full scope of driver education (both classroom instruction and motor vehicle on-road instruction) within two years from the first session in a driver education program. A student must have a valid learner’s permit and be sixteen (16) years of age before she/he may participate in motor vehicle on-road instruction.
Currently, classroom instruction covers at a minimum the following areas of study:
- The Massachusetts driver’s license
- The driver’s license privilege
- Motor vehicle safety
- Rules of the road
- Defensive driving and special situations
- Vehicle ownership
On-road instruction is designed to train each student in the various controls and devices in the driver’s compartment and how to apply their new driving knowledge to the road. Instructors are required at a minimum to teach how to start the engine, engage the gears, make left and right turns, turn the vehicle around, stop and start on hills and grades, back-up, park, and drive in traffic and on the open highway.